For the Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination, it was agreed that the type (open book, closed book, library, etc.) of the written exam should be at the discretion of each committee member as to the type of exam, with the suggestion that no question set of any committee member should take longer than eight (8) hours to complete. It was also suggested that the written exam be completed within a time span of two (2) weeks. It was also proposed that the Oral Examination not take longer than four (4) hours to complete, and that the oral examination should take place within one month after the completion of the written examination.

The AOS selected "areas" in which Ph.D. candidates will be tested on their comprehensive examination The Comprehensive Examination must be passed by each candidate as one requirement for Admission to Candidacy. The exam normally is administered to a candidate before five semesters have been completed in a Ph.D. program. It consists of five days of written responses to questions in the approved areas and a subsequent 4-hr. oral examination. AOS Co-Chairs are to be advised by the Advisory Committee of the comprehensive exam dates and the areas that have been selected for each Ph.D. candidate.

The AOS agreed at its 30 August 1994 meeting that the Advisory Committee of each Ph.D. candidate will develop an exam comprised of five areas. Three of those areas will be based upon the AOS core courses and two will be selected from four additional areas listed below.

Core Courses Exam Areas (3 of 5 comprehensive exam areas):

1. Fisheries Science and Management
2. Fisheries Ecology 
3. Aquaculture 
4. Quantitative Fisheries Science
5. Biological and Chemical Oceanography

Additional Exam Areas (2 of 5 comprehensive exam areas):

1. Organismic Biology and Ecology 
2. Statistics, Modelling, and Mathematics
3. Physiology, Pathobiology, and Biochemistry
4. Evolution and Genetics