Instead of the traditional written exam, the
Cognitive Area Comprehensive Exam is based on three specific activities that
represent a sample of primary responsibilities associated with an academic
article critique: Write a short
(one-to-three page, single-spaced) review of a recent journal article (published
or unpublished). Assess its
strengths and weaknesses, and make detailed recommendations for its revision.
Typically, advisors give students a manuscript that has been sent to them
for publication consideration.
be approved by student's advisor.
paper (after Psychological Bulletin or Annual Review of Psychology format):
Write a comprehensive review of a particular topic or issue which
demonstrates breadth of knowledge in psychology as well as a critique and
thorough understanding of a particular topic.
be completed by the end of August of the studentís third year and be approved
by student's comprehensive exam committee members.
Teaching preparation: There is a choice between preparing course
materials or writing a teaching portfolio.
Course design:(a one-semester course at either the undergraduate
or graduate level): prepare a detailed syllabus (statement of goals, course
outline, and readings), brief outlines for each class period, the instructor's
course notes for two full lectures, as well as the questions and answers for a
midterm exam and the final exam.
be approved by student's comprehensive exam committee members.
Teaching Portfolio: The
Teaching Resource Center, TRC, offers a yearly workshop on writing a teaching
portfolio. Attending this workshop and completing the portfolio will
satisfy the teaching component of the comprehensive exam.
Students are expected to do the work required for the Comprehensive Exam
after the requirements for the Master's are completed, but before the
dissertation is defended.
Students should choose a Comprehensive Exam advisor by the end of the
second year of graduate study. In consultation with this adviser, students must
also choose two other faculty members to serve on their Comprehensive Exam
Committee. These committee members must be faculty in the Psychology Department,
but do not necessarily have to be faculty within the cognitive area.
Typically, students select an exam committee with the anticipation that
these faculty members will also be on their dissertation committee.
Students cannot fail the Comprehensive Exam, but the committee may return
any part of the work for revision. If
any part of the work is severely flawed, the committee may inform the student
that a single revision is unlikely to be acceptable.