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Comprehensive Examination Overview

Students can apply for the Doctoral Comprehensive Examination (Comps) after they have successfully defended their candidacy research projects. Students must successfully complete the comprehensive exam before being allowed to register for the dissertation.

The Doctoral Comprehensive Examination is determined by the Examination Committee and consists of two parts: (1) one six-hour exam, (2) one three-hour exam which are offered during January and September.

Areas of Concentration

The areas of concentration are:

  1. General Knowledge—the first exam reflects important professional competencies, and historical and current issues of school psychology. The student is provided with an opportunity to coherently and analytically integrate:
  • pertinent research
  • evidence-based practice
  • diversity
  • ethical and legal issues
  1. Specialty Component – the second exam includes an issue-oriented position or problem relative to a student’s research specialty. The student must review, analyze and integrate important and timely research in order to:
  • Present evidence to support a position
  • Design a study or intervention, including methodology and data analysis, in order to address the identified problem

Competencies in these areas are essential for the professional development of school psychology students.

Students are evaluated on general knowledge and specialty components independently, but must pass both parts to pass the examination. If a student fails one portion of the examination, only that portion of the examination must be retaken.

Students are aware of the Program’s 39 competencies prior to enrollment and are provided with the issue-oriented position or problem two weeks prior to the writing session.