Comprehensive Exams

Comps. Do you know what that is? It’s something that has been on my mind a lot the last 2 weeks, and sort of on my mind for the last year and a half. Not all graduate programs require this kind of exam. If you’ve never heard of them before, Wikipedia provides a brief overview of the comprehensive examination concept, also known as comps.

Picture of comps study notebook

In less than two weeks (on January 10, 2013) I will be taking a compehensive exam for my master’s program. CSAA-M students at UGA must pass this exam to recieve their master’s degree. If you are thinking about attending graduate school for student affairs, it is definitely worth looking at what type of culminating experience(s), if any, the programs you are considering offer. ACPA’s directory of graduate programs provides a summary of most programs while also stating if a thesis or comprehensive exam is required/optional. Now if you are really intrigued or considering UGA’s CSAA program, more information about our comps process can be found on page 27 of this handbook. Basically, my cohort will be asked to answer two long essay questions and three short essay questions (two longs and three shorts) by integrating and sythensizing our learning. To complete the exam we are able to make and use a two-sided reference sheet in APA style.

The Spring 2014 semester is going to be full of many wonderful adventures. I’ve already started my after comps to-do list. It’s going to consist of job searching, blogging, maybe attending a conference, running, spending time with my cohort, etc. But right now, it’s all about comps.

Did you take a comprehensive exam with your graduate program? Thoughts on the concept? Thanks for reading!


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  1. Pingback: Looking Ahead in 2014 | Chandler's blog

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