At least four weeks prior to the date of graduation, the candidate will be required to show proficiency in the candidate's field of study. The mechanism to indicate this proficiency will be developed and administered by the student's department. The chief objective is to evaluate competencies and the ability to implement knowledge in the candidate's field of study. This may take the form of a comprehensive examination, comprehensive writing project, portfolio, capstone course, or other mechanism determined by the department and is to be completed by dates indicated in the academic calendar of this publication. Students who complete a thesis do not have to complete a comprehensive exam. The oral thesis defense fulfills this requirement.