Doctoral Examination and Dissertation

Doctoral Examination

 A doctoral examination is required as the student nears completion of coursework in the doctoral program. The examination is designed to ensure that the student has a firm foundation of the knowledge required for successful completion of the program. Successful completion of the doctoral examination attests to the student’s ability to undertake independent research and marks the student’s Advancement to Candidacy. Advancement to Candidacy is required before the student may defend a dissertation proposal.


The capstone experience of the Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction is the writing of a dissertation. Once a doctoral student has been Advanced to Candidacy, he or she can begin the process of having a doctoral proposal approved. Students are advised to consider possible dissertation topics and conduct preliminary literature reviews as early in the program as possible. It is to the student’s advantage to have a dissertation topic in mind by the time the student is Advanced to Candidacy.

Once the proposal is approved and all other approvals have been granted (for example, from the site where the data will be gathered, from the participants in the study, from UHCL’s Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects, etc.), the student can begin the actual study. Students should allow at least one year for the completion of a dissertation.

It is important for the student to work with his or her faculty advisor to create the best possible dissertation committee. The student and the dissertation committee work together to develop the dissertation. When the dissertation is completed and with the approval of the dissertation chair, an oral defense of the dissertation will be scheduled for the student with the dissertation committee. Completion of the dissertation requirement will occur when the dissertation is approved by the dissertation committee and copies have been submitted to the university.

A student must enroll for a minimum of six hours of dissertation credit to fulfill degree requirements. A student also must continuously enroll in a minimum of three hours of dissertation credit from the semester in which the dissertation proposal is approved through the semester in which the student graduates.

Dissertation Forms for EDCI Doctoral Students


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