Post 2015 Comprehensive/Competency Exams
Preparation for Exams
In their third year, after completing all coursework (except the dissertation proposal class), students register for two review classes in fall and two more in winter. Each review is described below and the bibliographies are attached. Review classes culminate in comp exams, and both class and exam are graded on a pass/fail basis.
RLGN 6010 Comp Review I: Perspectives in the Study of Religion
Students meet weekly for review and discussion of the bibliography for perspectives in the study of religion. These reviews are convened by an advanced ABD or recent PhD in the JDP who has been engaged by the Faculty Directors to facilitate students' preparation. The convenor or students may request that individual faculty members attend relevant sessions. Students are encouraged to read in advance of the course. The comprehensive exam is taken immediately following conclusion of this review course in the fall quarter of the student's third year.
Updated 10 April 2018
RLGN 6020 Comp Review II: Theories and Methods in an Area of Religious Studies
Students each choose one of the six areas of program strength listed below for this fall quarter review and comp exam. Whenever there are two or more working in the same area, they should meet weekly, as with RLGN 6010, but when only one student has chosen an area in a given year, that student will work independently with faculty members in the area. The exam is taken either during the finals week or immediately following conclusion of this fall quarter review course, depending on the students' and examiners' schedules.
RLGN 6030 Comp Review III: Knowledge in a Professional Field
Students work individually or in small groups with their dissertation advisor and committee members or other faculty in the students' chosen field of specialization within the discipline. The purpose is to synthesize coursework, fill in gaps, and expand knowledge needed as a professional in the specific field of religious studies. The comprehensive exam in the major field is taken during finals week winter quarter.
RLGN 6040 Comp Review IV: Knowledge in Minor Area or Subfield
Students work individually or in small groups with faculty in the students' chosen subfield or minor area of study, or with the dissertation advisor on a deeper area of specialization within the professional field. The exact subject of Comp IV should be worked out with the dissertation advisor and committee. It is taken winter quarter.
**This is the form that you will need to have all of the readers for your RLGN 6030 and RLGN 6040 fill out and sign. Student Comp Form.pdf
Exam Policies and Procedures
Exams are currently administered through the DU Canvas system. This allows students in RLGN 6020, 6030, and 6040 to take the exam on their laptops from a quiet space where they will be uninterrupted. The honor system is in force! Your exam questions will be available on the DU Canvas starting promptly at the designated time and the final answer must be uploaded no later than the appointed ending time.
Scheduling & Timing
The four-hour exam following RLGN 6010 on Perspectives in the Study of Religion will be taken by all students at the same time and place on campus. It is up to the readers of the exam if the exam is closed book or open book. Students should work with their convenor and the two faculty examiners to choose a date and time for this exam that will work for all concerned. The convenor must convey this information, copying the examiners for verification, to the JDP Program Manager at least two weeks before the exam date.
Comp exams following RLGN 6020, 6030, and 6040 should be arranged between the students and the two faculty examiners of each. Some faculty prefer the 4-hour closed-book format and others the 72-hour open-book format. In either case, the exam time must be arranged between faculty and students, and conveyed to the JDP Program Manager at least a week before the exam will be taken.
Note: Students and examiners should ensure that no student takes two exams in one day. Normally at least one full day should be left between exams.
All exams must have two readers, and between the two exams each quarter there must be at least three different readers.
The JDP faculty or directors will determine which two faculty members will read and grade Comp I: Perspectives in the Study of Religion.
Faculty within each area of strength will determine who will read and grade Comp II: Theories and Methods in an Area of Religious Studies. Therefore, in the preceding spring quarter each student must apprise the JDP office of their intended area for examination.
The student should work with their dissertation advisor and committee to determine the examiners for RLGN 6030 and 6040 exams. Normally, the advisor will serve as the first reader in RLGN 6030. All other examiners must meet the following criteria:
Comp Reader Qualifications
- First reader must be tenure-line (tenured or untenured) member of JDP faculty.
- Second reader must hold terminal degree in their field; Iliff faculty on limited term contracts must also have Iliff dean’s approval. –Approved April 7, 2017 by JDP Committee
- A JDP petition for an academic exception must be submitted to the JDP office to request anyone outside these approved parameters.