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:

  1. Submit the Comprehensive Exam/Culminating Experience Registration Form. The deadline to register is the Two weeks after the beginning of the semester.
  2. If you are graduating the same term you are completing your COMPS/CE, apply for graduation through UCD Access by the deadline. Registering for your comprehensive exam or culminating experience does not register you for graduation.
  3. You must be registered 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 is 11234 for Summer 2021 and 29812 for Fall 2021.

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 2021: due by 5 PM on Friday, April 9, 2021
    2. Summer 2021: due by 5 PM on Friday, July 9, 2021
    3. Fall 2021: due by 5pm on Friday, November 5, 2021
  2. If you decide to postpone completing your COMPS/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.

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 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 5150, 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.