Comprehensive Exam Guidelines

Written Comprehensive Exam Instruction
(Revised January 2018)

TAMUC Rules and Procedures for Examinations for Graduate Degrees: Examinations for Graduate Degrees

The Comprehensive Exam is designed to measure skills and mastery of concepts learned throughout the MS-CSCI/CPSI degree path. All students are required to take and pass the comprehensive exam before they graduate. The Comprehensive Exam is given during Fall and Spring semesters only. Exam dates and times are posted on the Computer Science Department Announcements. Students are required to register in advance, so that adequate space is reserved for the student.

Thesis-option students should coordinate their exam with their thesis advisor and the department head. The thesis advisor should plan and prepare for the exam with committee members and/or other faculty members in the department. The Comprehensive Exam can be administered on the thesis defense date or any time after successful defense of the thesis. The result of the exam should be submitted to the department in writing for final approval.

  • In good academic standing (GPA >=3.0).
  • Must be in the final semester.
  • Registration link (online) will be announced on the Computer Science Department Announcements page.  Registration closes at 11:59 pm on the date of deadline.
  • Upon completion of registration, an email with the registration confirmation number will be issued. If you do not get the confirmation email within one week, contact the department administrative. No email to non-eligible students.
  • Registration Deadline: First day of March (spring) and October (fall).
  • Exam date: Fourth Thursday of March (spring) and October (fall).
Exam Criteria:
  • Computer Science: must attempt 5 out of 10 questions, one from each core course.
  • Computational Science: must attempt 4 out of 8 questions, one from each core course.
  • If a student attempts both questions for a subject, the least score will be counted towards the final score for the subject.
On Exam day:
  • Bring your registration confirmation and your student ID.
  • No cell phones, electronic devices, extra paper, bags, etc.
  • Only pencils and erasers are allowed in the exam room.
  • A simple calculator (non-scientific and/or programmable calculators) may be allowed to use.
  • If you use electronic devices not permitted and/or talk during the exam, you will be asked to leave the exam room and you will automatically fail the exam.
  • If you need assistance from a proctor, please raise your hand.
Exam Result:
  • The result will be announced via email two weeks after the exam.
For 2nd & 3rd attempt:
  • 2nd attempt: You will need to make appropriate arrangements if you want to make a second attempt in order to maintain your status and eligibility for the exam.  Questions regarding foreign student status and requirements for remaining eligible for the program should be directed to the Foreign Students Services department and the Graduate School.  You will need to make sure that you can be available in person in the semester you choose to retake the exam and make your second attempt at fulfilling this requirement.  You will be responsible for following all announcements and registering for the second exam.  As outlined in the university procedures, the second attempt at the comprehensive exam is not a right, but a privilege.  Faculty can recommend or reject a second exam attempt, but in general, any student who follows procedures and correctly registers for a second exam attempt will be allowed to try to pass the requirement a second time.  The registration page for the comprehensive exam is usually open in February for the spring semester and in September for fall.  Please make sure that you pay attention to all department e-mail announcements and announcements on the department web page so that you register in a timely and correct manner.
  •  3rd attempt: Petition for 3rd attempt [Click here]

 List of advisors:

Last digit of CWID Advisor
          1,2 Dr. Bilal Abu Bakr
          3,4 Dr. Jinoh Kim
          5,6 Dr. Abdullah Arslan
           7 Dr. Derek Harter
           8 Dr. John Tanik
           9 Dr. Omar El Ariss
           0 Dr. Kaoning Hu

Guidelines for the Comprehensive Exam:
The following guidelines are designed to help students for the exam preparation. Note: The topics are the minimal requirements to prepare the exam.

Note: Contact your course instructor (or the current-term instructors) if you have any question on the subjects and guidelines.