This examination, which is in addition to those set for courses, is to assess students' knowledge of their fields and scholarly qualifications for the degree. In some departments/programs this examination is structured as a qualifying examination. The specific purposes and aims of the comprehensive/qualifying examination for each department/program are outlined in the department/program document concerning procedures relating to the conduct of comprehensive/qualifying examinations. All departments/programs require doctoral students to take this examination, but not all departments/programs require master's students to take it. Students should consult the Coordinator of Graduate Studies in their department/program with respect to the timing, format and evaluation process for the comprehensive/qualifying examination.
All department/programs have written documents relating to the details of this process and students entering doctoral programs of study should consult these documents in the early phases of their program so that they can plan their research schedule accordingly. If, following a review of the department/program written document concerning the comprehensive/qualifying examination process, the student still has questions, they should be addressed to the Coordinator of Graduate Studies.
The Comprehensive/Qualifying Examination Committee for the doctoral student may consist of:
- The Head of the department/program (or delegate) -Chairperson
- The Supervisor and/or Supervisory Committee
- Other members of the department/program as selected by the Head of the department/program.
The Comprehensive/Qualifying Examining Committee for the master's student is similarly constituted. Other members of the department/program may be invited as observers.
The result of the examination shall be determined by the committee and, if favourable, recorded for submission to the School of Graduate Studies.
If the result is not favourable, the committee may elect either to re-examine or to recommend to the School of Graduate Studies that the student be required to withdraw (refer to section Withdrawal on Academic Grounds).