The Qualifying Exams are based on the Reading Lists and cover the entire list, prose and verse; there is no commentary or essay section. The examinations are offered twice a year in May and September. Students are expected to attempt the exams beginning in May of their qualifying year (last year of the MA or first year of the PhD). A grade of B- in each examination is required for successful completion of the MA. B+ is required for the PhD and must be attained by September of the third year of the PhD.