Comprehensive Exams

All graduate students must pass a comprehensive examination which may be scheduled though the Graduate Coordinator any time after the student has been admitted to candidacy and has completed 24 sch including the 4 required courses. The exam will be made available to qualified students on Blackboard and will be graded instantly upon completion.

Students who have completed at least 24 hours of course work including the 4 required courses from the particular graduate program in which the student is enrolled (CJ or HS) may also request a practice exam be made available in the Blackboard format through the Graduate Coordinator.  In addition to the full practice exam, students may take the subject area exams which are shorter, and only focus on one area at a time.  The subject area exams are designed to help students determine which areas they need to focus more attention on.

Exams will consist of 200 multiple choice questions. Students must score a minimum of 70 percent to pass. If a student does not pass the Comprehensive Exam the first time, they must retake the entire exam at a time to be scheduled through the Graduate Coordinator. A student who fails their second attempt may petition (must show significant cause) the Graduate Coordinator for a third attempt. The student can expect one of 3 outcomes from their petition:

  1. Student will be required to take remedial course work – to be determined in consultation with the CJ faculty – before taking the exam again.
  2. Student will be allowed to take the exam a third time with no other requirements.
  3. Student will not be allowed to take the exam again and will be removed from the program.

Comprehensive exams are designed to demonstrate how well the student has integrated the knowledge gathered throughout their studies in the master's program. While the questions come from specific areas, they generally reflect broader issues than what a student will find in a single class. All students will be required to answer questions from each of the core areas of study.

Note - Students in one of the dual degree programs with Public Administration must also take the comprehensive exams in that area - Public Administration Comps