Comprehensive Exam

the comprehensive examination is one of the primary tools used to assess the assimilation of information presented in the curriculum during the first year of graduate study through course work, hands-on exercises and field and laboratory work, (i.e., the student's cumulative achievement). This examination will be administered in May at the end of the first year of the program and will consist of both written and practical components. Students will be tested in three main areas: forensic anthropology, forensic osteology, and biological statistics. The written examination will focus on history of the field and current methods, research and philosophies, and will include current and proper references, serving to illustrate the student's breadth of knowledge in the discipline.

The first day of the examination lasts approximately six to seven hours and tests the student’s practical abilities in forensic osteology. This will include fragmentary human remains in addition to non-human animal bones. The second day of the examination lasts approximately six to seven hours and comprises the written component of the test. This component will test the student’s knowledge of the current literature on forensic and biological anthropology in addition to theories and standards relevant to these fields. The third day of the comprehensive examination will last approximately three to four hours and involves testing the student’s knowledge of the statistical software program FORDISC 3.0.