Doctor of Education
The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree is awarded in recognition of the completion of academic preparation for professional practice in school teaching fields and in fields preparing school service personnel.
Students should refer to the section of this catalog titled “Departmental Programs” for additional admission, degree, examination, and course requirements unique to each department.
The Ed.D. degree requires the completion of a program of 90 semester credits of graduate work beyond the bachelor's degree, including acceptable master's degree work (30 maximum credits), and the submission of an acceptable dissertation.
Students should contact the program for current residency requirements.
Candidates for the Ed.D. degree may have to demonstrate competence in scholarly tools required for the study and research in the discipline. Each department offering the Ed.D. degree has specified the nature of these tools. See the Departmental Programs section for more information. This requirement must be completed before the student is permitted to take the comprehensive examination for the degree or become a candidate for the degree.
All students seeking a Doctor of Education degree must take a written comprehensive examination after a substantial portion of the coursework has been completed. At the option of the department, an oral examination may also be given. The content of the examination will be determined by the Graduate Faculty of the departments concerned, and the examination will be given at times announced by the departments. The examination must be extensive and searching and cover in depth the field or fields of knowledge in which the degree is taken. This examination must be completed before advancement to candidacy for the degree but cannot be undertaken until the scholarly tool requirements have been completed. Comprehensive examinations which are failed may be repeated only with prior approval of the advisory committee, the department, and the dean, but in no event earlier than at the next regularly scheduled offering.
Students should work with their advisor to apply for permission to take the comprehensive examination following the processes set by the department. The student may no take the examination until such certification has been provided.
Once the exams are complete, the advisor will submit the results to the School of Graduate Studies using the Doctoral Comprehensive Exam form. Exam results must be submitted before advancement to candidacy.
Candidacy for the Degree
Advancement to candidacy is granted only after the completion of specified academic requirements and upon the recommendation of the Faculty Advisory Committee. Candidates for a doctoral degree will not be allowed to graduate in the same semester or summer session in which they become a candidate for the degree.
Students in Approved status may be advanced to candidacy when the following requirements have been fulfilled:
- A Faculty Advisory Committee has been appointed. A minimum of four members are required, and some departments may require additional members. Three of the committee members represent the major and any minor areas of study. The fourth member is the Member-at-Large. The chairperson of the Committee, who serves as the student’s major and dissertation advisor, must be a Full member of the Graduate Faculty. An associate member may chair a doctoral student’s faculty advisory committee and direct the dissertation research if approved by the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies; a mentor will be appointed. Until the appointment of the committee, the department chairperson, or designate, acts as the student’s temporary advisor, who is appointed upon admission to the program. Teaching and Learning has four-member Faculty Advisory Committees.
- A Program of Study, outlining the requirements for the degree as developed by the student and the Committee, has been approved by the student, the committee, and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. The “Program of Study” form should be approved no later than the beginning of the second semester of study.
- A substantial portion of the coursework for the degree has been completed with a GPA of no less than 3.00 for all work attempted.
- The comprehensive examination has been successfully completed.
- The “Topic Proposal” form of your dissertation research has been approved by your committee and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. Before the proposal can be approved by the Dean, you must have an approved Program of Study, and IRB approval, if needed.
When all the above requirements have been met, the student will be advanced to candidacy.
Each candidate for the Doctor of Education degree must submit a dissertation to the School of Graduate Studies in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree. The dissertation is prepared with the guidance and advice of the student’s faculty advisor.
The topic for the dissertation must be approved in advance by the student’s Faculty Advisory Committee and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. Approval is effected by the student completing the Topic Proposal form, available on the School of Graduate Studies website, then submitting the proposal to the committee for approval. The proposal should be approved no later than the semester before the degree is expected, but it must be approved before advancement to candidacy. Proposals requiring IRB submission and approval must be submitted before any substantial research is completed to ensure compliance in data collection.
A dissertation is prepared with the guidance and advice of the student’s faculty advisor and the Committee. The student and his/her committee are jointly responsibly for seeing to it that the thesis or dissertation follows a correct form of scholarly style and usage. The student can follow the guides outlined in the Style Guide available on the School of Graduate Studies website or may follow the style specified by their committee or department as long as the style is consistent throughout the paper.
The draft of the dissertation should be presented to the Faculty Advisory Committee sufficiently in advance of the Preliminary Approval deadline so that a thorough evaluation may be effected by the entire committee. The committee must be able to read the draft, suggest corrections and changes, and the student must be able to make the corrections, all in time for the committee to indicate its approval of the draft by signing a form titled Preliminary Approval of Dissertation. Once a student has received signed preliminary approval and has made all of the corrections from their committee, the student must submit the Preliminary Approval and Notice of Defense form in the School of Graduate Studies by the deadline specified in the academic calendar (usually four weeks prior to commencement). Unless this deadline is met, the student will not be permitted to graduate at the upcoming graduation. The Preliminary Approval assures the student that no major changes will be required in the final copy of the dissertation.
Submission of Final Dissertation
Copies of the dissertation in its final form must be presented to the Faculty Advisory Committee in time that they may thoroughly read the dissertation prior to the final examination. When the final version of the dissertation has been approved by the committee, it must be submitted electronically to ProQuest for publication in time to receive the approval of the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies by the deadline specified in the Academic Calendar (usually two weeks prior to graduation). Students should ask their advisor if any additional copies of the completed dissertation need to be submitted to the department. The final copy of the dissertation will be printed and bound by ProQuest and cataloged in the University Library.
Final Examination/Dissertation Defense
The final examination must be scheduled two weeks in advance of the scheduled date by the committee through the School of Graduate Studies and must be completed and the results reported by the deadline specified in the Academic Calendar.
The student’s academic advisor must complete the “Notice of Defense” form and secure the necessary signatures. The Preliminary Approval and Notice of Defense along must be received at the School of Graduate Studies no later than two weeks in advance of the defense. The candidate and committee members must be present at the defense.
The final examination is conducted by the candidate’s full Faculty Advisory Committee in the presence of the dean of the School of Graduate Studies and such other members of the Graduate Faculty as elect to attend. The final examination will include an oral examination but also may include written portions. The examination will cover the dissertation but need not be limited thereto. Committee members must have had adequate opportunity to examine the final copy prior to the examination, and will indicate their approval by signing the Approval Page of the dissertation and the Final Report on Candidate. Final examinations which are failed may be repeated only with the prior approval of the advisory committee and the dean.
What is included in the defense varies from department to department. Some departments have students present their dissertation research in a presentation with a question/answer period following. Your advisor should be able to help you prepare. Your examination will be conducted by your Faculty Advisory Committee. It is also open to the other members of the Graduate Faculty and the academic community.
A student may only repeat a failed examination with the consent of her/his committee and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies. The results of the defense must be certified by the committee on a form titled “Final Report on Candidate” by the deadline specified on the Academic Calendar.
A student may pass the Doctoral comprehensive and/or Final Examination with one dissenting vote. The dissenter must submit a written report on his/her decision to the School of Graduate Studies. Three signatures will be accepted on the final copy of the dissertation.
Ed.D. candidates will be required to complete a National Research Council demographic survey form and submit their dissertation with ProQuest before graduation.