In the required second year course, AMCV2520, students will draft, workshop, and complete a syllabus. Usually the syllabus will be for a freshmen/sophomore writing course that the student will teach in her/his third or fourth year. The syllabus should be in the form required by the Brown College Curriculum Committee, including a course rationale (describing the themes and questions taken up by the course plus how it fits into the curriculum of the Department of American Studies), a short description suitable for Banner, a reading list, and a class-by-class schedule of topics to be covered. Students will send the three advisors, and the DGS, a revised copy of the syllabus a month before the exam. At the preliminary exam, students and advisors will discuss the syllabus and consider suggestions for changes
Students will prepare a 1-3 page dissertation pre-proposal outlining the questions, evidence, and method of a proposed dissertation, as far as they have been considered. Students will send the pre-proposal to the advisors and the DGS at least one week before the exam. At the preliminary exam, the student and advisors will begin a discussion of the dissertation proposal
The exam itself will last for two hours. Each advisor will examine the student for 25 minutes and there will be a group discussion of the syllabus and the dissertation pre-proposal. Students will choose a chair of the committee who will help schedule the exam, keep the time, and lead the discussion. Students may bring, and should supply to the committee, a final list of texts on which they will be examined. Students will send the committee the syllabus (one month before the exam) and the dissertation pre-proposal (one week before the exam). If none of the advisors has an appointment in the Department of American Studies, the student may ask the DGS or the Department Chair to sit in on the exam and provide guidance on department policy.