Accessible Navigation.

Comprehensive Examinations

Comprehensive/Terminal Examinations for Master and Doctoral Students

Masters Students

WHEN: Preferably before the end of final semester


Students form a Thesis/Professional Paper Committee at the earliest time possible in the program and prior to any research or creative activities. Terminal Examining Committees are formed prior to the comprehensive examination. Preparation for the comprehensive examination or the thesis/professional paper committee varies by program.

The chair of the examination committee will notify the Department Chair or Program Director when the student has passed the comprehensive or terminal examination. The Department Chair or Program Director will sign the department's copy of the Application For Graduation Form and return it to the Graduate School with the dates the student successfully completed the comprehensive examination/terminal examination, and/or thesis/professional paper defense.

Receipt of the department's copy of this form by the Graduate School indicates that the student successfully completed the departmental degree requirements. The student's degree will be awarded after receipt of the PDF version of the of the thesis or professional paper (if applicable) and all other Graduate School requirements have been met.  The PDF version must also be submitted to the Mansfield Library by the student.

Doctorate Students

WHEN: Prior to dissertation proposal approval


Students in doctoral programs must successfully complete comprehensive examinations at least one semester before graduation. These examinations can be written, oral or a combination of both. If the student's program requires a minor or has a language requirement, then those requirements must be completed before the examination. Prior to the examination, the student forms a Comprehensive Examination Committee. Preparation for the examination may differ between graduate programs. Some committees may provide reading lists, specific topics, or question banks in advance of the examination.

The Graduate School does not require any notification from students or their programs immediately following the successful completion of the comprehensive examination in doctoral programs; the department will maintain a record of successful completion of the examination. At least one semester prior to graduation (see exact date on graduation deadline calendar), the student must file an Application For Graduation Form (PDF form) with the Graduate School. The Graduate School will conduct a degree audit and send a copy of this form back to the graduate program early in the graduating semester. The department chair or program director will sign the department's copy of the form and return it to the Graduate School with the dates the student successfully completed the comprehensive examination, language requirement (if applicable) and dissertation defense.

Receipt of the department's copy of this form by the Graduate School indicates that the student successfully completed the departmental degree requirements. The student's degree will be awarded after receipt of the PDF version of the of the thesis or professional paper (if applicable) and all other Graduate School requirements have been met.  The PDF version must also be submitted to Proquest by the student.