Comprehensive Exam

You may select the comprehensive exam option with the following programs:

You can take the comprehensive exam the semester after you have completed the courses covered on the comprehensive exam (see below). The exam is offered three times a year at the end of each semester.


  • Monday, May 11, 2020
  • Location: 235 Cary Hall
  • Time: 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Exam Questions

Faculty members submit questions and the graduate director chooses eight that cover the required courses. You choose six questions, and will have six hours to complete the exam.

The courses covered on the comprehensive exam are:

MS in ES:                          

  • Three questions from ES 502
  • Three questions from ES 503
  • Two questions from NTR 505

MS in NTR:                          

  • Three questions from NTR 500
  • Three questions from NTR 501
  • Two questions from NTR 600

Exam Grading

Each exam question is graded by the faculty member who submitted the question, and the identity of the student is not shared with the faculty. Each question is scored on a scale of 0 - 100% and an average score on all six questions of 70% or higher is required to pass the exam. A student who fails to reach 70% will be required to retake the entire comprehensive exam at a later date. Each student will have two attempts to pass the comprehensive exam. If the student fails the exam on the second attempt, he/she may be dismissed from the program. The comprehensive exam will be offered at the end of the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters for students who entered the program prior to 2017. For students entering in January 2017 or later, the comprehensive exam will only be offered at the end of the Spring and Fall Semesters.