Falk College

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The student is required to develop a proposal outline for their comprehensive exam outlining the confirmed topic, its significance, and the methods to be used in conducting the review (e.g., textual review, meta-analysis, etc.). The proposal outline also should include a preliminary list of at least 15 empirical references from the last 10 years of research that will form the basis of the proposal.  The detailed proposal outline (no more than 5 pages excluding references) must be approved by the student’s doctoral advisor prior to the student’s submission to the Graduate Director (see date listed in Table 1).  The proposal is a 5-page document that provides an overview of your proposed topic and how you will approach it. For the most part, students have proposed systematic textual reviews on a specific topic that is related to what they would like to do for their thesis. The proposal should include an introduction to the topic (1 page), a brief literature review that introduces the concepts that you plan to study and the current limitations of the field (2 pages), theory that frames the topic (1 page), and methodology (how and where would you search for articles to include in your review; ideally you should do this and discuss the number of articles that you found in the search and will review – 1 page).  The references should be included at the end in APA style.  The Graduate Director will disseminate the proposal to the Assessment Committee for review. Once the  Assessment Committee approves the proposal, the advisor will notify the Graduate Director, who will inform the student that they have been approved to begin the comprehensive exam following the appropriate dates in Table 1.


Table 1: Comprehensive Examination Due Dates*

Intended Writing Period

Coursework Completed

Letter of intent to Graduate Director

Proposal Outline Due to Assessment Committee

Expected Start for Writing

Final Review Due to Assessment Committee

Committee Decision


End of Fall Semester

March 15th

April 1st

May 1st

August 1st

September 1st


End of Spring Semester

August 15th

September 1st

October 1st

January 1st

February 1st

SpringEnd of Fall semesterOctober 15thNovember 1stJanuary 1stApril 1stMay 1st

*If any of the above dates falls on a weekend or a holiday, the deadline will be extended to the next business day.