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Thesis or Comprehensive Exam

Students may elect either a Thesis or Comprehensive Exam option as their capstone requirement. It is highly recommended that students consult with their advisor about this decision by the end of their first full term in the program.


The Master's Program with thesis includes a minimum of 75 semester hours of approved graduate credit, including six semester hours of 500 (Thesis) credit in the preparation of an acceptable thesis, representing original independent work and a final oral examination.

Comprehensive Examination

Students who opt to take the comprehensive examination, instead of the thesis option, should plan to take the exam in the final semester during which they are taking academic coursework. For most students this will be the Fall semester of their last year. The examination consists of multiple-choice questions designed to test basic undergraduate knowledge and more advanced concepts covered during the graduate program. This examination lasts 6 1/2 hours and includes a 2-hour comprehensive examination of the entire field, plus 4 1/2 hours in 9 areas of major emphasis.

Last Published: Aug 24, 2018