Comprehensive Examinations

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“Comps” are a four-hour essay exam which is completed electronically on the computer or in writing. All students must take the comprehensive exam except those writing a thesis. Note: Before the student is allowed to write his/her comprehensive examination, he/she must be admitted to candidacy, be in full standing, and have a grade point average of 3.00 or above. The student must have finished all course requirements or be currently registered for coursework which will complete the requirements for that semester.

The student will complete questions submitted by two of their professors during the course of their last semester. During the first couple weeks of classes, the student should meet with his/her advisor to establish a committee for the Comprehensive Examinations. The student must turn in a School of Education Comprehensive Examination form within the first month of the semester. If the student plans to take “comps” in the summer, this must be turned in the first week of classes. He/She must then write the comprehensive exams, usually administered on a Saturday morning, about two-thirds of the way through the last semester.

Comprehensive examination forms are available from the School of Graduate Studies, 112 Brigham Hall. They can be obtained upon request by notifying Linda Jamieson (342-1321) in the School of Graduate Studies that it is the student’s last academic semester. The student may also prompt notification of his/her intent to graduate by answering “yes” to the question on the registration form as to whether a student will be graduating at the end of the term. Once the form is completed and approved by the advisor, the form should be returned to the School of Graduate Studies, 112 Brigham Hall. The original form will be kept in the School of Graduate Studies and a copy will be sent to the proctor. It is the proctor’s duty to notify the student when and where the examination will be held.

The advisor will chair the comprehensive examination committee. If the advisor also writes comprehensive examination questions for the student, there will only be the need for one additional faculty member to write questions. If the advisor does not write comprehensive examination questions, but only chairs the committee, the student will need two additional faculty members to write comprehensive examination questions. Faculty members should be contacted prior to submitting their names to be sure they are willing to write or will be available to write comprehensive examination questions. Students may take the comprehensive examination in either written or electronic format.

After the comprehensive examination, students will either be notified of the results by the proctor or the School of Education. The results of the examinations are posted on the student’s graduate grade transcript.

If a student wishes to take the comprehensive examination a semester early or a semester late, he/she must contact his/her advisor and obtain permission to do so. If permission is granted, the advisor should forward a memo to Linda Jamieson stating what semester the comprehensive examination will be taken and why the comprehensive examination will be taken during a different semester.

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