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Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination, if required by the program, will normally be taken in the last semester of the program.

Students must have completed or be enrolled to allow for completion of 30-40 semester hours of course work depending on specific program requirements, students must have a B average (3.0 GPA) in all courses completed, and students must have already filed the Application for Graduate Degree to be eligible to enroll in the comprehensive examination. Students who complete a thesis, collaborative research, teacher research, or lecture/recital requirement do not take a comprehensive exam.

Students must register for the comprehensive examination no later than the last day to add a course in the semester in which they wish to take the examination. (See individual program listing for the appropriate course number.) The course does not carry any credit hours but does carry a $35 course fee. This fee may be refunded through the last day to drop a course in the given semester.

The comprehensive examination will usually be of the essay type, consisting of several broad question areas. It is designed to evaluate the students' competency in written expression and the ability to reason. In addition, the students' knowledge of and ability to apply specific theory and research relating to their area of study will be evaluated.

The grading system for the evaluation of the examination will be pass (P)/not pass (NP). Students who do not pass the examination shall be allowed one re-examination.

 

Please see individual program listings below for specifics about the comprehensive examination in each program.

 
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Communication Sciences & Disorders

The comprehensive examination will be of the essay type, consisting of several broad question areas. It is designed to evaluate the student's competency in written expression and the ability to reason.

In addition, the student's knowledge of and ability to apply specific theory and research relating to his/her area of study will be evaluated. The grading system for the evaluation of the comprehensive examination will be pass (P) / not pass (NP). Two of the three members of the committee must agree for a "Pass" grade.

The student's comprehensive examination committee will be composed of three graduate faculty members; adjunct faculty will not serve on this committee. The committee will be responsible for the preparation and evaluation of the comprehensive examination.

Students must have completed or be enrolled to allow for completion of 40 semester hours of course work, students must have a B average (3.0 GPA) in all courses completed for the degree, and students must have already filed the Application for Graduate Degree to be eligible to enroll in the comprehensive examination.

The comprehensive examination in Communication Sciences & Disorders will be administered two times a year from 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. on the third Saturday of October and the first Saturday of March by the College of Graduate and Professional Studies on the main campus in Farmville. Students must register for the comprehensive examination (CSDS 699) no later than the last day to add a course in the semester in which they wish to take the examination. The College of Graduate and Professional Studies will send written notification after the last day to add a course in a semester to all students registered for the comprehensive examination. The notification will include specifics about administration of the exam. Some programs provide study guides, which will be included with the above notification.

Students who do not pass the examination shall be allowed one re-examination. The Communication Sciences & Disorders re-examination can be administered at a time set by the Dean of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies within the same semester with a fee of $35.00 required prior to administration of the re-examination. Alternatively, the re-examination can be administered at the next scheduled exam date with the student registering for CSDS 699 in that term and paying the $35.00 course fee. Failure of the examination for a second time will be final, and students will be dismissed from the graduate program.

 

Education

The comprehensive examination will be of the essay type, consisting of several broad question areas. It is designed to evaluate the student's competency in written expression and the ability to reason.

In addition, the student's knowledge of and ability to apply specific theory and research relating to his/her area of study will be evaluated. The grading system for the evaluation of the comprehensive examination will be pass (P) / not pass (NP). Two of the three members of the committee must agree for a "Pass" grade.

The student's comprehensive examination committee will be composed of three graduate faculty members; adjunct faculty will not serve on this committee. The committee will be responsible for the preparation and evaluation of the comprehensive examination.

Students must have completed or be enrolled to allow for completion of 30-36 semester hours of course work depending on specific program requirements, students must have a B average (3.0 GPA) in all courses completed for the degree, and students must have already filed the Application for Graduate Degree to be eligible to enroll in the comprehensive examination.

The comprehensive examination in Education will be administered two times a year from 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. on the third Saturday of October and the first Saturday of March by the College of Graduate and Professional Studies on the main campus in Farmville. Students must register for the comprehensive examination (EDUC 699-select the section of your program) no later than the last day to add a course in the semester in which they wish to take the examination. The College of Graduate and Professional Studies will send written notification after the last day to add a course in a semester to all students registered for the comprehensive examination. The notification will include specifics about administration of the exam. Some programs provide study guides, which will be included with the above notification.

Students who do not pass the examination shall be allowed one re-examination. The Education re-examination can be administered at a time set by the Dean of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies within the same semester with a fee of $35.00 required prior to administration of the re-examination. Alternatively, the re-examination can be administered at the next scheduled exam date with the student registering for the re-exam section of EDUC 699 in that term and paying the $35.00 course fee. Failure of the examination for a second time will be final, and students will be dismissed from the graduate program.

 

English

Students in the Master of Arts in English with a concentration in English Education and Writing that elect not to write a thesis; and students in the Master of Arts in English with a concentration in English 6-12 Initial Licensure; register for English 699 - Comprehensive Examination the fall semester of their final year.

Students must have completed or be enrolled to allow for completion of 30-36 semester hours of course work depending on program requirements, students must have a B average (3.0 GPA) in all courses completed for the degree, and students must have already filed the Application for Graduate Degree to be eligible to enroll in the comprehensive examination. The English comprehensive examination will be administered once a year from 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. on the third Saturday of October by the College of Graduate and Professional Studies on the Farmville campus.

The comprehensive examination consists of four essay questionsdrawn from a pool of questions compiled by the English Graduate Coordinator in conjunction with the English graduate faculty and will require knowledge of the tests on the English Comprehensive Exam Reading List; the student will answer three of these questions including the education-related question.  Students will receive the English Comprehensive Exam Reading List of primary sources with their admissions packet.  This list will include major works in four areas:  Education, Major Works, Poetry, and Drama.  During the course of their study, students will be responsible for reading the listed material and they will be responsible for reading and researching the material on their own.  If they have questions, the student may contact the professor of record for the material in question.  All students will sit the same exam, and the exam questions will rotate each year.  The student's knowledge of and ability to apply specific theory and research relating to his/her area of concentration will be evaluated, together with the student's competency in written expression and reasoning ability.

The grading system for the evaluation of the examination will be pass (P)/ not pass (NP), with two graduate English professors, and/or Education professors, or other appropriate professors grading each question. A majority grade  of 3=C is not passing.  If a question receives a pass and a not pass, then a third professor will grade that question. Any re-examination will consist of three essay questions; a student will answer the number of questions not passed on the original examination.

Any student not passing the examination, or any portion thereof, registers for English 699 - Comprehensive Examination ($35.00 fee) at the spring examination date, the first Saturday in March. The English Graduate Program Coordinator may grant permission for an examination date a semester later if a delay in repeating is necessary. Failure of the examination, or any portion thereof, for a second time will be final, and the student will be dismissed from the graduate program.

 

Sociology

A comprehensive examination is, as the name suggests, intended to assess a student's overall grasp of sociology and its application to problems of social life. It allows for a capstone type of integration of material and is an important final check on the student's competency.

After the student has completed 24 credit hours, the student must secure the agreement of three graduate faculty members from the department to serve on his or her Comprehensive Examination Committee. The student must ask one of these faculty members to chair the committee. The Constitution of the Comprehensive Examination Committee form, for recording the membership of the committee, is available from the graduate coordinator. The completed form should be given to the graduate coordinator.

A student who has elected to take the comprehensive examination must be completing the 36th hour of course work in the semester or summer session in which he or she takes the examination or have completed the 36th hour the previous semester.

No fewer than 90 days prior to taking the examination, the student must complete the Intent to Take a Comprehensive Exam form signifying his or her intention to take the examination during a specific semester or summer session. The chairperson of the student's Comprehensive Examination Committee must sign this form, and a copy must be submitted to the coordinator of graduate sociology.

The student must then register for SOCL 699 - Comprehensive Examination no later than the last day to add a course in the semester or summer session in which they wish to take the exam. The Application for Graduate Degree must have already been filed in the Registration Office and a paper registration form must be completed to enroll.

The student's Comprehensive Examination Committee will be responsible for the preparation, administration, and evaluation of the comprehensive examination. These general rules will apply to the administration of the examination:

  • The exam shall be designed to evaluate the student's written expression, ability to reason sociologically, and skill in applying sociological theories, methods, and knowledge in one content area of sociology.
  • A reading list shall be provided to the student at the beginning of the semester in which he or she is to take the comprehensive exam.
  • The exam shall consist of no fewer than three and no more than five essay questions.
  • The examination will be administered in either a one-day sitting or over a two-day period (as in a weekend) as agreed to by the student and the committee.
  • The examination will be taken at a site agreed upon by the Examination Committee and the student.
  • The grading of the exam will be pass (P) / not pass (NP). The student's Examination Committee must reach a consensus for a "pass" grade.
  • The chair of the Examination Committee will communicate, in writing, the outcome of the examination's assessment to the student, the Dean of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies and to the Registrar.