Comprehensive Exam (D3)

Comprehensive Exam (D3)

When all course work has been completed and the language and research tool requirements met, the student takes a comprehensive examination (written and oral). Generally, doctoral students take the comprehensive exam at the end of the fourth or beginning of the fifth semester of their program. Students should take the comprehensive exam no later than five semesters after the JOURN 9010 Doctoral Seminar.

The comprehensive exam will include five questions, each of which is supplied by one of the five members of the doctoral committee. The doctoral student will develop, in consultation with each committee member, an extensive reading list of materials to define that comprehensive area. Each committee member will write his/her question to cover the intellectual domain defined by the reading list. There will be no prior sharing of the question with the doctoral student before the exam. The committee chair will be review all questions and reading lists prior to the exam to assure sufficient depth and breadth in the questions. If any question arises, the associate dean may be asked to weigh in on the scope and depth of the reading list.

Each of the exams will be four hours and have a closed-book, closed-note format using a computer controlled by the journalism graduate studies center. Students are not allowed to bring anything into the test room except for a pen and blank paper for notes, a dictionary and/or thesaurus, and reasonable comfort items (drinks, snacks, sweatshirt, etc.). All books, backpacks, computer peripherals, drives, phones, tablets or MP3 players must be left outside the test room. The comprehensive oral is taken after the written portion of the exam.

It is advised that doctoral students schedule a minimum of five business days between the completion of written exams and the oral exam. The oral will provide the opportunity for probing of weak areas in the student’s answers, or to explore aspects of interconnectivity among the questions. The two sections of the exam (written and oral) must be completed within one month.

Upon successful completion of the comprehensive exam, students are required to be continuously enrolled. The university requires a minimum enrollment of two credit hours each semester and one credit hour each summer. Typically, ABD students enroll in JOURN 9090 Research to fulfill the continuous enrollment requirement. At this point, doctoral students are no longer required to participate in JOURN 9087 Doctoral Research Seminar, but they are encouraged to do so.