Registering for a Comprehensive Exam/Culminating Experience

Students in many programs are required to complete a comprehensive exam (COMPS) or culminating experience (CE) prior to completion of their degree and/or licensure/endorsement program. This comprehensive exam or experience varies in format for each individual program.  Examples include but are not limited to portfolios, timed exams, papers, projects, or capstone courses.  Your program handbook provides details on your required COMP or CE. Should you have content specific questions regarding your CE, please contact your faculty advisor.  Please follow the below steps to declare your intent in submitting or taking COMPS/CE.

  1. Submit the Comprehensive Exam/Culminating Experience Registration Form. The deadline for registering for Spring 2020 is February 5, 2020.
  2. If you are also graduating the same term you are completing your COMPS/CE, make sure that you have also applied for graduation through UCD Access by the deadline listed on the  Academic Calendar. Registering for your comprehensive exam or culminating experience does not register you for graduation.
  3. Register for at least one course during the semester you complete your COMP/CE. If you can't take a class the semester you plan to complete your COMP/CE, you must register and pay for one credit hour of tuition plus fees as a Candidate for Degree (CAND 5940). The CAND 5940 class number for Spring 2020 is 10194. If you are already registered for another course the semester you are completing your COMP/CE, you don't need to register for CAND 5940.
  4. Expect to receive communication from the School of Education & Human Development via your official CU Denver e-mail. We will send you acknowledgement notices, announcements and COMP/CE results.
  5. Complete your COMP/CE by the required due date. Portfolios, papers, projects and take home exams for Spring 2020 are due by Friday, April 10, 2020 (unless instructed otherwise by your faculty advisor).
  6. If you decide to postpone completing your COMP/CE, please notify Academic Services.

If you are graduating from the Curriculum & Instruction: Critical Pedagogy program in partnership with ASPIRE and Teach For America programs OR the Education & Human Development MA in partnership with Friends, Boulder Journey, or Stanley British schools, you DO NOT have to follow the COMPS registration process (but must apply to graduate if intending to do so).

MA in Counseling Comprehensive Exam

Students in the Higher Education Student Affairs (HESA) track must complete a case study, which requires demonstration of knowledge and application of HESA theories and practice. Please contact your faculty advisor for more information.

Students in the 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 (Census Date) 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.

Deadlines: If you will NOT be graduating in the next 6 months, you have up to 6 months to take the exam once registration information is received. 

If you WILL be graduating in the term you take the CPCE, you must take the exam no later than:

  • November 15th for fall
  • April 15th for spring
  • July 15th for summer

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.