The Comprehensive Examinations are to be scheduled within six months after the student has completed the course work requirements of Phase II. The purpose of the Comprehensive Examination is for the candidate to demonstrate mastery of his/her field of study. Shortly after being formed, the Phase II Committee will advise the student of the topics, texts and readings for which the student is responsible.
The examination should be reasonably uniform across disciplines. The exam will be in two parts. The first will be an eight hour written examination (typically given as two – 4 hour exams), to be set and marked by the Phase II Committee members only. The written examination will be marked by all members of the Phase II Committee. At the completion of the written examination, the original examination papers and the candidate's responses must be placed on file in the PhD Office.
After the written examination is marked, the Committee will set the date for the oral examination. This should take place, a minimum of one month after the written examination. The supervisor should contact the PhD Program Office to establish an appropriate date for the examination, allowing at least two weeks (10 working days) for notification of other Phase II members. Members of the Phase II Committee will ask pertinent questions and reach consensus on the reported marks for the written and oral components.
In each examination (written and oral), the marks shall be reported as "Pass", "Marginal Pass" or "Fail". A mark of "Marginal Pass" means that further work, followed by a supplemental examination, is required in a specified area. This mark may be assigned only once for each examination. A mark of "Fail" on either examination means that the candidate will be dismissed from the Program. The final examination grade for both the written and oral examination will be "Pass" or "Fail".