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MSGP Program Graduate Programs

Students not conducting a thesis will be expected to pass a specialty examination covering the student's area(s) of focus. This exam will be taken during the last semester in the program.

In order to complete the requirements for the MSGP specialty exam the student shall meet with the director of the MSGP program and outline their area of interests and a faculty sponsor that they wish to work with. If they do not have a faculty sponsor the director of the MSGP program will aid them is finding one. (hopefully this will be done early in their training, at least by the end of their 1st year).

The topic of the specialty exam will be selected through discussion with the faculty sponsor. It will be the sponsor's responsibility to meet with the student to orient the student to the literature review process, to meet with the student during the review and after the literature is reviewed to orient the student towards the writing of the essay portion of this project, to provide feedback on an initial draft of the written document, and then to orient the student to the oral defense process.

Students will provide an outline of the content over which they wish to demonstrate competency. This outline will include subject matter from at least a significant subset of the courses they have taken. The assumption is that they have focused on several courses that establishes something of a "major" within the MSGP program. The outline will also include the material to be reviewed and presented in their final written document and in their oral defense.

They will then select a third faculty member from the MSGP committee to participate in their specialty exam.

The written portion of the exam needs to be in the form of a coherent essay that both reviews and critiques the literature within a content area. This essay should be no longer than 30 pages, but should be comprehensive enough to do justice to the topic at hand. References (in APA style) should be comprehensive enough to indicate that the students has considered the major related research. The paper would have to cover enough subtopics within the domain to truly reflect a specialty (i.e., a MAP type paper).

It will be the student's responsibility to review the literature, to write this essay and to prepare an oral defense of this writing and to organize a meeting time with committee members. Following review of this document an oral exam is scheduled in which the student presents a summary of the findings.

The student is orally examined on the contents of the document and on the relationship of its contents to other associated issues or areas.

The student will be considered to have passed the comprehensive exam when both the faculty advisor and the MSGP director are satisfied. At the end of this oral exam, the examining faculty may request revisions should they feel that the students written or oral work is in need of improvement.

The student must complete revisions of work within one month (or a specific time agreed upon by the student and committee at the defense meeting) and their final document must be approved by the faculty sponsor within 2 months if further revision is required.

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Last Updated: 1/23/12