All students in the Master of Science program with an emphasis on the Health, Human Performance, and Recreation (HHPR) Graduate Degree Program are required to participate in the comprehensive exam process when their entire departmental curriculum coursework has been completed or during the final semester of their curriculum coursework. The comprehensive examination begins with a written examination that may be followed by a follow-up examination (as determined by the student's performance on the written exam). Students must pass the examination within the Baylor University five-year time limit for degree completion.
One comprehensive exam date will be scheduled by the HHPR Graduate Program Director during each of the academic semesters (fall, spring). The date selection will be based on Baylor Graduate School deadlines and departmental needs. That date will be announced by the end of the first or the second week of each semester to all enrolled students and to all previously enrolled students who have requested notification.
Application for Exam Participation
To be eligible to participate in the comprehensive exam, a student must:
- Earn a "B" average in all graduate work completed to date and admission to graduate candidacy has been approved.
- Submit a completed Comprehensive Exam Application Form to the HHPR Graduate Director by no later than the end of the 2nd week of the semester in which the exam is to be taken. (See Failure to Participate section.)
The examination shall be prepared and graded by a comprehensive examination committee selected by the HHPR Graduate Director, the student's advisor, and the student. The committee will consist of HHPR graduate faculty members who develop specific questions designed according to the student’s academic degree plan. The HHPR Graduate Program Director will notify selected committee members of their selection by the fourth week of the semester to secure a confirmation of their commitment to participate and answer questions about expectations. The Graduate Program Director will then notify the student of any alternate committee members assigned as a result of scheduling conflicts with original committee members.
Preparation for the Exam
The students may be provided study guidelines, and it is the student's responsibility to contact the committee members directly to request one. When writing these questions, each committee member's goal will be to develop a truly comprehensive exam question that reflects the content covered in the entire course. The student may visit with each member of the comprehensive exam committee for further guidance. However, students should understand that committee members are not required to provide any specific guidance concerning the actual questions to be included in students’ exams. Students are encouraged to study the sample study questions (if provided) before seeking out committee members regarding exam content or difficulty understanding class concepts. The committee member will not, however, reveal to the student before the exam the actual exam items to be included in the student's exam.
Schedule for Written Examination Day
A full morning will be set aside for the written examination with a 4-hour testing session. Students will be free to answer the 4 questions using this time frame in any fashion they might choose (i.e., a student might spend more time answering some questions than others).
The comprehensive examination for Exercise Physiology students will consist of four content areas:
- HP 5328 - Physiology of Exercise I - Neuromuscular Aspects
- HP 5330 - Physiology of Exercise II - Cardiovascular Aspects
- HP 5340 - Biochemistry in Exercise Science
- HP 5333 - Exercise Testing and Prescription, HP 5352 - Principles of Exercise and Sport Nutrition, HP 5354 - Methods of Strength and Conditioning, or HP 5357 - Methods of Exercise Programming for Individuals with Chronic Diseases and Disabilities
Each of the comprehensive exam content areas will be graded on a 5-point scale (fractionated scores are possible such as 3.5 points):
|Below Average||2 points|
To achieve a passing grade on the written exam, the student must earn a total of 11.2 points (2.8 mean points; 70% overall). If a student does not achieve a passing score on the written exam, he/she will be required to complete a follow-up examination of the content areas received below the passing score (3).
Failure to Participate
It will be considered failing the comprehensive examination if a student does not take the examination after submitting a Comprehensive Exam Application Form. Exceptions to this policy will be rare (e.g., death in the family).
Second Attempt at Comprehensive Exams
Students who fail the exam (even after the follow-up examination) will be eligible to participate a second time in the comprehensive examination process during a subsequent semester, but may not move on to complete (defend) a thesis or culminating event until after the comprehensive examination is passed. Before taking the examination again, students should consult with the comprehensive examination committee, which may require the completion of additional coursework or another additional study. Students who fail the comprehensive examination the second time will be dropped from candidacy for the degree.
Notification of the Baylor Graduate School
Within two weeks after exam completion, the HHPR Graduate Program Director will officially notify the Baylor University Graduate School of the student's successful completion of the comprehensive exam using the Result of Master’s Comp Examination form. The Graduate School will, in turn, check all other eligibility criteria before making a positive recommendation about the student's graduation candidacy status.
Tentative Comprehensive Exam Timeline
- Week 1: Date of comprehensive examination announced by HHPR Graduate Director
- Weeks 3: Comprehensive Exam Committee members notified of needed exam questions and requested to send study guidelines to students
- Weeks 9/10: Comprehensive Exam Week
- Weeks 11-12: Evaluation period
- Weeks 13: Follow-up examination if needed
- Weeks 14: HHPR Graduate Director notifies Baylor University Graduate Office about students who passed the comprehensive exam