Protocol for Comprehensive Examinations PhD in Business,
Marketing Concentration

  1. Written Exams
    After completing all classes, written comprehensive exams in the Marketing concentration and the minor must be passed. The concentration and minor exams may be taken at different times. These exams, administered by the College, are currently given in September and March. The rules for the examination described here are based upon, and consistent with, those in the College PH.D. handbook. If an examination is failed the first time it may be taken one additional time. If failed a second time the student is dismissed from the program.
  2. Concentration Exam
    The concentration exam is given and graded by the graduate faculty of the Department of Marketing. The concentration exam is given in two parts: the first part emphasizes theory and the second part focuses on methodology. It must be emphasized that questions on the examination are not restricted to what is covered in particular courses. The exams are designed to test the student's overall knowledge and ability to integrate material and concepts across courses and topics. A thorough understanding of the marketing literature is expected in both parts of the exam. For the Marketing concentration exam, graduate faculty are requested to submit questions to the Ph.D. coordinator. The Ph.D. coordinator of the Marketing department is responsible for preparing the two parts of the exam based upon questions submitted by the graduate faculty. After the exam is developed, the Ph.D. coordinator will distribute copies of the completed exams to the students. Each student taking the exam will be identified only by a number to ensure anonymity. Proctors will be present during the exam. Computers can only be used during the exam if they are inspected and cleared by the proctor.
  3. Minor Exam
    The minor exam is prepared and graded by a committee of professors in the minor area. Similar procedures will be followed in preparing the minor exam as were previously discussed in the concentration exam. Students have the option of taking this exam at the same time as the examinations in the concentration, though it may be taken at a different time. The only restriction is that the student must have completed all coursework before taking any exam.
  4. Grading Ph.D. Exams in the Marketing department
    Two or three graduate faculty grade each question. Faculty graders tend to grade questions in their respective area(s) of expertise. Every question has the same weight. Graders assign a "Pass" "Marginal Pass" or "Fail" grade to each question they grade. The grades received for each question are then combined (i.e., averaged) to arrive at an overall grade for the question. Students can receive no more than 2 "Marginal Pass" question grades or no more than 1 "Fail" question grade and still pass the overall exam. If the student fails two or more questions, or receives more than 2 "Marginal Pass" grades on the questions, the overall grade is fail.
    Typically, the exams are graded within four weeks. Written comments by the graders are provided. Oral feedback by the Ph.D. coordinator is also given to the students.
  5. Oral Exam
    Within one month of completing the last written exam and receiving the written exam results, the oral exam must be taken. A wide range of questions on topics studied in courses, the marketing discipline, and the minor area may be encountered. The discussion may extend to tentative ideas for a dissertation. In addition to graduate faculty from the Marketing department, professors from the minor area may participate in the examination.