Doctoral Steps

1. Course Work
2. Research Tools Courses

Candidates for the doctoral degree must possess proficiency in the use of the research skills necessary to successfully complete the doctoral dissertation.  It is desirable for students to demonstrate these proficiencies early in their program; however, students must demonstrate such proficiency prior to taking the qualifying examinations.

a. Research tool requirements for the Doctor of Education (EdD) and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in the College of Education can be met by successfully completing four courses with a grade of B or better.

3. Work on Residency Requirements

4. Qualifying Examinations

5. Admission to Candidacy
After the qualifying examinations have been satisfactorily completed, doctoral residency requirements are completed, and all requirements have been verified by The Graduate School, the student will be admitted to candidacy.

Notification of admission to candidacy will be made by the Dean for Graduate Studies and Research.  After a student has been admitted to candidacy and all coursework (except 718 Dissertation) has been completed, the student may qualify for reduced tuition.  Verification should be made at the Registrar’s Office.  The degree can be conferred no sooner than eight months after admission to candidacy.

6. Dissertation
A candidate must present a dissertation which is acceptable to the student’s advisory committee and the Dean for Graduate Studies and Research. To be acceptable, the dissertation must give evidence that the candidate has pursued a program of research, the results of which reveal superior academic competence and a significant contribution to knowledge.

a. Advisory committee - The committee will, consist of a minimum of three faculty members from the student’s major and minor areas of study within the department, and at least one committee member must be from outside the Curriculum and Instruction department.

b. Proposal - The student should secure from The Graduate School the following forms: (1) Dissertation Proposal (including human subjects policy information) and (2) Schedule for the Presentation of the Dissertation Proposal. The student will work with the members of the advisory committee in developing the dissertation proposal. That proposal will be presented to the advisory committee and a Graduate Council representative in a session that will be open to all graduate faculty members. The Dean for Graduate Studies and Research must be informed of this session by the 20th of the month prior to the month the session is scheduled. The Dissertation Proposal form must be presented to the Dean for Graduate Studies and Research and approved at least one semester prior to graduation.

c. Human Subjects Protection - In preparing your dissertation proposal you should be aware that any research which involves human subjects must be in compliance with University Rule 15.99.01.R1 Human Subjects Protection. If your research involves human subjects you must have written approval from your major advisor, from the department, and from the University Human Subjects Committee prior to contacting your research subjects. Failure to gain appropriate approval before interacting with research subjects could result in denial of your proposal and have possible legal ramifications for you.

d. Dissertation Credit - After admission to candidacy, the student is required to enroll in at least three hours of 718 each fall and spring semester until the dissertation is completed and approved by the advisory committee and The Graduate School. Enrollment during the summer term is not required unless the student is using the counsel of the major advisor and/or University facilities. Students who fail to enroll for dissertation during a fall or spring semester after admission to candidacy will be prohibited from enrolling until the tuition has been paid for those semesters.

e. Scheduling the Final Examination/Dissertation Defense - The form, Schedule for the Final Examination/Dissertation Defense, must be filed in The Graduate School by the 20th of the month prior to the month the examination is to be held. The Final Examination/Defense Report will then be forwarded to the committee chairperson for recording the results.

f.  Final Examination/Dissertation Defense - The student will defend the completed dissertation and respond to any questions related to his/her program of study before the advisory committee in a session open to all graduate faculty members. A Graduate Council representative will attend the examination to help assure that general graduate standards related to format and quality are upheld. Students must be in good academic standing with The Graduate School to be eligible to take the final examination.

g. Submission of Dissertation - Registration in the dissertation course (718) is required the semester that the dissertation is submitted. Follow the guidelines found at the Graduate School Webpage.

7. Filing for Graduation
The candidate must file for graduation in the Registrar’s Office by the deadline indicated in the schedule of classes or the Graduate Catalog for that particular semester. This happens very early in the semester (within the first two weeks).

Content provided by Dr. David Brown and Dr. Jennifer Sennette