Comprehensive Examinations

The Graduate Division at UCSF requires MS students to complete a Thesis or a Comprehensive Examination which demonstrates the student's mastery of the major field and ability to think critically. To fulfill the Graduate Division Comprehensive Examination requirement, faculty in the School of Nursing developed a Comprehensive Exam with several options to evaluate the student's ability to apply advanced theoretical knowledge in a selected area of specialization and to critique research as it relates to that area.

 Comp Exam Information for Current Students

 When you turn in your comprehensive examination packet, please include the following:

  •  An electronic version of your paper in an editable format (i.e. Word). The face sheet should be the first page. This can be emailed to Brandee ahead of time or brought in on a flash drive.

Please refer to additional instructions included in the handbook.


The School of Nursing subscribes to  As part of the comprehensive examination process, we will upload all of the exams into the turnitin software. This allows us to build up a database of exams, protects the originality of your paper for you, and checks sources in your paper.

Comprehensive Examination Due Dates

Dates are posted by the School of Nursing on their comp exam CLE page during the Summer. 

Additional Pages

Your Comp Exam must include a cover page. Please be sure to fill it out completely, including the comp exam number you were given by Brandee.

An exit survey/contact sheet should also be turned in with your comp exam.

APA Style

You are required to use APA Style for the Comp Exam. Currently, the 6th edition of the APA Style Guide is the standard.  You can also review APA Style guidelines at the APA Style website.

Example Comprehensive Exams

Current UCSF students can download and view examples of successful comprehensive examinations from our CLE (Moodle) comp exam resource site.  Log in via MyAccess and search for "SBSHPComp"