Comprehensive Exam Requirements

Steps For Completing The Sociology Comprehensive Exam


Beginning in fall 2020, all students accepted into the Sociology MA program but not in the Dual MPA/MA Sociology program and who choose not to complete a thesis will be required to take the comprehensive examination to complete the program. Students taking the comprehensive examination will follow these five steps:

Step 1

On or before the first day of classes of the semester that a student plans to complete the degree, they must submit their intent to graduate along with their transcripts. They must also submit the four content areas that they plan to be tested on to the Graduate Director. The student should also carefully review the guide to taking the Sociology Comprehensive Exam.

Step 2

At the first Department meeting of the semester, the department will select a committee of three graduate faculty members who will review the exams.

Step 3

On Monday of week 5 of the semester, questions will be dispersed to the students. The student will write one 4 - 5 page response to one question from each of their four content areas

Step 4

They will have three weeks to complete the essays (due Monday of Week 8). Essays must be submitted as a single Word document through Canvas and run through “Turn it in”.

Step 5

By Monday of week 10 the committee will evaluate the essays and the Graduate Program Director will notify students that their exam was either approved or declined. If the work is approved, then the student will advance to graduation pending successful completion of all other requirements for the degree. If the committee declines to pass the work, the student will have an additional two weeks (due Monday week 12) to revise and resubmit the exam in Canvas based on feedback from the committee. In the case of serious and extraordinary circumstance beyond the student’s control, the student may petition the Graduate Director to retake the comprehensive examination in the following semester instead of revising their exam that semester. Retake means the student will begin at step 1 and receive new questions from their chosen content areas.

A. After the second attempt, the committee members may require a discussion of their essays with the student.

B. If the student does not pass on the second attempt, the faculty have grounds to expel the student from the program.

C. The committee members will remain anonymous throughout the examination unless the student has been invited to meet with the committee.