Planning for Graduation
As you near your last couple of semesters in the M.A.T. program, here are some steps to follow in preparing for graduation.
- Communicate with your advisor!
Be sure your advisor knows your plans. Tell them exactly what semester you expect to finish. Outline your plan to finish the degree requirements. Be sure your advisor knows well ahead of time so that the two of you can plan together for your comprehensive exam (see below).
- File an Application for Advanced Degree.
Go to the Registrar's Graduation Information webpage. The deadlines for application as well as instructions on how to complete the online application process are there. There will be a $25 diploma fee to pay along with the application. Note that you must apply well before the semester you plan to graduate in order to avoid a late fee: for Summer and Fall semester graduations the deadline is in May, whereas for a May graduation the deadline will be in the preceding December.
- Plan and prepare for the Comprehensive Exam.
Students usually complete the Comprehensive Exam during their last semester. By university rule you must be enrolled in a course during the semester you graduate. For students who wish to complete all of their coursework and then take the Comprehensive Exam the next semester, we can set up a one credit course of "Comprehensive Exam Preparation". Most students, however, simply take the exam near the end of their last semester of coursework. To schedule the MAT exam, do the following:
- Set up a three-hour time block several weeks in advance with your proctor.
- Notify both the Engineering Outreach office and your Major Professor of the exam date. We will coordinate getting the exam to your proctor in time.
General information about the Comprehensive Exam:
- What does the exam cover?
The Comprehensive Exam covers up to six University of Idaho mathematics and statistics courses on your study plan -- we don't include transfer or ED courses on the exam. If you have taken more than six math and stat classes as part of your study plan, you can choose which six courses to include on the exam. Notify your Major Professor of your choice in this case.
- What is the exam format?
The exam will include two or three questions from each course covered. The time limit for the exam is three hours. You are allowed to use a calculator, but no notes or books are allowed. (Some instructors will provide formula sheets along with the exam.)
- How should I go about preparing for this exam?
You can often get a list of review topics from the instructor of each course by emailing them and asking. Questions on the Comprehensive Exam tend to focus on the "big" topics from the courses rather than on details.
- It sounds scary! Should I be worried?
Don't let the exam scare you too much. We all know the prospect of an exam on that much material can be a frightening thing -- but we really don't want it to be. This is not meant to "weed out" any M.A.T. candidates -- rather, it is intended to give you the opportunity to review the material you've studied along the way to earning your degree. We don't expect perfection -- there's just too much material to expect that. What we do want to see is evidence that you have learned some good mathematics in the course of your M.A.T. studies. Certainly, any candidate who has done reasonably well in the coursework and then does a good self-review before the exam should do well enough.