Appendix A

Master's Comprehensive Examination
  1. The purpose of the examination is to provide a stimulus for the integration of the graduate program of studies and to expand the student's understanding of general biological principles. The examiners seek to determine how well the student utilizes specific structures or processes to illustrate basic principles and to inquire into the depth of understanding in several areas of biology. Preparation for this examination should be an on-going part of the graduate program seeking to integrate continuously all your knowledge but specifically your undergraduate and graduate biology programs.
  2. Each candidate for the Masters degree is required to pass an oral examination. Examinations will usually be held in March for students expecting the degree in Spring or Summer and usually in November for students expecting the degree in Winter.
  3. The examination will be given by at least three members of the departmental faculty selected by the Graduate Student Advisor. All other departmental faculty members are invited and urged to participate. Off-campus individuals may be invited to participate. The exam should be no more than two hours in length.
  4. For students in a thesis program, the examination involves a brief oral presentation on their research followed by oral questions from the committee on topics relevant to their research.
  5. For students in a non-thesis program, the examination involves either a written exam or a review paper assigned by their committee, followed by an oral exam.
  6. A student who does not pass the examination will be allowed one re-examination after an interval of three months.