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Comparative Politics Comprehensive Exam

Students who elect Comparative Politics as a first or second field of study must take the Comparative Politics Comprehensive Exam. The 24-hour, open-book exam is typically given in the fall semester of the student's third year of study.

Exam coverage

The written exam consists of two parts. The first part tests knowledge of, approaches to, and methodological issues within the field of comparative politics. The second part tests knowledge of important themes and world regions in comparative politics. 

Exam length

In general, students will be required to answer 1 question from Part A and 2 questions from Part B, for a total of 3 questions. Answers to each question are expected to be in the range of 7-10 pages, double-spaced. 

Oral exam content

An oral exam is required for all first field comparativists, following the written exam and at the approval of the committee. In some cases, at the discretion of the committee, an oral exam will be scheduled for second field comparativists. The content of the oral exam is at the discretion of the committee and not necessarily limited to the content of the written exam. 

Oral exam question submission

Students have the option to submit 1-3 questions to be considered for use in the oral exam.  A student taking this option is encouraged to tailor one question toward his/her research interests; questions must be received by the committee no fewer than 24 hours in advance of the exam.