Comprehensive Exams

Students must complete a comprehensive oral exam towards the end of their program; it is a Graduate School requirement. The comprehensive oral exam may be completed on-site or via video conference. Many students find it helpful to keep a copy of the syllabus for each class they took, as well as the textbooks, class notes, PowerPoint presentations, etc., to use as study aids for the comprehensive exam.

The advisory committee, which must be formed prior to enrollment in the 21st hour, will administer the exam. An email will be sent at the beginning of the semester of graduation with instructions on scheduling the comprehensive exam. All emphasis area classes, and a minimum of eight courses, must be completed prior to completing the comprehensive exam. The basic format of the exam consists of:

  1. Student PowerPoint presentation (10-15 minutes in duration) outlining:

    Previous education: institution, major, special projects completed, and

    Professional work experience (company, location, job title, brief description), and

    List the courses taken as part of the MSE program including the course number, title, instructor, term and grade, and

    One or two slides describing how the MSE program and curriculum would apply to your professional work (either at a present job position or in the future).
  2. The committee will ask several questions covering the coursework.
  3. The student will be momentarily excused (e.g., put on mute if conducted by videoconference) while the committee discusses the exam results.
  4. The student rejoins the committee and the results are communicated to the candidate.