Fort Hays State University > About FHSU > Academic Divisions > College of Arts and Sciences > Master of Liberal Studies > Mlssh Study Questions
MLS students are required to satisfactorily pass comprehensive exam(s) in order to graduate. MLS students whose culminating experience is a thesis are required to take one, four-hour exam or its equivalent. MLS students whose culminating experience is either a project or an internship are required to take two, four-hour exams or their equivalent. If you cannot write for four hours on one question, consider yourself unprepared for the comprehensive exam. At least part of every student's comprehensive exam will ask the student to draw on all of the coursework in his or her program of study. To help MLS students prepare for this part of the exam, a list of study questions is provided below. Students cannot use notes or any study aids while taking the exam. However, students should be so familiar with what they have studied that when they write their answers they are able to mention books, material, lectures, etc. from all of their classes when they write this portion of their comprehensive exam(s). This will require significant preparation: MLS students should spend 50 to 100 hours preparing for this part of the exam. If you have any questions about comprehensive exams, you should contact your faculty advisor or the Director of the MLS program (firstname.lastname@example.org). MLS Comprehensive Exam Study Questions 1. Explain in a careful, step-by-step way the six-step model of the scientific method. Make sure to provide illustrations. Also make sure to critique the model. Finally, discuss the usefulness of the scientific method with regard to your area of concentration and provide several examples of how the scientific method could be used in your area of concentration.2. List and explain carefully (with examples) three ways that ways of knowing in the humanities and arts resemble scientific ways of knowing, then compare these three ways of knowing with ways of knowing in your area of concentration. Provide a critique of each of these three ways. Then list and explain carefully (with examples) three ways that ways of knowing in the humanities and the arts differ from scientific ways of knowing. Provide a critique of each of these three ways. Tell us which of the ways of knowing best describes your area of concentration: scientific ways of knowing, ways of knowing in the arts and humanities, or a priori ways of knowing. Provide a convincing defense of your claim.3. Francis Bacon’s “knowledge is power” and Plato’s “knowledge is virtue” appear to express antithetical conceptions of our chief reason for pursuing knowledge. Where do you stand in terms of this contrast and why do you think yours is the correct answer? In your response to this question, draw on insights and knowledge that you have gained through the 18 hours of your MLS concentration.4. Presumably, there should be a clear connection between one’s answer to the question “What is knowledge for?” and the question “What is human life for?” How do you conceive the central purpose(s) of human life? What are the main characteristics of well-lived, fulfilling human lives? Why, and in exactly what ways, is the pursuit of knowledge important to attaining these purposes or producing these characteristics? In your response to this question, draw on insights and knowledge that you have gained through the 18 hours of your MLS concentration. 5. What are the chief characteristics of the knowledge/information society? How does it differ from its predecessors (e.g., the agricultural and industrial societies)? What challenges and opportunities does it face? Provide several examples of how your area of concentration is part of the knowledge/information society.6. Suppose you wanted to do some research on the topic of immigration. Explain and defend the strategy you would adopt to do the research; the tactics you would use; how you would determine whether your sources were reliable; and how you would decide when to bring your research to a close.
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