The Qualifying Paper should demonstrate scholarly competence in the investigation of a limited and welldefined
historical and/or archaeological problem, and in the mastery of the academic protocols of a
particular historical or archaeological field. It is normally a revised version of a seminar paper or a paper
evolving out of independent research. If it is a revision of a seminar paper, it should incorporate further
research and reflection undertaken with the guidance of the student’s Advisory Committee and, in
particular, it should respond positively to the written comments of these Advisers. The Qualifying Paper
should be around fifty pages in length, including footnotes and bibliography but excluding illustrations, if
any. Footnotes, bibliography, and illustrations should meet the standards of the appropriate journal in the
field of study, such as the American Journal of Ancient History, the American Journal of Archaeology, the
Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, and so on. These standards are published on the
journals’ websites and, should be strictly adhered to.
The Qualifying Paper is read and approved by the student’s Advisory Committee before submission to the
full AHMA faculty. Usually, the first and second Advisers are actively involved in its preparation; they
undertake to read and comment in writing on working drafts in a timely fashion, and both should approve
the paper before it is submitted to the third Adviser. The chair of the Advisory Committee then prepares an
evaluation of the paper to be presented to the AHMA faculty for discussion and vote.
To assure a smooth process and successful outcome, students should plan on confirming the Qualifying
Paper’s topic and general thrust with their Advisory Committee in writing at least three months before the
deadline for submission (agreement secured by email is acceptable but students are strongly advised to
consult directly with their Advisers and to establish a mutually agreed-upon schedule for submission of
drafts). After receiving comments on the first draft from the first two Advisers, students should present both
of them with a revised, polished draft no later than three weeks before the petition deadline. The first two
Advisers should not be asked to read more than two drafts of the paper, namely, the working and
penultimate drafts. With their agreement, the penultimate draft can be finalized and submitted to the third
Adviser and then to the AHMA faculty.
Each student is responsible for addressing any comments or changes requested by the first two Advisers
well before submitting the Qualifying Paper and the Petition to Proceed to the AHMA faculty. If these
Advisers disagree over how a paper should be revised, the student may request a joint meeting with them
to provide consistent guidance. In the event that one Adviser cannot support the finalized version of the
paper submitted to the faculty for the purposes of advancing the student to candidacy, s/he will notify the
student and the other Advisers in advance of the faculty meeting. At this point the student may choose to
withdraw the paper to work on it further; if not, the dissenting Adviser may submit a minority report along
with the Committee Chair’s evaluation explaining his or her problem(s) with the paper.