PhD Comprehensive Exam

The Comprehensive Examination is an integral component of the PhD Program. Through this examination, a doctoral student demonstrates the requisite breadth and depth of knowledge of the discipline as well as the competencies that are necessary to continue doctoral studies by conducting original research. The exam is offered once a year in January, and must be completed before the end of the 6th semester in the degree program.

The Human-Centered Computing (HCC) Comprehensive Exam consists of a timed written examination and a portfolio review.

Comprehensive Examination Committee

All faculty who teach courses in the HCC graduate program are invited to the Comprehensive Examination Committee. This committee writes unique questions for each year’s exam and evaluates student answers and student portfolios. The HCC GPD typically coordinates the exam logistics for students and the committee.

Comprehensive Examination Outcomes

The HCC GPD will notify the student about the outcome of their Comprehensive Review by the end of March, unless the decision was deferred because of a required revision to the portfolio.

Students will receive an individual pass/fail evaluation on both the written exam and the portfolio review. On any given exam, a student can pass both sections, fail both sections, or only pass one. Students who do not pass a section will have the opportunity to retake that section the following year (and may retake both sections if desired, or requested by the advisor). If a student has not passed both sections after two attempts, they will be dismissed from the HCC doctoral program.