Comprehensive Exam Information

THE EXAM: a test of a student’s knowledge in their academic program. The exam consists of three interdisciplinary questions based on a student’s graduate coursework and developed by a faculty committee.

THE COMMITTEE: Three faculty members selected by the student, in consultation with their advisor, make up the committee.


  • 2nd semester (or before completion of 18 credit hours)– discuss the comps option with your advisor
  • 3rd semester (or semester prior to comprehensive exam) – deadline for determination of committee members (work with advisor to do so)
  • 3rd Semester (or semester prior to comprehensive exam) - submit Declaration to take a Comprehensive Exam (due 3 weeks before the last day of classes)
  • Friday of the 8th week of the final semester – deadline for administration of the exam
  • Friday of the 10th week of the final semester – deadline for notification of exam scores
  • Friday of 12th week of the final semester – deadline for follow-up assessment, if needed
  • If a student fails the comprehensive exam, a second exam can be scheduled no earlier than 6 months after the initial exam.

If a student does not initially elect to take comprehensive exams as their culminating experience, they may file an appeal by the 1st week of their 4th semester to sit for comprehensive exams. Such an appeal must be coordinated with, and approved by, the student’s academic advisor, and submitted to the graduate coordinator no later than the 1st Friday of the semester.

Updated: 10/17/2021 09:05PM