Ph.D. General Exam
Once accepted into the counseling master's program, candidates:
- Attend the Orientation session
- Meet with a faculty advisor to plan a Program of Study (The program of study form
must be completed by the end of EDGC 6440, Advanced Counseling Techniques.) At this
meeting, compile the following information to be included in the report:
- List of courses already completed
- List of courses in which currently enrolled
- List of courses left to take, as indicated on program of study
- See Counseling Program Student Handbook regarding transfer courses
To successfully complete the program, the following courses require a grade of "B"
- EDGC 6400 Theories of Counseling
- EDGC 6430 Counseling Techniques
- EDGC 6440 Advanced Counseling Techniques
- EDGC 6450 Group Work
- EDGC 6535 Diagnosis and Treatment Planning in Counseling
- EDGC 6850 Ethical and Professional Issues in Counselor Education
- EDGC 6896 Practicum in Counseling (100 hours required)
- EDGC 6897 Internship in Counseling (600 hours required) (6 credits)
During the term you are enrolled in EDGC 6440: Advanced Counseling Techniques
The course instructor and/or full-time faculty members will complete a copy of the
Interpersonal Characteristics Survey (ICS) form for each student enrolled in the course
During the term you are enrolled in EDGC 6896: Master's Practicum in Counseling
- Meet with faculty advisor to complete the Application for Candidacy form
- Faculty advisor completes and submits the Application for Candidacy form
After the student successfully completes EDGC 6896 Practicum and EDGC 6897 Internship
I, the general qualifying exam form is completed by the faculty advisor and submitted
to the Graduate School.
Master's Comprehensive Examination
M.Ed. degree students must successfully pass a comprehensive exam before being awarded
the degree. Students are encouraged to take the exam the term (fall, spring, or summer)
before their last term. Students also may take the exam their last term in the program.
In the event a core course covering one of the areas listed below will not be taken
until the student's last term, the exam should not be taken until that time.
Students may take the exam only twice. In the event that students fail the exam twice,
they will be dismissed from the program and will not receive a degree.
The test consists of 160 multiple choice questions, 140 of which are the actual test
questions, and 20 are questions which are being tested for future exam use. The questions
are taken from the following areas:
- Human Growth and Development
- Social and Cultural Foundations
- Helping Relationships
- Group Work
- Career and Lifestyle Development
- Appraisal (Analysis of the Individual)
- Research and Program Evaluation
- Professional Orientation and Ethics
The passing score for the Master's Comprehensive Examination is a score of 60% or
Before taking the Master's Comprehensive Exam, master's students must be sure that
they have met with their major professor and completed/filed an Application for Candidacy.
The candidacy form must be filed the term after they complete Practicum in Counseling.
Payment for the Counseling Graduate program Master's Comprehensive Exam is required
on the day the exam is administered and is to be given to the test administrator.
The examination date (as well as the deadline for exam registration) will be posted
on the program listserv and program bulletin board well in advance of each administration.
To register to take the Comprehensive Examination, master's degree students should
register in the Bicentennial Education Building, Room 348-O by the deadline date.
NOTE: Students who are not listed on the program exam roster will not be able to take
the exam, as an exam booklet will not have been ordered for them.Read the Counseling
Graduate Program Handbook for information, requirements and procedure for scheduling
to take the examination.
Once candidate has successfully passed the Comprehensive Exam:
- It is recommended that you compare a copy of your most recent transcript with a copy
of the Candidacy form. If there are any discrepancies between what is listed and what
was actually taken, contact the Coordinator's Office to change your Candidacy form.
- Apply for Graduation by filling out the necessary paperwork in the Registrar's Office.
- Pay your graduation fee at the Bursar's Office and inquire about any outstanding debts
that would prevent you from graduating.
Doctoral Student Program Event Sequence
Meetings with Faculty Advisor:
To initiate the General Exam* process:
- Once accepted into doctoral program:
- to plan Program of Study; student is provided with a copy of the form
- While enrolled in Advanced Supervision in Counseling:
- to discuss the doctoral level internship requirements
- to develop a plan for the student to complete the doctoral level internship requirements
- minimum of 300 of doctoral level internship must be completed within the program supervising
master's level students in skills courses, practicum, or internship
- all 600 hours may be completed through supervising master's level students
- 300 hours may be completed delivering direct counseling services at a site.
Once General Exam has been passed:
- faculty advisor and student discuss general exam requirements and schedule time frame
for completion of general exam prior to meeting with faculty advisor, student should
read the section in the Counseling Graduate Program Student Handbook pertaining to
the doctoral General Exam
- Program Coordinator completes and submits Request for General Examination, Doctoral
Program form; student is provided with a copy of the form
- Program Coordinator prepares and distributes the General Examination packets for each
doctoral committee member, and sends out grading sheets
Upon successful completion of dissertation study and completion of writing Chapters
4 and 5, and approval from committee chair and committee members:
- review and update the Program of Study
- Program Coordinator completes and submits the Report on General Examination/Request
for Candidacy form: Ph.D.; student is provided with a copy of completed form
- Upon successful completion of writing Chapters 1, 2 and 3 of dissertation and approval
from committee chair and committee members:
- schedule the Dissertation Proposal Defense
- faculty advisor and student schedule the date of proposal meeting that is mutually
agreeable to faculty advisor, dissertation committee members, and student
- faculty advisor completes and submits the Proposal/Dissertation Defense Announcement
form; student is provided with a copy of the form
- prepare formal protocol to Human Subjects Committee
After passing the Dissertation Proposal Defense
- faculty advisor completes and submits Proposal/Dissertation Defense Report; student
is provided with a copy
- this form indicates that the proposal has been accepted
- submit formal protocol to Human Subjects Committee [UNO; Department of Psychology]
for approval; this approval is required prior to gathering data for dissertation study
After passing the Dissertation Defense:
- schedule the Dissertation Defense
- faculty advisor and student schedule a date of the dissertation defense that is mutually
agreeable to faculty advisor, dissertation committee members, and student
- Faculty advisor completes and submits the Dissertation Defense Announcement; student
is provided with a copy.
- faculty advisor completes the Request for Final Examination, Doctoral Program form;
- faculty advisor obtains signatures of committee chair and members and thereafter submits
form; student is provided with a copy
- Faculty Advisor completes and submits Examination and Thesis Report
*Doctoral General Examination
The General Exam consists of three essay questions that must be answered over a 3
week period. At least one of the questions must address research methodology. Students
are given their questions on the first day of the exam and must submit their written
responses to the Coordinator of the Counseling Graduate Program by the last day of
the third week.
Each of the three essay questions must be answered in no more than 8 double-spaced
pages, typed with one-inch margins with a 12-point font. Reference list pages do not
count in the 8 page maximum. Papers that do not conform to the guidelines will be
returned to the student for revisions.
Papers are evaluated according to the following criteria:
- Coherence and organization of arguments,
- Effective use of supporting evidence from relevant literature,
- Insight and analytic acumen,
- The extent to which the answer addresses the question of issue,
- The extent to which APA style is appropriately followed.
Students may take the General Exam when they have met the following requirements:
- Have completed prior to the term in which they take the General Exam all of the "Entry
Level Core" and most of the "Doctoral Level Core" courses listed on their program
of study, excluding internship and dissertation hours;
- Have no more than nine (9) semester credits left of coursework to complete after the
term in which they take the General Exam, excluding internship and dissertation hours.
- Completion of all research courses is recommended prior to taking the General Exam.
General Exam Procedures:
- Doctoral students initiate an appointment with their committee chair to plan the
content of the General Exam. The three areas must reflect areas of expertise of the
student's committee members and must provide an opportunity for the student to integrate
the knowledge and experience that has been gained in the student's individual doctoral
program of study. In the event an individual will serve on the student's dissertation
committee who is not a UNO full-time or adjunct faculty member, a UNO full-time or
adjunct faculty member will substitute for that person until after the General Exam
has been passed.
- The committee chair notifies the other committee members that the student is preparing
to take the General Exam. The committee chair, in consultation with the student, assigns
a content area for each committee member. The student meets with each committee member
to discuss each question. Each committee member forwards the question he or she writes
to the Coordinator of the Counseling Graduate Program.
- The Program Coordinator meets with the doctoral student and completes the Request
for General Exam Form. The Program Coordinator will then send each of the committee
members a memo asking that the question(s) for a given student be sent to the Program
Coordinator by a certain date. The Program Coordinator will then assemble the examination
packet, gives the packet to the Department secretary, and informs the student that
the packet is ready for their retrieval.
- When the student has completed all sections of the General Exam, it is delivered to
the Program Coordinator by the last day of the third week. The Program Coordinator
then makes copies of the completed General Exam for all committee members and indicates
the due date for grades to be submitted. All committee members are asked to grade
the three papers. Committee members grade each of the three sections of the exam with
one of the following grades: satisfactory or unsatisfactory. Committee members are
given two weeks to grade and return the exam. Additional time may be given for grading
if appropriate due to the semester breaks and holidays. In the event the exam is not
returned to the committee chair by the deadline and a committee member has not made
previous arrangements for a reasonable extension of time to grade the exam, a satisfactory
grade is assigned for that committee member.
- After all committee members have returned the graded exam or the period for grading
the exam has passed, the Program Coordinator determines the exam grade and notifies
both the student and the student's advisor of the results in writing.
- If a student receives satisfactory grades from the majority of committee members (i.e.
2 of 3) for a question, that question is passed. Students must pass all three questions
in order to pass the exam. If a majority (i.e. 2 of 3) of committee members give unsatisfactory
grades on any of the three questions, that question, and thus the exam, is failed.
- In the event the first administration of the General Exam is failed, students have
one more opportunity to pass the exam. The second exam may be scheduled as soon as
the student and committee chair agree upon a schedule for remedial review and new
- Upon successfully passing the General Exam, the Program Coordinator will then complete
the Report on the General Exam Form and send a letter to the candidate with the program's
congratulations. Once the Report on General Exam form has been submitted, the student
is admitted to candidacy.