area paper guidelines fall 2011 to present
Area Paper as a Comprehensive Exam
Effective January 2002, Master of Science in Criminal Justice students who are required to take the comprehensive examination, may choose to complete an "area paper" which is equivalent to the traditional exam. The following guidelines are designed to assist students in the preparation for the area paper as a comprehensive exam. Each student who chooses the area paper option should study the guidelines and work closely with a faculty advisor.
Area Paper Reading List and Deadlines
Before the last semester in which the student plans to graduate, he or she must submit an area paper contract to the graduate coordinator. The student will be provided with a reading list and a list of area paper committee members at the beginning of the semester in which he or she will take the area paper as a comprehensive exam.
The student must be prepared to take the area paper as a comprehensive exam at least three weeks before the end of the semester in which the student plans to graduate. A member of the area paper committee or the graduate coordinator will inform the student of the results prior to the end of the semester. (see grading/evaluation section).
Area Paper as a Comprehensive Exam Format
- The exam is a closed book and closed note exam.
- Students will be required to come to campus to take the comprehensive exam which will be offered on 2 dates.
- Students are given a laptop to save their answers and are not permitted to use internet access.
- Students will also be given a blank CD to burn their answers on for dissemination to the area paper committee.
- Students are given a set of questions in which they are expected to answer three questions within a set time frame (no more than 6 hours)
- Every three years an area paper committee is chosen and questions are developed by the committee members based on the assigned reading list and their area of expertise.
- These questions will be derived from information covered in MSCJ core curriculum.
- Area paper committee members are expected to grade all area papers as a comprehensive exam during their tenure on the committee.
- In the event that numerous students take area papers as comprehensive exams at the same time all criminal justice professors are expected to assist in grading the area papers as comprehensive exam.
Grading/Evaluation of the Area Paper
The area paper committee will use the following guidelines to grade the area paper. Exams will be awarded one of the following decisions: satisfactory, revise and resubmit, or unsatisfactory. A student whose exam is awarded a revise and resubmit decision will be awarded either a grade of satisfactory or unsatisfactory once the revisions are reviewed. Students are permitted 2 comprehensive exam unsatisfactory grades before being dismissed from the program.