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The Comprehensive Master's Exam

The Comprehensive Master's Exam must be successfully completed by every student in the degree program of Master of Science in Mathematics who is opting for the non-thesis (Plan B) degree plan. The exam is subject to the following rules:

  1. The advisory committee for each Plan B (non-thesis) student shall consist of the Graduate Committee.
  2. Each semester the Graduate Committee shall meet with the students who have signed up to take the examination and by mutual agreement set four subjects for each student from among the 700-level courses she/he has taken. One of the four must be Real Analysis 1 (MATH 713). An exception to this policy applies to graduate students in the Statistics Option who must take a syllabus based examination.
  3. The committee will assemble examinations on each subject from questions submitted by the most recent instructors of the course. Questions will primarily be taken from the material of the course but may include basic undergraduate material from prerequisite courses. Each course/subject exam will have an intended length of approximately one hour. Students will have six hours to complete the entire examination.
  4. Each semester, the examination will be given on a single date to be determined by the graduate committee. The date shall be announced no later than the third week of the semester, and shall be posted on the department website. In addition, the date must satisfy the following two rules:

    1. There needs to be at least one week between the exam and the deadline for turning in the Notice of Completion to the Graduate School. [This is because results of the exam need to be recorded on the Notice of Completion.] This also ensures some time for any "re-takes".
    2. The exam needs to be as much towards the end of the semester as possible. This is so that students who take the exam on one of their last semester's classes are almost finished with the material for that class.
  5. Each subject/area component will be graded by the instructor who made it up, and the results reported to the Graduate Committee. The Graduate Committee will then decide whether each student has passed the examination.
  6. Plan A (thesis) students do not take this comprehensive examination. Any examination of Plan A students is at the discretion of the student's committee. The Graduate Committee will make up a realistic timetable for signup, making up the exam, administering and grading it, in line with time requirements of the Graduate School.

These rules were adopted by the department's faculty on September 23, 1997 and modified on November 25, 2003.

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