Comprehensive Exams

person writing in a notepadBelow is a recent study guide for a Comprehensive Exam.

Students who intend to take the test at this time should prepare using this list of potential questions. Students who intend to take the test in the future may use this study guide as an example of what may appear on their test. Study guides will be updated each semester.

More information about Comprehensive Exams can be found in the Graduate Student Handbook.

This study guide contains a set of potential questions for the MSCJ comprehensive exam. You must pass this exam in order to graduate with a master’s degree in Criminal Justice at UA (non-thesis option).

  1. Pre exam: Select which questions you would like to study for the exam. Only one of the questions listed for each course will appear on the actual exam. You will be required to answer TWO questions relating to the core courses and ONE question relating to the electives. Reading lists for each course have been provided to help with your preparation.
  2. Exam: Submit a MINIMUM of FOUR double-spaced typed pages for each question, with the exception of the Statistics question, which does not have a minimum requirement.
  3. Note: You will not be able to bring notes, study guides, or books into the exam.

Your comprehensive questions will be graded on the following rubric. You should prepare your answers accordingly.  In general, answers to comprehensive exam questions will be graded based on the following PRIMARY criteria:

  1. Quality of response (how well do you answer the question?)
  2. Clarity of response (is your answer coherent and intelligible?)
  3. Application of existing scholarship and readings (do you cite the relevant literature?)
  4. Demonstration of classroom learning (do you demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the topic area?)

Some SECONDARY criteria relate to your ability to:

  1. Think creatively and apply the theories and concepts you learned in appropriate or novel ways
  2. Apply statistical tools to evaluate social problems, policies and/or programs
  3. Use critical thinking skills for analysis

Please pay attention to spelling, grammar, sentence structure, and organization.

Remember: This is a closed book exam.

A downloadable PDF of the study guide is available here: COMP EXAM STUDY GUIDE – Fall 2019