This is an archive of the 2019-2020 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, Please visit

This is an archive of the 2019-2020 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit


Comprehensive Examination Policy

A comprehensive examination will test the range of subject matter covered in the student’s graduate program. The purpose of the examination is to allow students to demonstrate their ability to integrate content, knowledge, independent thinking and critical analysis. Each master’s program that offers a comprehensive examination option is required to maintain University-approved guidelines for the administration of the examination, and these guidelines are to be available on request. The following regulations apply in all cases:

  1. A student must be classified before he or she can be given permission by the department to enroll in a comprehensive exam (697) course.
  2. Students become eligible to attempt the examination during the semester in which all required coursework will be completed.
  3. Ordinarily, the examination is given at least one month before the end of the semester. Arrangements to enroll and take the examination should be made with the student’s program.
  4. If the examination is not passed in the final semester in which the student will graduate, the student must register again for the examination for the semester in which they plan to complete their degree. These additional units may not be counted as units toward the master’s/doctorate degree.
  5. Students may not take the comprehensive examination more than twice.
    1. Students who fail the examination on the first attempt will be required to register for the examination again the next available term.
    2. Students who fail the first attempt will be required to submit a Course Repeat form to the Office of Graduate Studies with the approval of the graduate coordinators once enrolled for the second attempt.
    3. The first attempt is defined as the complete comprehensive examination prescribed by the program. The second attempt is defined as retaking the examination on the entire program or, at the discretion of the department, a supplementary examination on any part or parts of the first examination that the student failed.
    4. Failure of the second attempt of the comprehensive examination results in the disqualification from the program in that department.
    5. Graduate coordinators will file the result of each examination with the Office of Graduate Studies.
    6. Once students have chosen the option of the comprehensive exam and enrolled in (received a WU) or attempted the comprehensive examination and failed it (or any part), they are not eligible to change to any other option (e.g., thesis, dissertation or graduate project).
  6. At least three committee members must certify to the success or failure of the student in the examination.