Why write a synthesis essay?

The university requires that there be a comprehensive examination—written, oral, or both—for all graduate degrees. In the past, this might have been a one-day sit down examination or a two-week take home examination. The good news is that your portfolio and the “exhibition” of your portfolio collectively meet the university requirement. We think your capstone portfolio is both meaningful and comprehensive, and we want graduates of our program to showcase their accomplishments. Administratively, the synthesis essay plays an especially important role, as it is read carefully and kept on file as evidence of your having met the comprehensive examination. So you should view this essay as presenting a comprehensive look at what you have accomplished and learned in the master’s program as well as being a part of your Web portfolio that is useful to you beyond the master’s program.