The comprehensive examination will be administered the last Friday of October and February every year. The examination period will be divided into two sessions. The morning session will commence at 9:30 a.m. and end at 12:15 p.m. The afternoon session will commence at 1:30 p.m. and end at 4:30 p.m. Each session runs for two and one half hours and students will be required to complete two questions per session.
Students must register with the department at least one semester prior to sitting for the examination. The student must an application to take the Graduate Comprehensive Exam Form to the Graduate Director, with a copy to the Chairperson of the Department of Legal Studies. This must be done no later than October 15th for the February examination and no later than May 15th for the October examination.
Students requiring accommodation must inform the department of the nature of the handicap and type of accommodation requested at the time that they declare an intention to sit for the examination.
If you have declared your intention to sit for the exam with the Graduate School and the Department and been approved, four weeks before the scheduled examination time you will receive a letter from the department specifying the location and guidelines for the examination.
Student must schedule a meeting with their graduate advisor after sending their letter of intent. Your advisor will review your work program, determine your present grade point average and prepare any SUBSTITUTION ON GRADUATE WORK PROGRAM forms, if necessary. You must complete and the APPLICATION TO TAKE GRADUATE COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION FORM. The application is also available on the Graduate School website.
Students in the regular MA must have completed a minimum of 27 graduate credits prior to sitting for the Comprehensive Examination. Students in the MA who are coming from the BA/MA track must have completed a minimum of 24 graduate credits prior to sitting for the Comprehensive Examination.
Students need to have a minimum of 3.0 grade point average in their course work.
In addition to responsibility for their coursework, students are responsible for reading and researching the required materials prior to taking the examination. See Comprehensive Reading List.
Students wishing to use a computer must inform the department within two weeks of the intended examination date. A computer will be provided. However, students take full responsibility for loss of their work. If work is lost during a student’s attempted answering of a question, it is the student’s responsibility. Computer failure resulting in non-completion of a question may result in failure of that question.
There will be no questions from the required courses: LAWS 500, LAWS 503 and LAWS 513.
Students in the Conflict Management; Governance, Compliance, and Regulation; Legal Management; or Intellectual Property concentrations will have at least two questions to answer from the content based courses taken in the concentration.
All students may have to answer questions based on the electives they have taken, except out-of-department electives.
No more than four questions will be administered to a student at each sitting of the comprehensive examination.
Failure on the Comprehensive Examination. – A failure on more than one question will result in a student being required to retake the entire comprehensive examination with all new questions at the next administration date. Failure of one question results in the administration of a Clarifier Examination.
Students who fail one comprehensive examination question will be tested on a clarifying question called a “Clarifier” Exam. The “Clarifier” will consist of one question in the same subject matter area as the question failed and will be graded according to the same standards as the original question. The department will assign an administration date for the Clarifier within thirty days of notification students of their failure on one question of the Comprehensive Exam. Students who intend to take a Clarifier shall contact the department within fourteen days of notification by the department of their eligibility. For example, if students are notified on March 28 of their failure on one question and eligibility to take a Clarifier, they must notify the department of their intent to do so by April 10. The department will set a date for Clarifiers by April 24 and administer the Clarifier thereafter but not later than May 22. Students will be eligible for only one Clarifier per examination after failing a question. Failure of a Clarifier shall be deemed to be a failure on that question. Students who have sat for fewer than three comprehensive exams may sit for a new question in the next comprehensive exam cycle.
Comprehensive Examination Format is subject to alteration without notice.