The Doctoral Degree

Doctoral students must conform to all of the policies and regulations contained in previous sections of this catalog as well as those contained in the current Doctoral Student Handbook.  Students should also consult their individual departments for additional information. In order to be awarded the Doctorate in the program to which they have been admitted, students must complete all requirements which are specified in the subsequent curriculum section of this catalog. Doctoral students also are expected to complete each stage of the program as described in the following:

First Year Portfolio (Competency) Requirement:

The initial admission to any of the doctoral programs - International & Multicultural Education, Learning & Instruction, Organization & Leadership, and Catholic Educational Leadership - is a preliminary decision. Students develop a portfolio during their first year in order to demonstrate competence in research methodology and department specific content. During this period, students work closely with department faculty in the preparation of their portfolios. Check with the department Program Assistant for specific requirements.

Qualifying Presentation

Some doctoral programs in the School of Education require successful completion of a qualifying presentation. Information may be obtained from the program faculty advisor.

General Education Requirements

All Doctoral Students must complete four General Education courses for a total of twelve credits. 

The following 6 credits are required of all students:

  • GEDU 708 Research Methods of Education
  • GEDU 706 Applied Educational Statistics

One of the following Educational Foundation courses (for a total of 3 credits):

  • GEDU 700 Philosophical Foundations of Education
  • GEDU 701 Anthropology of Education
  • GEDU 702 Sociology of Education
  • GEDU 704 Psychological Foundations of Education
  • GEDU 705 Law and Education
  • GEDU 720 Technology and Education

One of the following Advanced Research Design courses (for a total of 3 credits):

  • GEDU 707 Advanced Statistics
  • GEDU 710 Analysis of Variance Designs
  • GEDU 711 Survey Research
  • GEDU 712 Qualitative Research in Education
  • GEDU 713 Content Analysis
  • GEDU 714 Educational & Psychological Measurement
  • GEDU 715 Anthropological Research in Education
  • GEDU 716 Program Evaluation
  • GEDU 718 Ethnicity and Multicultural Issues in Research
  • GEDU 721 Correlational Designs
  • GEDU 722 Meta-analysis
  • GEDU 723 Participatory Research
  • GEDU 724 Introduction to SPSS

Overall Description of the Dissertation

The doctoral dissertation is a piece of original, independent research in an area of educational significance. It reflects the candidate's knowledge and understanding of the related literature and of the research methodology appropriate to the investigation. The dissertation in the form of an organized and competently written study should represent a contribution to the knowledge base in the candidate's field or area of specialization.

Formation of a Dissertation Committee

A doctoral dissertation committee includes a chairperson and two additional members of the faculty who are qualified in either or both the substantive area of the student's research topic and the design and procedures of the student's research method. The dissertation committee guides the student's development of a research topic and reviews and evaluates the dissertation proposal and the dissertation. Doctoral students are required to file an Application for Appointment of a Doctoral Dissertation Committee during or upon completion of Dissertation Proposal Seminar 709 or 729. Approval of the dissertation committee is required prior to enrollment in 790, Dissertation Proposal Development.

Dissertation Proposal

Before beginning the research of a doctoral dissertation, students must submit a dissertation proposal to the dissertation committee. The proposal should describe the problem to be investigated, the methodology/design to be used, instrumentation, the proposed plan of data collected and analysis, a theoretical rationale, a review of the literature, the probable contribution the dissertation would make to the field, and procedures for the protection of human subjects when appropriate. Students should submit an application to the IRBPHS for the research design and methods prior to the defense. The proposal must be approved by the dissertation committee (during an oral dissertation proposal defense) while enrolled in 790, Proposal Development, and submitted for approval to the Associate Dean of the School.

Advancement to Candidacy

After a student completes a minimum of 51 credits, passes any qualifying presentation required by the program, submits a dissertation proposal approved by the dissertation committee, and receives approval from the IRBPHS, he/she is ready to apply for advancement to candidacy. This application helps to verify that, upon successful completion of all required courses and the submission of an approved doctoral dissertation, the student has satisfied all requirements and is eligible for the Ed.D. degree. The student will need the signature of the chair of the dissertation committee before submitting the application to the Dean's Office.

The Advancement to Candidacy Form is submitted at the same time as the approved proposal. The student will receive written notice from the Associate Dean when advanced to candidacy. Advancement to Candidacy is necessary prior to enrolling in 791, Dissertation Research and Writing.

Final Dissertation

A dissertation developed from a proposal must demonstrate mastery of an area of specialization and the ability to investigate a problem in an analytic, creative, and scholarly way. The final work must be submitted to and approved by the student's Dissertation Committee (during the oral defense) while enrolled in 791, Dissertation Research and Writing. Guidelines are published in the Doctoral Student Handbook and the Final Procedures Packet.