Comprehensive Exam FAQ

University of the Rockies // Comprehensive Exam FAQ

Comprehensive Exam FAQ

What does the comprehensive exam entail?
Is the comprehensive exam required in order to graduate?
When in my program will I complete the comprehensive exam?
When is the comprehensive exam offered?
Where and how will the exam be administered?
What if I require a related accommodation for the exam?
Will a study guide be provided?
What are the expectations for my response to the exam questions?
Is the exam open-book?
How is the exam graded?
If I don't pass the exam, can I retake it?
Can Students Reschedule or Withdraw from a Comprehensive Exam?
Is there a fee associated with the exam?
Will Financial Aid cover the cost of the comprehensive exam?
Will I be able to obtain assistance on my Comprehensive Exam (i.e. submit my exam to the Writing Center for review)?

What does the comprehensive exam entail?
The Comprehensive Exam for Master of Arts programs in the School of Organizational Leadership consists of a set of carefully designed questions based on a case study. The exam assesses a student’s understanding of the program or specialization learning outcomes specific to the student’s course of study.

For Master of Arts programs in the School of Professional Psychology, mental healthcare specializations, exams include items involving case conceptualization, differential diagnoses, assessment, diversity, ethical and legal considerations in the therapeutic process, treatment planning, and outcome measurement.

For Master of Arts programs in the School of Professional Psychology, non-mental healthcare specializations, the exam format consists of questions that test the student’s knowledge in the foundations of psychology. Students will answer questions covering the program learning outcomes associated with their declared program and specialization.

Is the comprehensive exam required in order to graduate?
Students pursuing a Master of Arts degree are required to complete and pass the comprehensive exam in order to graduate.

When in my program will I complete the comprehensive exam?
The exam will follow completion of the student’s final course in his or her program. To be eligible to take the comprehensive examination, a student must have completed all degree requirements and be in good academic standing.

When is the comprehensive exam offered?
The comprehensive exam is offered multiple times throughout the year.  Students should check with their Student Advisor to see which date(s) best fits their schedule.

Where and how will the exam be administered?
Students enrolled in a comprehensive exam will have access to their exam through the eCollege online learning platform.

The exam will open at 12:00 pm noon Mountain Time on Tuesday and close the following Monday at 11:59 pm Mountain Time.

What if I require a related accommodation for the exam?
Students seeking an accommodation for a disability should contact the Office of Student Access and Wellness at access@rockies.edu to discuss the requested accommodation.

Will a study guide be provided?
There will not be a formal study guide provided specifically for the exam. Since the questions will be derived from the program and specialization learning outcomes, students are encouraged to keep copies of their course materials and course work throughout their program.

What are the expectations for my response to the exam questions?
Separate responses for each question are expected. The format should be a single cover page with a separate response for each question’s answer. Do not answer in a single essay format.
Responses must be written in English with standard American spellings. Students must follow APA Style format for their exam responses, properly citing and quoting all references to printed or electronic materials.

Students may NOT submit work they have previously submitted in any course assignment in answering a question in whole or in part. Re-submitting previous work will be considered plagiarism. Responses must be submitted through the eCollege dropbox in the student’s Comprehensive Exam course.

Is the exam “open-book?”
The exam is “open book.” This means that you may utilize credible textbooks, articles, and other materials from the library and/or courses you have taken during your program of study. 

How is the exam graded?
For each question, the student’s response will be graded by how well the student does the following:

  • Addressed all parts of the question in a comprehensive manner. (Content)
  • Demonstrated knowledge of concepts and theory of the specific area of specialization. (Theory)
  • Responded to the case study with the tone, expertise, and manner of a professional. (Practice)
  • Referenced at least two relevant and scholarly sources. (Research)
  • Supported the response by connecting details from the case study with concepts or theory, analysis, and/or recommendations. (Critical thinking)
  • Organized the response by including a central theme, a clear, logical, and easy to follow structure, appropriate tone, and good mechanics. (Writing and Organization)
  • Applied APA format style guidelines. (Style)

Students will either receive a P grade, indicating he or she passed, or an NP indicating he or she did not pass.

If I don't pass the exam, can I retake it?
Please refer to the catalog for specific policies about repeating the exam.

Can Students Reschedule or Withdraw from a Comprehensive Exam?
Students who wish to reschedule or withdraw from a Comprehensive Exam must contact their Student Advisor.

Is there a fee associated with the exam?
The exam fee is $300.00 per attempt.

Will Financial Aid cover the cost of the comprehensive exam?
Students should discuss Financial Aid questions with their Student Advisor.

Will I be able to obtain assistance on my Comprehensive Exam (i.e., submit my exam to the Writing Center for review)?
Students are not allowed to submit their exam to the Writing Center for review or receive help from a third party (e.g., instructor, tutor, or colleague) during the exam. If it is discovered that students received any type of third party assistance on the exam, they will be reported to the Dean and to the Student Community Standards Committee for Academic Dishonesty violations. If they are then found to have breached the University Academic Integrity policy, they will receive a grade of No Pass, and at a minimum will be required to re-take the exam. Students may face consequences up to and including dismissal from the University. Students are allowed to contact their Student Advisor during the exam with questions of clarification and/or technical assistance.

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