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Comprehensive Examination Policy

The comprehensive exam is required of all students and is taken as soon as the student has completed 30 course hours. Students who choose to do a thesis or curriculum project must pass a comprehensive examination before beginning the thesis or curriculum project. These students may take the comprehensive exam during the last course prior to thesis/curriculum project or may choose to skip one 8-week session to prepare for and take the comprehensive exam before beginning the thesis/curriculum project. 

The purpose of the comprehensive exam is to demonstrate the candidate's

  • knowledge of the content materials throughout the degree, 
  • ability to organize and communicate the acquired knowledge in a scholarly written form

Testing Procedure

The Comprehensive Exam is a written exam to be taken in an appropriate proctored testing center. The test will be forwarded by the proctor to the graduate faculty for assessment. The graduate faculty will score the exam according to an exam rubric. Based upon that score, one of two recommendations will be made: (1) full pass, (2) retry all or a portion of the exam. 

Students may repeat any portion of the exam one time. After two unsuccessful attempts on any portion of the exam, the entire exam is deemed a failure and the student may not continue in the graduate program.