Registering for a Comprehensive Exam/Culminating Experience

Your graduate program may require you to complete a comprehensive exam (COMPS) or culminating experience (CE) as part of the Master’s/EdS degree and/or licensure/endorsement. This COMPS/CE varies in format by program. Examples include but are not limited to portfolios, timed exams, papers, projects, or capstone courses. Your program handbook provides details on your required COMPS/CE. Should you have content specific questions regarding your COMPS/CE, please contact your Faculty Advisor. 

Please follow these steps to register for COMPS/CE:

  • If you’re required to submit COMPS/CE during a term prior to a term you’re graduating/completing your entire program, submit the Comprehensive Exam/Culminating Experience Registration FormThe deadline to register is the two weeks after the beginning of the semester you’re submitting COMPS/CE.  If you’re required to submit COMPS/CE during the term you’re graduating, you do NOT need to complete the Comprehensive Exam/Culminating Experience Registration form because completion of your graduation application through UCDAccess will imply that you’re also submitting COMPS/CE if required to do so.
  • If you are graduating the same term you are completing your COMPS/CE, apply for graduation through UCD Access by the deadline.
  • You must be enrolled during the term you complete your COMPS/CE. If you won’t be enrolled in any courses during your term of COMPS/CE, you must register for CAND 5940 Candidate for Degree. You will be billed at one credit hour of tuition plus the Student Information System fee and the Information Technology fee. You can only register for CAND 5940 by searching by the class number. The CAND 5940 class number for Spring 2024 is 13789, for Summer 2023 is 10219, and for Fall 2023 is 14309.
  • Please review the "How to Search for a Course by Class Number in UCDAccess" video for instructions for enrolling in CAND 5940 by the class number. 
If you are already registered for another course the term you are completing your COMPS/CE, you don't need to register for CAND 5940.
  1. Complete your COMPS/CE by the deadline. Portfolios, papers, projects and take home exams are all due on the deadlines below (unless instructed otherwise by your faculty advisor).
    1. Spring 2024: due by 5 PM on Friday, April 12, 2024
    2. Summer 2023: due by 5 PM on Friday, July 7, 2023
    3. Fall 2023: due by 5pm on Friday, November 10, 2023
  2. If you decide to postpone completing your COMPS/CE, please notify Academic Services.

If you are graduating from the MA Curriculum & Instruction: Critical Pedagogy program with ASPIRE OR any other SEHD graduate program that does NOT have a separate COMPS/CE requirement (separate from required coursework), you DO NOT have to follow the COMPS registration process, but must apply to graduate. Contact your Faculty Advisor if you have questions.

MA in Counseling Comprehensive Exam

Students in the COAMFTE-accredited MA in Couple & Family Therapy do NOT take a comprehensive exam. Please review your program handbook for more information.

Students in the CACREP accredited Clinical Mental Health, School, and Couples and Family Therapy tracks must pass the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam (CPCE). The CPCE is administered as a computer-based test at a Pearson VUE testing center. Students will be emailed registration information 2-3 weeks after the COMPS application deadline of the term they register for the exam. 

Students are able to schedule and pay for the exam once they have completed this second step in the registration process. As of January 2019, the test fee is $150. Students are responsible for verifying test fees.

Timeline: The CPCE exam should be taken as soon as possible after the completion of your core classes (EDHD/LDFS 6200, RSEM 5110, RSEM 5120, COUN 5010, COUN 5100, COUN 5110, COUN 5330, COUN 5400, and COUN 5810), ideally around 30-39 credit hours. This means the comprehensive exam should be completed before practicum.

Deadlines: Students have up to 6 months to take the exam once registration information is received. Students are encouraged to schedule their exam as soon as possible once they have received registration information.

    Results: Although students will receive a score report immediately after taking the exam, students will be emailed their official results 6-8 weeks after taking the CPCE. This timeline cannot be expedited.

    The minimum passing score for the comprehensive exam is one standard deviation within the national mean (average) score for each administration of the exam. In the event of unsatisfactory results, students are able to take the exam one additional time.

    For additional information about the CPCE, please contact your academic advisor.