Comprehensive Exam Information

The Comprehensive Masters Examination fulfills the culminating experience requirement for the Masters of Economics program. Passing the Comprehensive Examination is required for graduation unless you select the thesis option as a culminating experience.

Students interested in pursuing the Thesis option are responsible for finding a Thesis adviser and assembling a committee. Generally, students who do not have a GPA of at least 3.5 should not expect to be able to assemble a thesis committee. All MA students write a full-length manuscript as a part of the required course, ECON 205, and many field courses require class papers. Each year many of our non-thesis students publish essays for scholarly and general audiences.

Comp exams are on the first Fridays of May and December.

2020 Comprehensive Exams

Friday, December 4th, 2020
Rui Liu:  |  408-924-5423  |  office DMH 143

For complete details on the comprehensive exam see the Comprehensive Exam Information Sheet (pdf).

Sample Comprehensive Exams

The sample exams that follow are from previous semesters and are provided to give students an idea of the type of questions that may be on the actual exam. There is no guarantee that thorough familiarity with the questions in the sample exams will result in a passing grade in the actual comprehensive examination.

Sample Exams

  • MA Sample Comp Exam, 050120 Section 1 (pdf)
  • MA Sample Comp Exam, 050120 Section 2 (pdf)
  • MA Sample Comp Exam, 050120 Section 3 (pdf)
  • MA Sample Comp Exam, 120619 Section 1 (pdf)
  • MA Sample Comp Exam, 120619 Section 2 (pdf)
  • MA Sample Comp Exam, 120619 Section 3 (pdf)
  • Sample Exam, Spring 2019 Section 1 (pdf)
  • Sample Exam, Spring 2019 Section 2 (pdf)
  • Sample Exam, Spring 2019 Section 3 (pdf)
  • Sample Exam, Fall 2018 Section 1 (pdf)