1. Comprehensive exams may be taken in sociological areas in which there are two tenure or tenure track faculty members in sociology who identify as experts. The list of approved areas is posted in the graduate handbook and on-line.
  2. It is incumbent upon the student to find an Advisory Committee of at least three members.  Three members must be graduate faculty with an appointment in sociology. At least two of the three must be tenure or tenure-track sociology graduate faculty members who identify as experts in the comprehensive exam area chosen.
  3. The required readings shall be developed and negotiated by the student in consultation with the Advisory Committee. Reading material should be comprehensive enough to meet the scholarly interests and direction of a student, but also should be sufficiently broad in literature coverage that successful students will be able to teach an upper level undergraduate course or lower level graduate class.
  4. Students must meet with their Advisory Committee, as a whole, to discuss expectations for the exam at least 4 months prior to taking the exam. No student will be allowed to take the examination without both approval of a pre-exam meeting. The date of the pre-exam meeting shall be recorded by the Graduate Program Assistant.
  5. Written comprehensive examinations shall be given twice annually in the fall and spring semester.  The exam will be taken over two days within the same semester. The student will pick up the first part of the exam from the Graduate Program Office at 8:30 a.m. on the third Tuesday of the fall or spring semester and return it to the Graduate Program Office by 1:30 pm that same day.  The student will pick up the second part of the exam from the Graduate Program Office at 8:30 a.m. on the third Wednesday of the fall or spring semester and return it to the Graduate Program Office by 1:30 pm that same day.  Students will have 5 hours each day to complete the exam.  Students must return hard and electronic copies of the completed exam.
  6. The written exam shall consist of four graded questions.  On the first day, students will answer 2 questions from a total of three choices submitted by the student's Advisory Committee.  On the second day, students will answer 2 questions from a total of three choices submitted by the student's Advisory Committee.
  7. The Sociology Computer Lab will be available for students to take their exams from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. on the exam days.  Students may choose to take their exam in their offices as well.  Students may use notes and books but no prewritten outlines or answers may be used in the exam.  All students are subject to the honor code as outlined by the Culture of Honesty at UGA:
  8. For the written exam, all answers, including footnotes, must be double spaced, typed in 12 point font, have one inch margins, and be between 5 and 7 pages, not to exceed 7 pages each.
  9. Students who enter with an approved M.A. degree are required to take the comprehensive exam by the second semester of the third year.  Students who enter without an approved M.A. degree are required to take the comprehensive exam by the second semester of the fourth year.
  10. All members of the Advisory Committee will read and assess all 4 written questions.  The Advisory Committee will meet to discuss the quality of the exam and determine if it is sufficient to pass or fail the exam within one week of the termination of the exam.  A majority of the committee must give the student a passing grade to pass the exam.  Less than a majority constitutes a failing grade.  To pass the written portion of the exam, a student must show mastery in the content area.  A student who receives a fail on the exam may not take the oral exam that semester but may retake the written exam the following semester (see below).
  11. Normally only one retake of the Written Comprehensive Examination is allowed.  The retake of the exam will follow the same procedures as above in the following semester.  An appeal for a second retake must be made to the Graduate Faculty.  A third retake is not permitted.
  12. The Oral Comprehensive Examination shall be held within one month of the grading of the Written Comprehensive Examination and shall include the entire Advisory Committee.  The Graduate School must be notified at least two weeks in advance of the date of the Oral Exam.  Students are responsible for completing the notification paperwork.  They should consult with the Graduate Program Assistant as soon as the date of the oral exam has been established.  In accordance with Graduate School policy, a defense of the student’s dissertation proposal may precede or follow the Oral Examination, but may not take the place of the Oral Comprehensive Examination.
  13. Normally only one retake of the Oral Comprehensive Examination is allowed.  The retake of the oral must be done by February 15 for exams taken in the fall and September 15 for exams taken in the spring.  An appeal for a second retake must be made to the Graduate Faculty.  A third retake is not permitted.

This policy shall apply to students entering the Doctoral Program beginning fall 2011 and subsequently.  All students admitted to the Doctoral Program in previous semesters may operate under the old policy or may select the new policy.