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Comprehensive and Qualifying Exams

You will need to complete a comprehensive exam if you are completing a master's degree or a qualifying exam if you are completing a doctoral degree.

Master of Education (M.Ed.) Program

You are required to take the comprehensive exam during your last semester of course work. You must receive a satisfactory grade on each of the two sections to pass the exam and be eligible for degree conferral:

  1. Section One consists of multiple-choice questions that address the major core courses. This section is deigned to test your understanding of concepts in the field of study.
  2. Section Two is designed to assess higher-order thinking skills. The section is comprised of a comprehensive essay to be scored blindly by your three committee members.

How to Apply

Before you may take the exam, you must:

  1. File a degree plan
  2. Complete the comprehensive exam application

The comprehensive examination for the M.Ed. degree is administered three times a year. Please submit the application by the deadline for the applicable semester:

Semester Application Deadline Test Date
Spring March 1 Second Saturday in April
Summer June 5 Second Saturday in July
Fall October 1 Second Saturday in November

No examination will be administered other than on a regularly scheduled administration date without permission from the graduate advisor, the Department Head, and the Graduate Dean.

Grading Procedure

The multiple choice questions are machine scored; a student is expected to satisfactorily answer a specific number of questions. A student must receive a minimum score of '3' on the essay question in order to pass the essay portion of the exam. Oral examinations may be required of any candidate with a marginal performance on Section Two of the exam. If a test submission contains major grammar and/or composition errors, the student may be asked to repeat the examination.

Essay Rubric
Score Evaluation
4 Exceptional response
Well above expectations
3 Average response
Consistent with expectations
2 Weak response
Below expectations
Failing performance
1 Inadequate response
Failing performance
0 Response did not address the required task
Failing performance

Doctoral Program

At the completion of the leadership core, the students must take comprehensive written and oral qualifying examinations. Upon successful completion of the qualifying examinations and recommendation of doctoral faculty advisors, students will be admitted to candidacy. Candidacy status permits the student to begin working on his/her dissertation research project.