Comprehensive Exam Checklist

Comps Checklist

  1. Assemble your committee
    1a. Major Field in ___________   Professor___________; Professor_________________
    1b. Major field in ___________    Professor___________; Professor_________________
  2. Communicate this list to the Grad Advisor (, and Grad Program Assistant (, who will begin the process of finding a chair for your oral exam.
  3. Finalize reading list. Send an electronic copy of the reading list to and submit to Jason Wu a hard copy signed by you and the professors involved. (The final list can be submitted just prior to the commencement of the exam.)
  4. Organize the comps date: The comps involves three academic weeks. Orals will be held in the third week. Approximately two months before the oral, in conjunction with your examining professors, set a date and time for the oral (you will need a three hour block) and communicate this to the Grad Program Assistant (, who will then help book a room and find a chair for the oral examination.

It is highly recommended that regular meetings are held with all four of the examining professors.  Discussion of the types of questions likely to comprise the exam is also highly recommended.

The standard is two questions answered per field (a total of 10,000 words for all fields) from a list of questions any of which might be asked during the oral part of the examination.  Professors and students should agree on the number of questions and amount of choice well in advance of the exam.

You MUST have completed all course work prior to the exams.  In order to ascend to candidacy the comps must be successfully passed and the dissertation prospectus defended within four months after completion of the comps exams.