BANE Comprehensive Exams

Students in the BANE PhD program are required to take three comprehensive exams, in the fields of Akkadian, Bible, and Northwest Semitics. One of these exams will be a major exam and the other two minor exams. (Students may opt to take two major exams and one minor exam). The amount of primary text to be prepared for each exam is as follows:

Area Major Exam Minor Exam

5000 lines in cuneiform (at least 2000 lines not covered in course work)

3000 lines (half in cuneiform; at least 1000 lines not covered in class)

Bible 120 chapters

50 chapters (at least 25 chapters not covered in classes)

Northwest Semitics 3000 lines from various languages 1000 lines (at least 400 lines not covered in class)

In addition, students are required to master a body of general secondary literature that surveys the individual cultures, as well as studies on the texts that are covered in the exams. Exams will include passages from the texts that students have prepared as well as at least one "new" passage, consonant with the kinds of texts that the student has prepared. (Students may use lexica or will be given glosses for this section only.) The list of primary and secondary readings is to be worked out with the primary examiner. These exams serve a variety of purposes: to help students review and synthesize the textual/philological work already done during coursework; to teach them how to prepare bodies of texts not previously studied; to ensure their knowledge of the cultures of the Bible and the ancient Near East; to judge their acquisition of linguistic, philological, and textual skills; and to determine their competence to read, analyze, and interpret new texts. The exams are to be completed by the beginning of the fifth year of graduate work. When the written exam is not definitive, it may be followed by an oral exam at the discretion of the examiners.