Guidelines for Comprehensive Examination in M.S. in Clinical-Counseling Psychology

Students completing the M.S. in Clinical-Counseling psychology will be required to complete a comprehensive examination covering the following courses:  

Psyc 7100 Intellectual Assessment

Psyc 7110 Personality Assessment

Psyc 7200 Psychopathology

Psyc 7400 Counseling Theory and Practice 


Students must take, and pass, the comprehensive examination before registering for practicum, and following completion of the above courses with a grade of ‘C’ or better.


The comprehensive examinations will consist of a multiple choice component and a written component as follows. 

a) Students will take a multiple choice examination consisting of 100 questions to be drawn from material pertinent to the four courses noted above. The multiple choice component of the comprehensive examination will be administered in the morning from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. No books or notes will be permitted in the examination room. A grade of 70% must be achieved on order to pass the multiple choice component. 

b) Students will be required to write a psychological evaluation based on a fictional assessment test battery. The report phase of the comprehensive examination will be completed in the psychology computer lab from 

1 p.m. until 4 p.m. the afternoon of test day. Students will be provided with (a) a partially scored test battery, and (b) a template for the written report which will include demographic information, behavioral observations, and suggested subject headings. Students will be permitted to bring materials relevant to diagnosis and report writing (the exact nature of permitted materials has yet to be determined).

In order to achieve a passing grade, the report will demonstrate an adequate understanding of the purpose and interpretation of the intellectual and personality components of the test battery, the integration of those components forming a comprehensive psychological assessment, including recommendations, and demonstration of the ability to communicate the findings in writing.

Proposed Comprehensive Examination Remediation Plan M.S. Program in Clinical-Counseling Psychology

Students will be required to retake only the component(s) of the examination that are failed. Following, the exam, students who have failed one or both sections of the exam will meet with their advisor and/or instructors of the relevant courses to discuss the results and recommendations for preparation for retaking those sections. Specific recommendations must be tailored to the individual student’s performance and needs as assessed by program faculty.

Following the first “failure”: Recommendations may include meeting with course instructors about areas of weakness, sitting in on class meetings where appropriate, working on report-writing and/or diagnostic skills for the report section of the exam. 

Following the second “failure”: Recommendations for remediation are more stringently suggested, arrived at in conjunction with advisor, course instructors, and Program Coordinator. The student will be required to provide the study materials used to prepare for the exam in order for the remediation committee to assess the needs of the student.

Following the third “failure”: Recommendations, arrived at by an appropriate faculty committee, may include mandated remediation, including repeating course work or dismissal from the program.