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Graduate School at University of Colorado Denver

The Graduate School at UC Denver
 

Graduate School

Comprehensive Exam Instructions


INSTRUCTIONS FOR DOCTORAL STUDENTS PLANNING TO TAKE THE COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION

All forms must be typed.

Signature Instructions:

If you are using Adobe Acrobat reader, you will need to fill out the form, print it, and obtain hard signatures. You cannot save any changes you make to the document, so be sure to print the form once you have completed it.

If you are using Adobe Acrobat professional, you can obtain all digital signatures. To sign the form digitally, you will click on the signature box in the form. A pop up box will appear that asks what you would like to do. You can choose an existing digital ID (choose this option if you already have created a signature and follow the process you would for other forms). If you have not digitally signed a PDF before, choose “A new digital ID I want to create now” and click “next”. On the next screen, choose “New PKCS #12 digital ID file” and click “next” (If you are a Mac user, this screen will not appear. Skip this step and move onto the next one). Enter your identifying information and click “next”. On the next screen, choose a file in which to store your signature for future use and create a password. Then click “Finish”. You will then be prompted to sign the document by entering your password. Enter your password and click “sign”. You will be prompted to save the form and once you have done so your digital signature will appear.

Once you have completed the form and signed it electronically, you can email onto others to sign digitally using the mail (it looks like a small envelope) at the top of the screen.

  1. Application for Admission to Candidacy

    Students should fill out this form, obtain the required signatures, and return it to the Graduate School at least two weeks prior to the date you plan to take the examination.

    Before you attempt to complete this form, it is suggested that you print out your transcript and have it available. On page 2, make sure your courses are listed in chronological order (the oldest courses are listed first) and that you have the correct information listed for each course. All students must have a minimum of 30 semester hours listed (these are minimums; your program may require additional credits). The purpose of this form is to allow your program to approve the courses you are using for your degree (not necessarily all the courses you have taken) and to give them the opportunity to ensure you have taken all your required courses. You may not simply attach a transcript. All courses must have letter (A or B and + or -) grades. Courses in which you received Honors or Pass are not acceptable toward a doctoral degree.

    Once you have completed the form please reference instruction at the top of this page regarding the signature section of the form. It is your responsibility to make sure that the form arrives at the Graduate School Office by the established deadline. When the Application has been approved by the Graduate School, you will be sent notification. You cannot take the comprehensive exam until this application is approved. After passing the comprehensive examination you are considered to be admitted to candidacy for the PhD/EdD degree.
  2. Request for Scheduling Examination

  3. Students should fill out this form, obtain the required signature, and return it to the Graduate School at least two weeks prior to the date you plan to take the examination.

    • STUDENT NAME
      Your name as it appears on University records. No nicknames.
    • STUDENT NUMBER
      Check with Admissions and Records if you are unsure of this.
    • DEGREE/PROGRAM
      e.g. –PhD, Nursing; PhD, Health and Behavioral Sciences
    • TYPE OF EXAMINATION
      Self-explanatory.
    • DATE OF EXAM
      The month/day/year that you will take exam. Check with program advisor/program director if unsure.
    • TIME
      The time the exam will begin.
    • ROOM NUMBER
      List the building and room number (NOT the room's name).
    • THESIS ADVISOR/MENTOR
      List the faculty member’s name who will be directing your thesis research (if known)
    • EXAMINATION COMMITTEE
      All members must have current Graduate Faculty appointments. The chair of the committee must hold a regular appointment in the Graduate School. The student’s dissertation advisor may not chair the examination committee. List each member by their full name (don't use nicknames or initials)and their graduate program affiliation per the drop down box.

    CU Anschutz students: Your committee must consist of a minimum of five Graduate Faculty members. See the Graduate Faculty list online to check faculty appointment term and program affiliations. At least one of the members must be outside your program’s core training faculty. The majority of the members, including the chair, must be from your program’s core training faculty. If the faculty member has multiple program affiliations listed on the website, list your program if that is one of their affiliations or their list “sponsor” program if they are not affiliated with your program.

    CU Denver students: Your committee must consist of a minimum of three Graduate Faculty members. Your committee chair must be a member of the degree-granting program. Please contact Jessica Halliday at 303-315-2183 or Jessica.halliday@ucdenver.edu for any questions regarding the status of an appointment for a committee member.

    REQUIRED APPROVAL SIGNATURES -This would be your Graduate Program Director. See information at the top of this page regarding signature instructions.

  4. Transfer of Credit

  5. To transfer credit taken at the University of Colorado as a non-degree student, simply add the courses to the Application for Admission to Candidacy. Identifying them as non-degree student credits and obtaining the signature of your advisor and program director will approve the courses for transfer and application to your degree.

    Courses taken outside of the University of Colorado system must be transferred using the transfer of credit form. You will need to have the form signed by your advisor and program director and submitted to the Graduate School, along with a transcript, the semester prior to the term of your comprehensive examination. The course must be graduate level, at least a "B-" grade or better (Pass/Fail grades are not allowed), taken within the seven year time limit, and taken at an accredited institution.

  6. Registration for the Examination

  7. All students are required to be registered during the semester in which the comprehensive examination in taken. If you are already registered for a course or thesis hours, you do not have to register for any additional coursework. If you are not registered, you may register for 1 to 10 thesis hours. After passing the examination, you must begin registering for a minimum of 5 thesis hours each Fall and Spring semester.

  8. Doctoral Thesis Hours (8990)

    After passing the comprehensive examination, you must register for doctoral thesis hours (8990).The minimum number of thesis hours necessary for the doctoral degree is 30 semester hours. If you choose to defend your dissertation between semesters you must register for the subsequent semester.

    CU Anschutz students: You are required to continuously register for a minimum of five (5) semester hours each Fall and Spring semester until you successfully defend your thesis. You must be registered for a minimum of five thesis hours during the semester of your thesis defense regardless of the number of thesis hours that have accumulated to date.

    CU Denver students: You are required to continuously register for a minimum of five (5) semester hours each Fall and Spring semester until you have reached 30 credit hours. Then you can register for 1 thesis credit each semester until you successfully defend your thesis. You must be registered for at least one hour of doctoral thesis during the semester of your thesis defense regardless of the number of thesis hours that have accumulated to date.
  9. Examination Results

  10. The following results are possible:

    • PASS
      This means that you have passed the examination and may continue in the program as a candidate for the doctoral degree.
    • PASS WITH CONDITIONS
      This means that you have passed, pending the completion of conditions imposed by your committee. You should start to register for thesis hours as if you had passed without conditions. The committee will notify you of the conditions which must be satisfied within a timeframe not to exceed four months. Failure to satisfy the conditions will result in a failure of the examination.
    • FAIL
      This means that you have failed the examination. The Graduate School Rules stipulate that a student failing the comprehensive examination is subject to immediate dismissal from the Graduate School. At the program’s discretion, a student who fails the exam may retake it once. The retake of the exam must be done within twelve months of the original exam.
Updated-08/08/2013
University of Colorado Denver

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