The Comprehensive Exam, held in May and/or early June of the first year, is intended to test the student’s overall level of achievement during the course of the first year of the program. It provides the basis for the student’s grade in the first year. Students must successfully complete all other required first-year program elements, including the literature review, prior to taking the comprehensive exam.
The comprehensive exam consists of two questions, Q1 and Q2, each of which includes a written and an oral component.
In the final evaluation, both Q1 and Q2 will have equal weight. Students will be graded on their ability to both explain basic theoretical and methodological concepts and on their ability to demonstrate their applicability to their chosen research topic.
Written responses to Questions 1 & 2 are submitted on moodle (turnitin). Students have one week to submit a written response to each question. There is a 5,000 word limit on each question, not including references and table of contents. Students should be aware that papers will not be read past the 5,000 word mark and points may be taken off for longer submissions. The written responses will be evaluated by the supervisor and one internal committee member.
The student defends the written responses in front of the supervisor, the internal committee member, and the chair, who is usually a member of the DPC, who is not serving on any student’s committee. Oral defense time is 45-60 minutes. Students make an opening student of 5-10 minutes. The remaining time involves a critical engagement with the written component and the student’s opening oral comments. It should include approximately 20-25 minutes discussion on each question.
Further details about the exam are provided on the Moodle website.
The proposed dates for the 2021 Comprehensive Exams (TBC) are as follows:
Q1 Written exam: May 4-11
Q2 Written exam: May 14- 21
Q1 and 2 Oral exams: May 27.