Comprehensive Exam

After the completion of a minimum of 24 credits of the 30 credit hours of graduate work (10 graduate courses), students will take the Comprehensive Master’s Exam. A graduate student must inform the Graduate Director of his/her intent to take the comprehensive exam and give the areas of his or her choice in writing at least six weeks prior to the date of the exam, which is offered once in the Fall, once in the Spring and once in the Summer.  The exact dates are announced at the beginning of every semester.  See the academic policies.


The format of the comprehensive exam varies according to each professor to reflect the different teaching styles and thematic characteristics of the area in question. While some professors will ask one general question, others may choose to ask several questions whereby students are expected to answer one or two. 

Preparation for the exam: Close reading of the works outlined in the reading list including the suggested readings. Review of material covered in classes that correspond to the selected areas. It is  recommended that students meet with the faculty members of the selected areas to discuss possible questions and strategies for the preparation of the exam. Students must select a total of eight areas, preferably one with each professor.

Fill out this document to choose your areas for the comps.

Dates for Fall 2014 are:  October 27, 29, 31   2014

Times of the COMPS: 9:30 - 4:30

Dates for Summer 2014 are:  June 23, 25, 27   2014

Times of the COMPS: 9:30 - 4:30

Taking the comps in your computer with the Respondus lockdown browser.

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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT for Prospective Students:
Special tuition-reduction for Primary and Secondary School Teachers and Administrators.
For on-line application for admission click here.

Current students:
For information regarding comprehensive examinations on the policies of the Office of Graduate Studies click here, and regarding graduation click here.

What our graduates say about the Program:

"I was particularly pleased with the courses in cultural studies and postcolonialism and with the opportunity to learn about postmodernity in Spain and Latin America."        -Sue Davis, Prof. Emerita of Political Science, University of Delaware '10

"The graduate program in Hispanic Studies at Villanova is an excellent academic experience. The program maintains a fine balance between reading primary materials, learning the work of contemporary and past scholars, and developing original ideas through writing and research. It is also a community; each of the professors takes a very personalized approach to their classes and students know their professors on a personal level."     -Brian Yates '07

Area Categories

The areas are as follows:
Spanish Linguistics: Dr. Julio Villa-García.
Medieval/Pre-Renaissance Peninsular Literature Dr. Adriano Duque.
Early Modern Peninsular Theatre and Prose: Dr. Carmen Peraita.
Early Modern Peninsular Poetry: Dr. Salvatore Poeta.
Colonial Hispanic Literature: Dr. Silvia Nagy-Zekmi.
Peninsular Romanticism, Realism and Modernismo: Dr. Mercedes Juliá
Neoclassical to Contemporary Peninsular Theatre: Dr. Salvatore Poeta
Contemporary Peninsular Narrative: Dr. Mercedes Juliá.
Peninsular Poetry of 20th & 21st Centuries: Dr. Salvatore Poeta.
Colonial Hispanic Literature: Dr. Silvia Nagy-Zekmi.
Hispanic Cultural and Postcolonial Studies: Dr. Silvia Nagy-Zekmi.
Literary Theory: Dr. Silvia Nagy-Zekmi.
Contemporary Latin American Novel: Dr. Carlos Trujillo.
Contemporary Latin American Poetry: Dr. Carlos Trujillo.