Comprehensive Exam

The departmental comprehensive examination is taken at the end of the senior year after the submission of the senior thesis. It consists of a five-day take-home essay assignment in the student's field of concentration. Below are listed the fields of possible concentration and what is expected of a student.

View additional guidance for the comprehensive exam (pdf).

Grading

The comprehensive examination must be submitted on time; no extensions will be granted. Students who submit a comprehensive examination of otherwise passing quality after the due date will receive a failing grade (F) that will be averaged into their honors calculation. These students will be permitted to graduate, provided that their average is higher than the departmental cut-off. Comprehensive examinations received after the last day of spring term exams will not be considered "late" but will be treated as if they were not taken.

Students who submit the comprehensive exam but receive a failing grade will not be allowed to graduate. The grade of F will be recorded on their transcripts. Students in this category will be allowed to retake the comprehensive examination at a later date, and the grade they receive will be averaged into their honors calculations.

Students who do not complete the comprehensive examination will receive a failing grade (F) and will not be permitted to graduate. They will be allowed to take the comprehensive examination at a later date, and the grade they receive on this examination will be averaged into their honors calculation.