Qualifying Examinations

Qualifying Examinations

Educational Administration

Ed.D. Degree (EDA)

The Process includes two parts, namely, a Qualifying Paper and Oral Defense. The Ed.D. Qualifying Paper should be completed within four (4) semesters of the student's enrollment in ELP 624 "Theory and Research in Educational Administration." The Oral (concluding the total process) should normally occur within the first three years of admission to the program, but not more than five years.

  1. Pass, or
  2. Modify and resubmit the paper (with a time limit of no more than one semester); or review and resit the Defense (or both).
  1. Pass, or
  2. No Pass (in which case the student is asked to terminate the program).

Ph.D. Degree (EDA)

Ph.D. students undertake a Research Qualifying Paper (QP) once they are near the conclusion of their coursework. The student and his/her advisor selects a topic and constructs a committee which supervises and evaluates the QP. The committee consists of at least three faculty, at least two of whom must be EDA faculty, and shall be chaired by the student's advisor. The topic and the committee are authenticated by the area coordinator in writing. The QP must be completed within four months of approval.

The Committee will meet with the student to discuss the proposed paper and to make any suggestions for changes that seem necessary.

The QP is intended to represent the best effort of the student. The advisor is not expected to review various drafts of the QP.

The student will meet again with the committee to discuss the completed QP. Possible outcomes will include:

  1. accepted as is accepted with revisions
  2. not accepted

Social and Philosophical Foundations

The Social Foundations concentrations have several approaches to doctoral examinations. These policies are spelled out below for each of the concentrations. Students should discuss specifics with their doctoral advisor. In addition, GSE and Department regulations for thesis and dissertation examinations apply -- all students must have a public oral discussion of the dissertation proposal and an oral defense of the final dissertation.

Ph.D. Degree (Comparative and Global Studies)

All doctoral students majoring in comparative education must pass a doctoral examination prior to beginning work on the doctoral dissertation. The purposes of this examination include 1) to ensure that students have a basic familiarity with key ideas, concepts and arguments in the field of Comparative and Global Studies in Education, and 2) to ensure that students have the ability to write a coherent expository argument.

Exams are given twice a year--the second week of January and the third week of May. The exam coordinator will have appropriate forms which must be completed by the students, signed by his/her advisor and returned to the coordinator no later than one week before the exam date.

Four questions will be published on December 1st and April 1st for Winter and Summer exams respectively. On the day of the examination, students will be given two of these questions to answer in essay form. Students have one week in which to complete a short essay of 10 to 15 pages on each question. Exams are due at 4:30 one week from the date they were obtained. Generally, exams should be handed in to the department secretary.

Exams should begin with a restatement of the questions, should be typed and should be properly referenced.

Master's Degree (Comparative and Global Studies)

Master's students in the Comparative and Global Studies in Education Specialization who elect the exam option for completion of an M.Ed. must pass a master's examination. The purpose of the examination is to ensure that students have a basic familiarity with key ideas, concepts and arguments in the field of Comparative and Global Studies in Education.

Exams are scheduled in coordination with one's advisor. At least one month before the exam, students should submit a list of topics or sample questions to their advisor. The advisor will use this list to compose actual exam questions. The advisor will modify submitted questions and/or add questions to those submitted. On that date, two questions will be given to the student. The student will be expected to answer one of the questions. Exams are due back one week from the time they are picked up. An essay of approximately 15 pages, typed, and properly referenced is expected.

The exam coordinator will have appropriate forms which must be completed by the student and signed by his/her advisor.

History of Education

The History of education examination is a take-home exercise which students have 4-6 weeks to complete. It consists of three essay questions:

  1. A general question in the field of History of Education.
  2. A more specific question dealing with the student's area of research interest. There is an effort to relate this question to the dissertation proposal.
  3. Each student must design a course in the general area of history of education, including syllabus, materials, rationale, and statement on how the students and the course can be evaluated. The course can be a general survey or a specialized course at any academic level. Students are asked to design a course they might actually teach.

In addition, a student must write one essay question in his or her minor field. This quest will be given and evaluated by a professor in this field chosen by the student.

A student who fails one or more of the questions may write that question again after further work as determined by the advisor.

Philosophy of Education

The examination in philosophy of education is intended to demonstrate the student's competence in thinking philosophically about educational issues. It will test the student's ability to (1) summarize and consolidate some established body of knowledge and (2) forge the first steps in the definition and analysis of a topic such that its subsequent elaboration could conceivably result in a dissertation.

Though the format of the examination will differ depending upon the particular student and advisor, it will have the following features:

  1. Major responsibility for the creation of the examination question(s) will be taken by the student's advisor. The advisor, however, will consult with the student as well as with one other member of the philosophy of education faculty in designing the question(s).
  2. The examination will be evaluated by at least the two faculty members in (a). Depending upon the nature of the topic, the major advisor may decide to include a third faculty member from some other area or department in the university. It is conceivable that the third member will be selected to evaluate only a portion of the examination.
  3. The examination will be a take-home format. The advisor will establish a date by which the examination is due.

Sociology of Education

The comprehensive examination for doctoral students in sociology of education is a "take-home" exercise which students have one month to complete. The procedure is as follows:

  1. There will be two comprehensive examination dates per year -- January 15 and August 15. In the event that either date falls on a weekend or holiday, the due date for the submission of the examination will automatically become the next working day.
  2. Students must register to take the examination by December 15 or August 1. Examination questions will be distributed on those dates. Only those students who have registered for the comprehensive examination will receive the questions. Students have the option to withdraw from the process anytime prior to the due date. Students must inform the Department secretary if they wish to withdraw.
  3. Students will be asked to choose one question from a set of questions developed by the sociology of education faculty and write a 25-30 page essay responding to that question. This will be a "take home" examination which the students will have up to 30 days to complete.
  4. However, the final copy of the examination must be submitted to the office staff prior to closing time on the due date.
  5. The written examination will be read by the sociology of education faculty and determination will be made as to its passibility.
  6. A student who fails the comprehensive examination may register to take the examination again on the next scheduled examination date or at any scheduled exam date thereafter. A student failing to pass the examination on the second try will be terminated from the program.

Higher Education

Ed.M. Degree (HED)

The Master's Comprehensive Examination in Higher Education is offered twice each year, generally early in the Spring semester and during the first month or so of classes in the Fall semester. The examination is a "closed book" four-hour hour session. It will consist of four questions. Each student will be required to choose one question from each section. These essays will normally be a maximum of ten double spaced pages each. Because the examinations are evaluated anonymously, each student will be assigned a numerical code known only by the student and the ELP secretary. Appropriate Higher Education faculty will grade the examinations. The faculty members will review the responses and grade them pass/fail. A student must earn a pass both questions. A student who does not pass the exam has one additional opportunity to sit for a succeeding qualifying exam.

Student Affairs Administration Program (SAA)

The qualifying exam for this program will be offered early during the Spring Semester of the student's final semester. The examination is a "closed book" four-hour session. It will consist of four questions. Each student will be required to choose one question from each section. These essays will normally be a maximum of ten double spaced pages each. Because the examinations are evaluated anonymously, each student will be assigned a numerical code known only by the student and the ELP secretary. Appropriate Higher Education faculty will grade the examinations. The faculty members will review the responses and grade them pass/fail. The student must earn a pass on both questions. Two passes are needed. A student who does not pass the exam has only one additional opportunity to sit for a succeeding qualifying exam.

Ph.D. Degree (HED)

Each doctoral student is required to successfully complete a doctoral qualifying examination. This exam is generally undertaken when the student completes all of his/her course work. The Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination in Higher Education is offered twice each year, generally early in the Spring semester and during the first month or so of classes in the Fall semester. The format is intended to be open book, and each student will pick up the exam on Friday morning and completed responses are to be return to the ELP Office (468 Baldy Hall) by 4:00 p.m. on the following Monday.

Each exam will have four or five questions from which the student will choose two. It is intended that the student will integrate issues from a wide range of sources in responding to the questions. The exam will be administered early in the Spring semester and during the first month or so of classes in the Fall semester. Appropriate faculty members will review the responses and grade them pass/fail. The student must earn a pass on both questions. A student who does not pass the exam has only one additional opportunity to sit for a succeeding qualifying exam.