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SSEM Comprehensive Exam

Fall 2017 Comp Session

The Fall 2017 Comprehensive Exam will be held on November 15th, 2017 starting at 9:00 am ending at 4:00 pm in the Stratton Building room 239.  Signs will be posted in the building to direct students to the correct classroom.  Students who are interested in taking the exam need to contact Kim Chitwood at 859.622.6921 or by email at

Comp Exam Links and Documents


What is the Comprehensive Examination?

The comprehensive examination is a graduation requirement for all SSEM Graduate students that do not complete a thesis.  The exam covers various components of the candidate’s program, focusing on the core requirements:   SSE 815, 822, 826, 833, 865, 880 or for those students that started in the program beginning in Fall 2013 SSE 815, 827, 826, 833, 865 and 885.  The examination is given on one day each semester. Permission will not be granted to take the exam on any other day.   


Who is eligible to take the exam?

Students applying to take the comprehensive examination should be in their final semester of course work with at least 30 credit hours completed prior to the application deadline or have completed all 6 CORE classes.  In addition, the student must complete a Graduation Application and the Graduate Degree Survey prior to taking the comprehensive exam. Students should also check the Graduate School website for deadlines/dates to apply for graduation.  Please be advised that the Graduate School will charge a late fee for applications received after the deadline.  The application and survey can be found on the Graduate School website:

Apply for Graduation 


How do I sign up to take the exam?

Only students who are eligible to take the exam and have applied for graduation may register for the exam. Student must contact Kim Chitwood in the SSEM Graduate Program office 45 days prior to the scheduled date of the comprehensive exam to express interest in taking the exam. Kim will begin to provide information to interested students at the beginning of each semester. Contact Kim via email at

Reminder:  Please use your EKU student email account for all correspondence with the SSEM Graduate Office.

**NOTE:  In addition to the above, you must contact Kim Chitwood through email stating that you plan to come to campus to sit for the Comprehensive exam OR you must send the proctor form back to Kim via email indicating that you are going to have your comprehensive exam proctored at a Testing Center or at another University. An override for you to register for the course will not be issued until approximately one month prior to the exam (Oct 15th).  You will receive an email from Kim Chitwood telling you to go into your EKU Direct account and officially register for the exam: GRD 897C, CRN: 22244 (This is a no cost zero credit hour course for registration purposes only.)

If you are retaking the exam from a prior offering you will NOT need to register again. You are still officially registered from your previous section of GRD 897C. You WILL have to send a new proctor form to me even if you are using the same proctor as before.


Where do I take the exam?

On-campus students and online students that live within 75 miles of campus must take the exam on the EKU campus.  Students that live more than 75 miles from campus may use a test proctor to administer the exam at a remote location.  If the student is planning to come to EKU Campus to take the Comp Exam,the student must send notification to Kim Chitwood via email to confirm they will be attending the campus session for the exam. Email address:



If I want to use a test proctor, what must I do?

Test proctors must be approved by the SSEM Department.  However, it is the responsibility of the student to find a suitable proctor and provide the Proctor form to the SSEM Department NO LATER THAN 45 DAYS PRIOR TO THE SCHEDULED TEST DATE FOR THE COMP EXAM.  The “Proctor Contact Information Form” is included on the last page of this information and should be forwarded to Kim Chitwood via email attachment at After receiving the proctor information form, Kim will interview the prospective proctor and notify you of the decision to approve or reject the proctor selected via your student EKU email account only. OVERRIDES to register for the Comp Exams will not be given until after the Proctor Information Form has been submitted, and the approval to use the proctor has been granted. (Confirmation of proctor approval and override issued will be sent via email to the student by Kim Chitwood)


Students are responsible for all proctor fees.


How do I locate a suitable proctor?

Many universities, colleges, and community colleges offer proctoring services through their testing centers.  You may contact testing centers in your area and inquire about the services available. The testing center/proctor that you select must be capable of providing the following things:

·        Proctoring service on the specified date (9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.)

·        Access to a computer with Word or WordPerfect, must have access to Blackboard/Internet access

·        Printer Capabilities

One resource available on the internet is the National College Testing Association.  The NCTA offers a free referral service called the Consortium of College Testing Centers that provides contact information for 294 testing centers across the U.S.  The NCTA website is:


How do I find out the comp exam results, are there any additional things that I need to do?

Approximately 2 – 3 weeks after the comp exam testing date you can view your results through EKU Direct.   The grades are listed as follows:


S = Passed

I or IP = Failed (For the 1st time) or (Student decided to take the exam at a later date).

U = Failed for the 2nd time

If you are awarded an “I” or “IP” you have one year from the time you took the first exam to re-take or the “I” or “IP” automatically changes to a “F”.

ALSO:  If you have an “I” or “IP” you do not need to sign up for the Comp Exams through EKU Direct again.  However, you must contact Kim to inform her of the term you will be re-taking the exam. (REMINDER – Must be within 1 year of your original registration date).

VERY IMPORTANT!  You will not be allowed to drop this course for the comp exam once you have registered.  So, please make sure you are positive you will be taking the exam, otherwise the 1 year time frame will begin. You MUST contact Kim Chitwood by email if you are unable to sit for the exam PRIOR to the exam date.


I have failed the comp exams, are there any additional things that I need to do?

You will receive a letter from the SSEM Department and Graduate School outlining the procedures after a student has failed the comp exam.  The letter will provide procedures for a remediation plan for the question that was failed on the exam.  The following steps outline the procedures when a student fails.

1.    You are required to develop and complete a remediation plan to prepare you for re-taking the question/s you failed. The professor and question/s you failed will be listed along with contact information for the professor to discuss and develop your written remediation plan

2.    Upon development of your remediation plan, a Remediation Completion Verification Form must be completed.  Note: the committee members section will be completed by SSEM Dept.   

3.    Once you have completed the form, sign and date the form, then return the form along with a copy of your remediation plan to the respective professor for approval and a copy to Kim Chitwood.   

4.    Contact Mrs. Chitwood at (859) 622-6921 and arrange your proctor in the same manner as the initial comprehensive final examination, no later than 45 days prior to the next comprehensive exam date scheduled.  (You do not need to re-register for the comp exam through EKU Direct). 

5.    You are only required to re-take the one (1) question identified as failed on the exam.  However, please be aware that if you are unsuccessful on your second attempt, you will be removed from the M.S. in SSEM program. There are no third chances!

6.    If you failed more than one question you will be required to re-take the entire exam (all 4 questions).  You must follow the remediation plan steps listed above for each question.


Is there a review session scheduled?

There is no review session scheduled.  However, a comp exam study packet is available. 


To access the study material on Blackboard, follow these steps:

1.   Login to Blackboard

2.   Click on “SSEM Online MS Students Portal” under “My Organizations”

3.   Click on “Comprehensive Exams” menu item


-There you will see the Fall 2017 Study Guide.

-Students can also access the study guide through the SSEM Department website,



***Be advised, test dates and times cannot be changed to accommodate student schedules.  Students unable to take the comp exam on the scheduled date must wait for the next scheduled comp exam session.***


What if I still have questions?


Contact:   Kim Chitwood, SSEM Graduate Program Office

                 Stratton Building, Room 316-A

                 (859) 622-6921


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