Preparing for your comprehensive examination

Setting up the comprehensive examination committee

The procedures for setting up the comprehensive examination should begin within four terms of the student's initial enrolment in a doctoral program (or eight terms for a student who is admitted on a part-time basis). At this point, required coursework will normally be completed. The comprehensive examination varies between departments, so students should check the requirements of their own department. However, all doctoral students need to set up their comprehensive examination committee, in consultation with their supervisor, and determine the dates and times for each component of their examination.

Student's responsibility

Discuss comprehensive exam procedures and committee composition with supervisor. Check with all committee members to determine the dates and times of the exam. Book the room(s) for the exam as required. Complete AHS PhD Form 1, "Comprehensive Examination: Approval of Committee and Date of Examination" (Word .doc) and submit to Departmental Graduate Officer for approval. This form must then be given to AHS Graduate Coordinator for information and distribution.

The comprehensive examination

The comprehensive examination usually culminates in an oral examination(s). At this examination, the committee determines whether the student receives a pass, conditional pass, re-examination, or fail. Either the chair of the examination committee or the supervisor must provide a written report of the examination, which includes the signatures of all committee members, and a memo outlining any conditions that still need to be fulfilled by the student, or any required areas of re-examination.