Both M.A. and Ph.D. students are required to take a comprehensive examination. The comprehensive examination should be taken after all core courses and a majority of related area of specialization courses have been completed. The requests should be made only after the completion of twenty—four (24) credits hours at the M.A. level taken within the Department and thirty (30) credits at Ph.D. level again taken within the Department. All required courses must be completed in order to be able to take the comprehensive examination. The G.P.A. should be at least 3.00. The examination is divided into two parts, each part consisting of four questions from which the student will select two.
Part One concentrates on the core courses and Part Two concentrates on the student’s area of specialization. Part Two will be administered one week after Part One. The Graduate Studies Committee is responsible for selecting the examination questions. Faculty evaluate essays only in their area of specialization. All students taking the comprehensive examination in a chosen semester will take the exam on the same day.
Exceptions will not be made. Evaluation is based on the following criteria:
- Clear and effective statement of problems/issues involved in the topics.
- Strong evidence of knowledge of theories, concepts and empirical literature on the topics.
- Accuracy of facts.
- Organization of ideas.
A pass in all four questions is required to pass the comprehensive examination. In the event of failure, the student may repeat the examination once and only in the specific area in which the failure occurred. A retest must take place the semester following the failure. Results of a comprehensive examination shall be reported to students within one month of taking the examination. Copies of samples of questions from past exams may be requested from the Director of Graduate Studies.
The examination will be administered twice during the academic year.
- September in the Fall Semester
- January in the Spring Semester
Requests must be made in writing , using the Graduate School’s “Application to Schedule a Comprehensive Examination” form. The request should also include a copy of the students transcript, and requires your advisor’s signature. Requests will be considered by the Graduate Studies committee. Notification of the committee’s decision and the specific date of examination will be sent to the student within one (1) month after the official request has been received.