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Core Competency Exams

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Core Competency Exams

Core Competency Examinations, Comprehensive Examinations and Candidacy

The nature and format of Core competency and comprehensive examinations for individual students is based upon when they were admitted into the CRM program.  

For students who were admitted into the program during or after January, 2010, their curricula requires the following:  

All students accepted to the program must take the following common set of foundation courses:  

GEOL 7002. Coastal Geoscience (4). Fundamental concepts of geological and physical oceanographic principles of coastal systems.  

BIOL 7005. Coastal Ecological Processes (4). Fundamental concepts of chemistry and biology within the context of the coastal zone with emphasis on local ecosystems  

PADM  7004. Marine Policy, Governance, and Law (3). Processes, politics, laws, and institutions as they affect marine, coastal, and climate policy in the United States  

CRM 7005. Human Dimensions of Coastal Management (3) P: Graduate standing in CRM PhD program or consent of instructor. Concepts, theories, and frameworks of human values, attitudes and behavior related to coastal resources.  

Core Competency Examination
No later than the third semester following admission, each student must pass a standardized core competency examination that is based upon the core four courses previously described. This written examination, with oral follow-up, is designed to confirm the student's mastery of core concepts and processes, as well as the ability to integrate material from all four courses, and academic readiness to advance to the selection of a primary field of study. This competency exam will be prepared and administered by the faculty teaching the core curriculum Courses.  

Comprehensive Examination
The successful passing of an interdisciplinary dissertation proposal will constitute the comprehensive examination for CRM students.  At both of these stages, the dissertation committee, can pass the student, recommend additional coursework, or recommend that the students program of study be terminated.  Failure to pass either the proposal or final defense of the dissertation within two attempts will result in the termination of the student's program of study.  

Students who have passed both the Core Competency Examinations and the Dissertation Proposal shall be considered candidates for the PhD in Coastal Resources Management.

For students who were admitted into the program prior to January, 2010, the following exams exist:  

Core Competency Examinations:
No Core Competency Examinations are required.  

Comprehensive Examinations

Upon completion of required course work students must successfully complete comprehensive written and oral examinations.

Schedule: Comprehensive examinations shall be scheduled by the student in consultation with the Doctoral Advisory Committee, but may not take place before the student's final semester of course requirements. Prior to scheduling the exams, the student, committee, and CRM director will meet, to ensure that the roles and responsibilities of the committee are clear to all and that the student understands the nature, expected level of academic preparation, and procedures governing the examination process.

Preparation: Compilation and organization of the examination will be the responsibility of the chair of the student's doctoral advisory committee, in consultation with other advisory committee members and CRM faculty.

Examination: Logistics and scheduling of the comprehensive examination will be the responsibility of the faculty advisor, in consultation with the student, other advisory committee members, and the CRM director. The doctoral advisory committee will schedule and conduct an oral examination as soon as practicable upon completion of the written portion of the exams.

Evaluation: Evaluation of the examination will in general be the responsibility of the members of doctoral advisory committee. A grade of B for each test is accepted as passing. If the student receives less than B for any one of the sections, the faculty and the CRM director, may require further remedial activities by the student, in preparation for re-examination. Students are limited to one re-examination. Failure to achieve a grade of B on any test during the first series of examinations or a B on a repeat examination will initiate a formal review by the student's advisory committee. The review will assess the performance on the comprehensive examination, overall academic achievement worthy of a doctoral degree, and professional promise. Contingent on findings from this review, the student may be requested to withdraw from the program.

Students who have completed all required coursework and have passed the Comprehensive Examinations shall be considered candidates for the PhD in Coastal Resources Management.