SzEEDSM Doctoral Program in Business Administration
Comprehensive exam regulation and description


2023 COMPS QUESTIONS (download here)


(1) The Comprehensive Exam (hereinafter COMPS) shall be completed at the end of the fourth active semester as a closure of the training/foundation phase. Application is due during the fourth semester. If students do not apply for COMPS at the end of their fourth active semester, their student status will be terminated.

(2) Students can apply for COMPS provided they have fulfilled a minimum 80 per cent of the prescribed 124 credits of the pre-COMPS period. If they cannot fulfil all the 100 per cent of the prescribed credits by the time of the COMPS, the missing credits (maximum 20 per cent of the 124 credits) have to be completed in the next two semesters of their studies. The recommended achievement is the collection of 128 credits by the time of COMPS.

(3) The condition of applying for the COMPS is also to certify the knowledge of two foreign languages (see further specification below).

(4) The COMPS committee consists of a minimum of three members and at least one third of the members should not be employed by Széchenyi István University. The chair of the COMPS committee is either a full professor, associate professor with habilitation, college professor with habilitation, professor emeritus or a doctor of science. All the members of the committee shall have a PhD. The supervisor of the doctoral student cannot be a member of the committee.

(5) Application for COMPS can be submitted via the Doctoral School’s website (

(6) The Comprehensive Exam /COMPS/ consists of two parts. In the written exam the applicants will give evidence of their acquired knowledge as a result of their course work and readings. In the written part of the COMPS the applicants will get questions based on the curricular courses. The 2023 list of questions can be found on the website of the SzEEDSM Doctoral Program. After a successful accomplishment of the written exam, students sit for an oral examination. In the oral part they will be required to demonstrate their research progress in front of an examination committee. They should give evidence of the problem scope of their research obtained from the available knowledge derived from their critical literature review. They should present the first draft of a literature review paper to be submitted to a selected target journal.

(7) The committee will assess the readiness level of the students. The COMPS will qualify as successful if the committee members agree that the presented level of readiness may guarantee the potential of carrying out the publication requirements in the research phase and accomplish a coherent doctoral dissertation. In case of failure in the written exam, the examinee has the right to retake the exam during the given examination period once, before the oral exam. The oral part of the exam cannot be retaken. The COMPS examination tests a student’s acquired knowledge and readiness level necessary for achieving high-standard international publications during the post-COMPS phase for earning a doctoral degree. The COMPS interviews are academic discussions lasting up to an hour for each applicant. The Comprehensive Exam is a demanding task functioning as a watershed in the process of the doctoral education.

(8) Evaluation of the COMPS is based on two categories: satisfactory or fail. The result of the exam shall be announced at the end of the last exam day.


The COMPS examination tests a student’s command over the discipline in which the student is earning the doctoral degree. The comprehensive examination is a demanding exercise that tests the applicant’s broad understanding of major issues and challenges them to provide an outline of their own research contribution.

The COMPS consist of two exams: a written part and an oral part.

The written part of the COMPS aims to verify that the candidates have the necessary foundations in the knowledge background and research methods which will enable them to pursue research further on. The applicants will be given eight broad questions out of the previously published list of twenty questions and are asked to answer four of them. The questions will be available on the doctoral program’s website at least two months before the COMPS.

The oral part of the COMPS takes place shortly after the written test. The COMPS „interviews” are free-flowing conversations, lasting up to an hour per applicant. The COMPS Committee is eager to know how the applicant can give account of their (I) literature studies, (II) matching journal for their new ideas and contributions, (III) research design to support quantitative and qualitative data analyses in the post-COMPS period and (IV) any foreseeable limitations for their research.

The Student Assessment II submission and its reviews will be given to the COMPS Committee members before the oral part of the COMPS where a discussion about this submission will be held.

Applicants who are applying to the program via COMPS (not via the first two years’ school framework) are expected to submit an extended abstract (1400 words, approximately 7×200 words). The template of the extended abstract is as follows: (1) Problem scope (2) Gap in literature (3) Purpose (4) Research Design / data collection and analysis (5) Overview of the main result(s) (6) Originality of finding(s) and argument(s) (7) Limitations.

The committee will assess the applicants’ readiness level and judge their future success. In its evaluation, the committee considers the written portion of the comprehensive exam and the committee members’ evaluations of the interviews.


Applicants can apply to SzEEDSM COMPS on website from March 1 until April 30, 2022.

The fee of the COMPS exam is 32,500 HUF, based on the University’s Compensation and Allowance Regulations, to be transferred to the following account number:

Bank Account number: 10300002-10801842-00014908
Name of Bank: MKB Bank Nyrt.
Beneficiary: Széchenyi István Egyetem

In the notice please include: Applicant’s name, NEPTUN code (if applicable); DRKELD002T (none may be missing due to identification).

The bank transfer certificate must be attached to the application.


57.§ According to the Doctoral Study and Examination regulations (VI. Addendum and regulations, Regulations on foreign language proficiency, 57.§)

  • Candidates who possess at least one state-recognized medium “level B2” complex language certificate (formerly: grade C) or an equivalent documentary proof, may apply for the doctoral training.
  • The condition for applying for a Comprehensive Exam is the knowledge of an additional foreign language that must be attested by at least a state-recognized basic level C language certification or an equal language certificate, it’s recognition is decided by the Head of the Doctoral School.
  • Of the above mentioned language certificates can be accepted of the following languages: English, German, French, Italian, Russian, Latin, Spanish. Candidates must apply to the head of the Doctoral School for the acceptance of certificates of languages different from the languages listed above by referring to the fact, that the research topic of their dissertation is connected to the given language. In case of Non-Hungarian speaking doctoral students the Hungarian language can be recognized as a second foreign language by the decision of the head of the Doctoral School.
  • Non-Hungarian speaking doctoral students must attest the competence of at least two foreign languages based on the 14§ of the Government Decree No. 137/2008 (V. 16.) “On the certified examination of foreign language attainment and on the nostrification in the Republic of Hungary of language certificates of foreign language attainment issued abroad”.

The Rules and Regulations of the Doctoral School require that students give evidence of their knowledge of two foreign languages (B2 and B1 levels) until the beginning of the COMPS. If the B1 level language exam can not be obtained and presented until the COMPS there is a possibility for students to request an extension of this deadline, by submitting a Special Leniency Application  form in the Requests menu in the system addressed to the Rector.


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