Comprehensive Exam

Students enrolled in the Professional Master's Program are required to complete a comprehensive exam. The comprehensive exam is designed to assess students' general knowledge in criminal justice/criminology and analytical ability as well as their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.

Exam Structure

The comprehensive exam is composed of three areas:

  1. Methods and Statistics (CRJ 702 and 703)
  2. Administration of Criminal Justice (CRJ 705)
  3. A substantive area chosen by the student. Students must choose one course from one of the two general areas listed below:
    • Area 1 - Criminology: CRJ 701, 706, 709, 710, 713, or 714
    • Area 2 - Criminal Justice Institutions: CRJ 704, 707, 708, 712, or 715

Exam Preparation

To prepare for the exam, students should review the material covered in their previous courses in the exam areas. In addition, at the beginning of the semester in which the exam will be taken, students should enroll in the course CRJ 796: Comprehensive Exam. This course is taught online as a distance education class.

The course includes:

  1. A syllabus that describes the policies and procedures for the comprehensive exams.
  2. Video lectures in several areas (e.g., statistics, research methods) that provide a general overview of the material that should be known for successful completion of the exams in these areas.
  3. Reading lists in each areas of the exams.
  4. A list of sample questions that have been used on previous exams.
  5. A list of faculty who are members of the examination committee in each area. The student is strongly encouraged to discuss these materials with several different faculty members in each examination area.