Comprehensive Exam

After completion of at least 24 credits of the 30 credit hours of graduate work, students may take the Comprehensive Master’s Exam.

Exams are offered in the Spring, Fall and Sumer. (Dates vary according to academic calendars).

Graduate students must inform the Graduate Director of his/her intent to take the comprehensive exam at least six weeks prior to the date of the exam. At that point, every student must fill out the comprehensive examination form.


The format of the comprehensive exam varies according to each professor.

How to prepare for the MA comprehensive exam:

  • Students must select a total of eight areas, preferably one with each professor.
  • 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 the exam format and to learn strategies to prepare for it. 

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

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


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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.