Comprehensive Exam Information

The Basics

  • Comprehensive Exams will be given on the first Saturday of the summer, spring, and fall semesters. In the event that the exam is scheduled during a University holiday, the exam will take place the following Saturday
  • Students will be eligible for Comprehensive Exams in their final semester of coursework.
  • Students must apply via the Comprehensive Exam Request form (PDF) by the end of the drop/add period of the semester prior to the intended semester to be eligible for Comprehensive Exams.
  • Comprehensive Exams will include 3 questions. One question will draw on KNES core coursework, with the remaining 2 questions drawing on Physical Education core content. All questions will require application and synthesis.
  • Students will have a time period of 3 hours to complete the exam.
  • Notification of results will be provided to the student within 3 weeks of the test date.
  • If the student is unsuccessful in any question/s, an oral defense will be scheduled to further probe that/those areas.
  • If the oral defense is not successful, then the student will design and submit a remediation plan to the academic advisor and this plan will be followed for at least one semester (and then the student will apply to take the Comprehensive Exam again).
  • Successful completion of the Comprehensive Exam is required prior to registration for the Capstone course or the Thesis course.

Masters Capstone and Thesis

These courses require analysis and application of theoretical knowledge and experience in contemporary best practices in the discipline of physical education including, but not limited to, methodology/instructional strategies, curriculum development, and program assessment.

Pre-requisite Course Work

KNES 642
KNES 654KNES 723
KNES 731
Completion of 24 credits in KNES M.S. Program
Successful completion of the Kinesiology Comprehensive Exam


Prior to enrolling in these courses, students must present a written overview of the proposed project (1-2 pages, not including bibliography) clearly defining the topic and goals of the project to the project advisor. The proposal must be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to the start of the intended semester of enrollment in the course.

Although the content of the proposal varies according to the topic, proposal statements should generally include:

  1. Clear statement of intent.
  2. Summary of previous work completed on related subjects (in other words, an argument for the originality and viability of the project).
  3. Discussion of the content of the project, including specific examples.
  4. Intended outcomes of the project.
  5. Bibliography listing primary resources.

Students must also present a project timeline extending through the final dissemination of the project.

Once the proposal and timeline are approved, the student may enroll in the course and begin preliminary preparations. While the timeline will vary according to the specific project, the student will develop a bibliography and research the topic area prior to starting the project. At the Orientation meeting, the advisor and student will discuss the amount of completed research that might reasonably be expected and the timeline to ensure steady progress toward project completion.