Comprehensive Exam

How to prepare for your M.S. Comprehensive Exam

The purpose of the form below is to help you, the Department Office staff, and your Committee to perform necessary steps in a timely manner, and thus, avoid a crisis at the end of the semester.

Your M.S. Courses-Only Comprehensive Examination is an oral exam given by your Committee. The Department office staff must submit the DECLARATION OF EXAMINATION/DEFENSE form to the Graduate School at least two weeks prior to the exam and the Department Office staff must prepare or update paperwork for graduation as required.

  • Committee Request Form or Request for Change of Committee
  • Program of Study or Change to Program of Study
  • Report of Examination Results Form
  • CSE Oral Comprehensive Exam Evaluation Forms (one for each Committee member)

The following steps are necessary to prepare for your Comprehensive Exam, so you can graduate. Even though there are a lot of steps, most of the steps are quick.

Begin early in your last semester.

In chronological order:

  1. Fill out this form.
  2. (If needed) Major Professor gives Department Office staff information for preparing Committee Request form or Change of Committee form and Program of Study form.
    (Students should not prepare these forms.)
  3. In Banner, under "Academic Records," select "Apply for a Degree" and complete the information for your target graduation semester.
  4. Make plans to participate in Commencement and order regalia through the campus bookstore.
  5. Plan your oral exam date with your Committee at least three weeks prior to the exam. Do not plan your exam for the last day before the deadline, so that unforeseen events do not cause you to miss the deadline.
  6. Submit this worksheet to your major professor for approval at least three weeks prior to the presentation. 
  7. The major professor must give the approved worksheet to the Department office staff at least two weeks prior to the presentation, so they can prepare and submit the DECLARATION OF EXAMINATION/DEFENSE form to the Graduate School at least two weeks prior to the exam. 
  8. Complete the College of Engineering's graduate exit survey online at
  9. Print the exit survey, get your major professor to sign it, and give it to the Department Office staff to put in your Department academic file.
  10. Pass your oral comprehensive exam prior to the deadline.
  11. Commencement date.

Check whether the planned dates are consistent with required dates.