In the senior year every student takes a comprehensive examination in the major field. The examination is designed to test the breadth and depth of understanding of the field, and to assess how well material from individual courses has been integrated.

The nature of the examinations varies from department to department. Some are developed entirely by the department, while others may consist of a national standardized test supplemented by locally developed questions. Some exams include an oral or laboratory component or a recital. Both general and departmentally specific guidelines for comprehensive exams are available from all academic division chairs.

The grade received on the comprehensive examination becomes part of the total academic record, appears on transcripts and figures into the calculation of grade point average (GPA) as a one credit-hour course added to the student record. The credit hour associated with the comprehensive examination does not count in the total credit hours needed for graduation in any of the degree fields, nor does in count in the number of enrolled credit hours enrolled for any term. Students may appeal their comprehensive examination grades using the procedures outlined in the Grade Disagreement Policy published in this Catalog.