Comprehensive Exam Requirements

Comprehensive Exam Requirements

Guide to Taking 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 take the comprehensive examination to complete the program. Students taking the comprehensive examination will follow these six 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

Step 2

 At the first Department meeting of the semester, the department will select a committee of three graduate faculty members, to be kept anonymous from the student, to create the questions and review their answers.

A. Each committee member will create 3 questions.
B. The committee will then select 6 questions to be given to the student

Step 3

On Monday of week 9 of the semester, questions will be dispersed to the students. They must select 4 of 6 questions and write a 4 - 5 page response to each question.

Step 4

They will have two weeks to complete the essays (due Monday of Week 11). Essays must be submitted through Canvas and run through “Turn it in”

Step 5

The Committee will have 1 week (Monday of week 12) to approve or decline the work. If the work is approved, then the student will “advance to the oral examination”. If the committee declines to pass the work, the student will have the opportunity to retake the exam in the following fall or spring semester where they begin again at Step 1.

A. If the student does not pass on the second attempt, the faculty have grounds to expel the student from the program.
B. The committee members will remain anonymous until the student passes the examination.

Step 6

An oral examination of their essays will occur in week 14. The student will schedule the oral defense and work with the Sociology Program Assistant to reserve a room. If the student fails the oral exam, the student will have the opportunity to retake the exam in the following fall or spring semester, and they will begin at Step 1. If the student does not pass on the second attempt, the faculty have grounds to expel the student from the program.