What is the GACE (Graduate Area Comprehensive Examination)?

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Few words strike fear and panic into graduate students as readily as the words “area comps”.  Comprehensive examinations are a challenge, they test intellectual capacity, nerve, endurance, and fortitude. Comprehensive examinations are a time-honored tradition for testing a graduate student’s mastery of disciplinary knowledge.You should view your comprehensive examination as a challenge worthy of your hard work.  As you prepare, you will not only become aware of how much you have learned, but you will also reach a better understanding of all that you have learned.  Education and what may seem to be difficult experiences change people.  Changes allow for personal growth and broadened horizons.  Comps should be an important and welcomed part of that growth!

Graduate student who intends to become a candidate for the degree at Jackson State University should take a written comprehensive examination in the student area of specialization after completing the requirements the graduate program with a cumulative average of "B" or better in courses completed.    

No student may appear for the comprehensive examination until after he/she has been declared eligible for the examination by the Dean of the Division of Graduate Studies.  The student must be registered for at least one credit hour in the semester in which the examination will be taken.  An audited course will not meet this requirement.

The Graduate Comprehensive Examination may be given three times a year, once in each semester. The date will be set by the Dean of the Division of Graduate Studies. A student may be permitted to take the Comprehensive Examination twice: if the student fails the second time, the student must petition the Academic College Dean or designee for permission to take the examination the third time. The student should register with the assigned adviser or department chair to take this examination.

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