In addition to regular examinations, a final Comprehensive Examination on the content of the degree program is required of all candidates for the doctoral degree. Students must pass the comprehensive examination before beginning the dissertation process.
The Comprehensive Examination will cover topics as outlined by the department. The written examination will be constructed by the faculty and administered by the department chair or director. The examination must be administered no more than eight (8) weeks after the doctoral student has completed a minimum of 54 credit hours successfully. A student is eligible to take the examination after completion of all course work or while the final courses are in progress. Students also must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better to be eligible to take the comprehensive examination. Students may take the written examination twice, but must wait at least one (1) semester to retake the examination. Students who fail the written examination on the second attempt will be terminated from the program.
If an oral examination of the written comprehensives is required, it will be administered by a committee of three (3) graduate faculty members recommended by the department chair/director and approved by the appropriate dean. A unanimous vote by the committee is required to pass the oral comprehensive examination. Passing of the examination may be conditional and dependent upon the completion of additional work to the satisfaction of the committee. A formal re-examination will not be required in this case. To request a review of the results of the comprehensive examination, students must follow the Comprehensive Examination Appeal guidelines, as outlined in the catalog. Graduate faculty members are invited to attend the oral comprehensive examination sessions for all graduate degree students. Discussions and decisions of the examination committee are confidential. Applications for the Comprehensive Examination are available online on the Graduate Programs website. Please note that it is the student’s responsibility to apply for the Comprehensive Examination.