Doctoral Degree Program

Doctoral Portfolio

Students who entered the doctoral program in the 2009-2010 Academic Year, and thereafter, will complete the Doctoral Portfolio, which replaces the Doctoral Comprehensive Examination. Students may find complete information about the Doctoral Portfolio here.

Doctoral Comprehensive Examinations

Students who entered the doctoral program PRIOR to the 2009-2010 Academic Year will be required to take the Doctoral Comprehensive Examination per conditions of the catalog under which they entered the program and pay all necessary fees associated with the exam.

Doctoral Comprehensive Examinations are now offered exclusively off-campus and will be conducted on the second Wednesday and Thursday of every other month (January, March, May, July, September, November). Please refer to the Academic Calendar posted on the website for exact examination dates.

NOTE: Students must have their Comprehensive Examinations proctored at a third-party testing center or must use ProctorU, an online proctoring service. 

If using a third-party testing center, students are responsible for making arrangements and paying all fees associated with proctoring.

Examples of a third-party testing center include, but are not limited to,:

  • Colleges and Universities
  • Sylvan Learning Centers
  • Military Base Education Offices
  • Public Libraries

If using ProctorU, students must register for the examination on the ProctorU website. There is no fee as long as the student schedules the examination more than three business days in advance.  If the student schedules the examination less than three business days in advance, the student will be required to pay ProctorU’s convenience fee.

It is highly recommended that the examination be taken between the hours of 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Central Time) in order that Academy personnel may properly monitor and assist students if administrative problems occur.

Once the student has located a third-party testing site or has decided to use ProctorU, the following steps must be followed to complete the application process: 

  1. Fill out the Doctoral Off-Campus Comprehensive Exam Application
    (Students who have received approval to retake the Doctoral Comprehensive Examination must complete the Retake Application (link below).
  2. Provide the appropriate information and pay the necessary fees.
  3. The student will be emailed a confirmation from the Registrar’s office stating the student is registered for that examination date.
  4. For students using a testing site, the proctor will be emailed the access password along with instructions on how to administer the examination.
  5. Students who choose ProctorU should set up an account and schedule the exam at least three business days prior to the selected examination date to avoid paying a convenience fee.
  6. Students must provide a form of identification to the testing center on the day of the examination.
  7. Students who schedule an examination and do not show will forfeit all fees.
    Doctoral Off-Campus Comprehensive Exam Application (Retake)

Please note that taking the comprehensive examination or being enrolled solely in the Portfolio does not retain a student in an enrolled status and thus, a student cannot request a student loan deferment based on taking the comprehensive exam or being enrolled solely in the Portfolio.

Master’s Degree Program

Students who enrolled in the Master’s Degree Program before 1 September 2010 are required to sit for the Master’s Comprehensive Examination.
Students entering the Master’s Degree Program between 1 September 2010 and 1 January 2014 are enrolled in a Master’s Portfolio based on the conditions of the catalog under which they entered the program.  Students may find complete information about the Master’s Portfolio here.

Students enrolling in the Master’s Degree Program AFTER 1 January 2014 must select one of three academic track options before completing their Core Courses. The three-track options are:

  • Thesis Option (student will be enrolled in the Master’s Portfolio). Students may find complete information about the Master’s Portfolio here.
  • Non-Thesis Option (student takes three additional courses in lieu of writing a thesis or completing a Mentorship and must sit for the Master’s Comprehensive Examination at the end of their program of study.
  • Mentorship Option (student completes a Mentorship in lieu of the Thesis and Non-Thesis options and must sit for the Comprehensive Examination at the end of their program of study.

Students who elect the Thesis Option will be enrolled in the Master’s Portfolio. Students selecting the Non-Thesis Option or the Mentorship Option will take a Comprehensive Examination at the end of their program of study.

Master’s Comprehensive Examinations

Master’s Comprehensive Examinations are offered off-campus only and are offered on the third Thursday and Friday of each month, with the exception of December and January. The examination is not offered in December or January.

Each monthly exam will be limited to 15 students on a first come, first served basis and there will be no exceptions. See the Academic Calendar posted on the website for examination dates.

NOTE: Students must have their Comprehensive Examinations proctored at a third-party testing center or must use ProctorU, an online proctoring service. 

If using a third-party testing center, students are responsible for making arrangements and paying all fees associated with proctoring.

Examples of a third-party testing center include, but are not limited to,:

  • Colleges and Universities
  • Sylvan Learning Centers
  • Military Base Education Offices
  • Public Libraries

If using ProctorU, students must register for the examination on the ProctorU website. There is no fee as long as the student schedules the examination more than three business days in advance.  If the student schedules the examination less than three business days in advance, the student will be required to pay ProctorU’s convenience fee.

It is highly recommended that the examination be taken between the hours of 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Central Time) in order that Academy personnel may properly monitor and assist students if administrative problems occur.

Once the student has located a third-party testing site or has decided to use ProctorU, the following steps must be followed to complete the application process:

  1. Fill out the Master’s Off-Campus Comprehensive Exam Application
  2. Provide the appropriate information and pay the necessary fees.
  3. The student will be emailed a confirmation from the Registrar’s office stating the student is registered for that examination date.
  4. For students using a testing site, the proctors will be emailed the access password along with instructions on how to administer the examination.
  5. Students who choose ProctorU should set up an account and schedule the exam at least three business days prior to the selected examination date to avoid paying a convenience fee.
  6. Students must provide a form of identification to the testing center on the day of the examination.
  7. Students who schedule an examination and do not show will forfeit all fees.

Please note that taking the comprehensive exam or being enrolled solely in the Portfolio does not retain a student in an enrolled status and thus, a student cannot request a student loan deferment based on taking the comprehensive exam or Portfolio enrollment.

For instructions on studying and taking the graduate comprehensive exams, refer to the guides posted below.