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Master Comprehensive Exams

Students must pass a comprehensive examination on the content of one education core course and the content of two courses in their major area. One question must come from the faculty advisor and one question must come from faculty outside of the major's teaching core.

Students are eligible to take the comprehensive exam upon completion of 24 graduate credit hours. Students who fail one part of the exam may re-take the exam within the same semester in which it was first attempted. Students who fail more than one part of the comprehensive examination must wait until the next semester before they may re-take the examination. A subsequent failure will result in required remedial work and may delay graduation. After three failures, students will be withdrawn from the program and, therefore, be deemed ineligible for graduation.

Comprehensive examinations are required for a second master’s degree.


  • To provide the student with an opportunity to demonstrate a synthesis of knowledge gained through the Master's program course work.
  • To assess the student's knowledge gained in course work and his/her ability to retain and use this knowledge over a long period of time.
  • To assess the student's ability to clearly communicate information and ideas related to the profession.

Scoring the Exam

  • The exam consists of three questions; each committee member provides one question. Each question will be evaluated on a "Pass or Fail" basis by the committee member (within two weeks.)
  • The exam will be evaluated as "Pass" (pass all three questions); "Conditional Failure" (pass two questions and fail one question); or "Failure" (Fail two or fail three questions.)
  • If a student receives "Conditional Failure" on the exam he or she may arrange to meet with the committee member to determine the process for removing the deficiency.
  • If a student receives "Failure" on the exam, he/she must reapply to retake the exam on the next scheduled test date.
  • Candidates who receive "Conditional Failure" or "Failure" on three successive attempts of a comprehensive exam will be terminated from the program.
  • The evaluation committee will consist of three members**:

    • A faculty member from the major area.
    • A faculty member from the supporting area.
    • A faculty member from the Master common core area.
      **The student's advisor will be one of these faculty members.

Application for the Master Comprehensive Exam

Please see the

School Calendar for application deadlines and test dates.




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