What are the comprehensive exams?
The comprehensive exams consist of four essay questions covering a total of twelve course credits (four different, 3-credit courses). The questions are obtained from the 3-credit courses you have completed or are currently taking for your master’s degree. You choose questions from courses according to your degree program.
|Master of Science in Education (MSE) General Candidates
||Master of Science in Education (MSE)Elementary Candidates|
|One in Foundations
||One in Foundations|
|One in Curriculum
||One in Liberal Arts|
|Two in Subject content or specialization
||Two in Elementary Education|
Examples of foundation courses are: ED 701, 702, 703, and 708.
Examples of curriculum courses are ED 721, 726, and 780.
You may also obtain a question from a workshop course (ED 570 or ED 790).
If you are completing a thesis, you will complete an oral defense of your thesis and write on only one exam question (one hour time limit).
How do I go about obtaining questions?
Contact the professors of the specific courses meeting the above criteria and ask them if they are willing to write a question for you. If the professor agrees, then you will enter that professor’s name and the respective course on the application for comprehensive examination. You can obtain only one question from each course. In the case where a professor has taught you two courses, you may request a question from each course.
What courses are not allowed for the comprehensive exam questions?
You cannot have a question from the research component of your master’s program (i.e., ED 707, 799, 782), nor from independent study (ED 796).
May I ask the professors for their questions ahead of time in order to study?
Although professors are not required to share the questions before the exam, they frequently suggest material to study or share the questions or major parts of the questions.
Where and when do I obtain the registration form for the comprehensive exams?
You may apply for your comprehensive exam after completing at least 24 credits of the master’s degree. Please contact the School of Education Graduate Studies and Professional Development Office the semester before you wish to take the exam.
Submit the exam registration form to Lori Yonash, Student Status Examiner, in the SOE Graduate Studies and Professional Studies, Room 438, College of Professional Studies (715-346-4403).
What happens the day of the exam?
You will receive all necessary materials on the day of the exam, including blue books if needed. The examination time promptly begins at 8:30 am and promptly ends at 12:30 pm. If you complete the exam before that time, you may leave.
Exam questions usually take about 40 minutes each to write. Since a four-hour period is allotted, there is sufficient time to review your responses before submitting them.
During the exam you may use a dictionary and/or thesaurus provided for your reference. No textbooks or notes are allowed unless specifically indicated by the professor providing the question.
How do I obtain my results?
You will be notified of the results in writing as soon as the exams have been evaluated and returned by the professors (approximately 2-4 weeks). You must pass all four questions in order to satisfactorily complete the exam.
What if I do not pass all four questions?
Any questions which are not answered satisfactorily must be rewritten. At the discretion of the professor involved, substitute questions may be written. Your responses from the first exam session and your responses during the “rewrite” session will be evaluated.
If you do not pass all four questions after the rewrite, you may appeal to the Associate Dean of Education for permission to rewrite the question(s) again. In most cases, permission will be granted only to students who first complete additional course work. The Associate Dean will not grant more than one repeat.
If you do not pass on the second rewrite of a question, you may appeal to a four-member graduate faculty committee for special consideration by contacting the Coordinator of the Degree Program. The committee shall consist of:
- The Coordinator of the Degree Program
- Your graduate advisor
- A faculty member from the content area being considered
- At least one School of Education faculty member outside the specific content area being considered
After reviewing information relating to the appeal, the committee may:
- Grant a "pass"
- Recommend further study and complete one more rewrite for the same professor or another professor designated by the committee, or
- Determine that the appeal has no merit