The purpose of the qualifying examinations, which are typically taken at the end of year two or the start of year three, is to have the student show mastery of the concentration area and level of preparation for writing the dissertation. Qualifying examinations require, as preliminary steps, the filing of a preliminary dissertation prospectus of 10 pp. and the creation of a reading list of approximately 100 literary and/or scholarly works. The prospectus and lists must be approved by the student's doctoral committee and filed with the Director of Graduate Studies. Qualifying examinations consist of two successive days, with 3 hours writing time each day.