By the end of the first year, M.S. candidates will write either an extensive literature review or research proposal that pertains to their research interests. Students can expect guidance from their advisor and Studies Committee in the writing of the proposal, but must assume responsibility for the final version and must acquire sufficient mastery of their chosen subject area to defend the proposal. Students will present their written proposal to their Studies Committee. That Committee will determine if the written proposal is satisfactory and, if it is, schedule an oral defense. During the oral defense, the Committee shall be free to explore the knowledge of the student on a range of subjects related to the proposal, much as occurs during a thesis defense. If the written review/proposal is deemed unsatisfactory or if a student fails the oral defense, the candidate will be given one opportunity to rewrite or re-defend his/her proposal. If the student fails a second time, s/he/they will be dismissed from the M.S. program.
There is no fee for the Master’s Comprehensive Examination. The result and date of the examination is recorded as a notation on the academic transcript.