Students pursuing the non-thesis capstone option will complete a 6-hour written comprehensive exam in their last semester of coursework. The exam consists of three questions addressing theory, research methods, and students’ areas of interest and course specialization. In their last semester, students will form a comprehensive exam committee consisting of a chair and two other members from among the communication graduate faculty and submit a Comprehensive Exam Committee Form to the Graduate Director. Students will meet with the committee in the 3rd week of the Fall and Spring semester. The chair of the committee will facilitate the creation and collection of the exam questions. Committee chairs will submit typed questions to the Graduate Director. This committee will prepare questions for the exam and evaluate responses.
Comprehensive exams are scheduled by the department during the 10th week of the Fall and Spring semester and will not be administered in the summer. All exams will be completed in-house in a room and time set by the department. Students are allowed to bring one page of notes (front-side only, 10-point font) for each exam question. Students are expected to develop high quality responses and include important communication sources. Although a reference page is not required, students should use APA parenthetical citations (author last name, year) throughout. All students will complete exams in the Communication Success Center lab.
Once submitted, the committee will evaluate the responses and indicate the quality of the response using the following scale: H (Pass with Honors); P (Pass); F (Fail). Students must receive a “P” on all exam questions in order to graduate. Students will be notified about the results of their exams by the exam committee chair by the end of the 12th week. If a student receives a failing grade on an exam question, they will have one additional opportunity to pass the comprehensive exam by writing a literature review on the topical area needing work (as indicated by the committee). The paper should be 12-15 pages, written in 12-point font, Times New Roman, and double-spaced. The Comprehensive Exam committee will evaluate the paper and make a determination on whether the student has successfully passed. In order for a student to graduate in the same semester the exam is taken, the literature review should be submitted at the end of the 15th week of the semester.