Comprehensive Examination - Portfolio

Comprehensive examination for the EdD program

The purpose of the comprehensive examination is to assess students’ mastery of program objectives and development of expertise within their concentration. This exam is a major milestone in doctoral education; it marks the shift from doctoral student to doctoral candidate, demonstrating that students have acquired specialized knowledge in educational theory, research and practice, and have developed the expertise necessary to undertake advanced-level dissertation work.

The comprehensive examination will take place only after students complete all of their coursework. Administration of comprehensive exams may occur during any semester depending on the availability of committee members. Students will collaborate with their committee members to develop two questions that address educational theory, research and practice. These questions will be grounded in the core learning from the program as well as students’ areas of concentration. Students will have two weeks to complete their take home examination. Responses to each question should range from a minimum of 15 pages to a maximum of 20 pages and must adhere to APA style.

Submission and Oral Examination Meeting

The comprehensive exam questions will be administered via email and the responses should be submitted to the advisor.  The advisor will distribute an electronic copy of the written response to committee members. Committee members will evaluate the written comprehensive examination within two weeks (14 calendar days) and return their written feedback to the advisor. Students will also schedule an oral examination with their committee members to review feedback and respond to additional questions. 

Committee members will evaluate the students’ responses as high pass, pass, or fail. The committee must unanimously evaluate the responses as pass and/or high pass for students to advance to candidacy. The comprehensive examination may be repeated (using new questions) once and will be scheduled no sooner than 4 weeks and no longer than 12 weeks from the previous examination date.  Students must retake the comprehensive examination (one or multiple questions determined by the committee) and be unanimously evaluated as passing by the committee members before proceeding with the dissertation proposal.

Graduate School Recommendation for admission to candidacy for doctoral degree (ABD status)

Following the oral examination defense meeting in which the student successfully passes, the committee chair will forward the Comprehensive Examination Committee Evaluation form and  Graduate School Recommendation for Admission to Candidacy to Candidacy for Doctoral Degree (ABD Status) form to the doctoral program coordinator. The Graduate School Recommendation for Admissions to Candidacy for Doctoral Degree form will be forwarded to the Graduate School.