The comprehensive examination consists of three exams: one in Criminal Justice Process and Policy, one in Advanced Policy Analysis and one in Criminology and Public Policy. Students take these courses over the first two years of their time in the program, taking either one or two of the exams at the beginning of the second year, and the remaining at the beginning of the third year.
The examination is intended to test students’ (1) understanding of enduring issues of the field of criminal justice, and (2) familiarity with current debates and developments. Students should have read a number of classics closely enough so that they understand why they are significant and can articulate their implications for subsequent literature and for the general growth of ideas, techniques, and policies in theory, research and practice. Additionally, students should be acquainted with leading books, journal articles, and literature reviews that address the problems within the examination sub-fields. Students are expected to synthesize what they have learned in the core courses, their own readings, and information they have obtained from their intellectual interaction with colleagues, CUNY professors, and other scholars at conferences or meetings.
POA First Comprehensive Examination: Background and Grading Procedures