Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Graduate School-Newark
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American Studies 050
Behavioral and Neural Sciences 112
Biology 120
Business and Science 137
Chemistry 160
Creative Writing 200
Criminal Justice 202
Economics 220
English 350 (Includes American Literature 352)
Environmental Science 375
Environmental Geology 380
Global Affairs 478
History 510
Jazz History and Research 561
Management 620
Mathematical Sciences 645
Nursing 705
Peace and Conflict Studies 735
Physics, Applied 755
Political Science 790
Psychology 830
Public Administration 834
Doctor of Philosophy
Residency Requirements
Program Goals
Comprehensive Examinations
Graduate Courses
Urban Environmental Analysis and Management
Global Urban Systems 977 (Joint Ph.D with NJIT)
Women's and Gender Studies 988
Divisions of the University
Camden Newark New Brunswick/Piscataway
  Graduate School-Newark 2020-2022 Programs, Faculty, and Courses Public Administration 834 Doctor of Philosophy Comprehensive Examinations  

Comprehensive Examinations

Doctoral students become formal candidates for the degree only after successful completion of the comprehensive examination and defense of the dissertation prospectus. The application for admission to candidacy for the degree is available from the Graduate School-Newark and should be submitted to the director of the Ph.D. program at the time of completion of exams and the prospectus. The completed form should be filed with the Graduate School-Newark office.

The comprehensive examinations in public administration are in two parts (theoretical core and research specialization). Comprehensive Examination I is given in January and June of each year. Comprehensive Examination II may be taken at any time after successful completion of Comprehensive Examination I as well as all relevant courses. The program recommends that students who complete all of their coursework on a full-time basis sit for part(s) of the examination at the conclusion of the spring semester of their first year, and complete examination II in their second year or as early as possible in their third year. All students (including those who have enrolled on a part-time basis for some semesters) should plan to complete the examination process by the end of their third year.

  1. Comprehensive Examination I on Theoretical Core.
    Upon completion of all five core courses (without any outstanding incompletes), the student must complete their first comprehensive exam (Comp I) that covers the content learned in the core. This a closed-book exam administered by the PhD director and assistant dean for graduate programs on campus and consisting of two essays, one completed in the morning (10am to 1pm) and one completed in the afternoon (2 to 5pm). The essay questions are not provided in advance and will change from semester to semester, but students will have some choice in the questions they answer. Comp I will be given only in January and June (the dates will be announced in advance) and should be taken as soon as possible after the student completes the core courses. The essays are generally graded by faculty members who teach in the core.
    If the student receives a failing grade on one or both of the essays, an additional faculty member selected by the PhD director will be asked to read the essay(s). The student may then be asked to re-take the exam, following the same format but with a new question. If the student fails a second time, they cannot continue in the program.

  2. Comprehensive Examination II on Research Specialization.
    Upon completion of all of the relevant elective courses in their specializations (without any outstanding incompletes), the student should complete their second comprehensive exam (Comp II), which reflects knowledge the student has learned through his or her elective coursework. The exam takes the form of an essay, representing one of the student's areas of specialization. The exam is administered by the student's main adviser, a core member of the SPAA faculty (or if the student does not yet have an adviser, by a core SPAA faculty member with expertise in the specialization).
    If the student receives a failing grade on the essay, an additional faculty member selected by the PhD director will be asked to read the essay and the student may be given one last opportunity to revise the essay. If the student still receives a failing grade, the student will not be allowed to continue in the program.
  3. Academic integrity is essential in all aspects of the PhD program, including Comp II. Any indication that any part of a student's Comp II essay is not the original work of the student will be grounds for a failing grade (with no chance to revise and resubmit the essay).
For additional information, contact RU-info at 848-445-info (4636) or
Comments and corrections to: One Stop Student Services Center.

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