Comprehensive Exam & Dissertation

Students in all specializations of the Ed.D. program must complete three post-coursework milestones in order to graduate: 1) oral comprehensive examination, 2) dissertation proposal defense, and 3) dissertation defense. During their final year of coursework, students should make an appointment to discuss post-coursework milestones with their specialization coordinator.


Dissertation Advisory Committee & Comprehensive Examination

All three post-coursework milestones require participation of a committee of 3-4 eligible members called the Dissertation Advisory Committee (DAC). Students may ask faculty to serve as chair or member of a committee in their final year of coursework. The comprehensive exam is held upon completion of all coursework; however, the comprehensive exam may be scheduled in advance of only one course for completion. 

Dissertation Advisory Committee Form

Comprehensive Exam Form (for DAC Chair)

Comprehensive Exam Rubric


Dissertation Proposal

The written dissertation should be a substantial body of work that reflects the topic appropriately. Examples of dissertations are available in the Randall Library.

The Dissertation Advisory Chair will schedule a meeting with the committee members and the student to discuss the format of the proposal and expectations of the defense. The dissertation proposal defense (or referred to as a prospectus) is a formal presentation. Following a successful defense of the proposal, a timeline for completing the dissertation and preparing for the dissertation defense should be generated to help organize the student and committee members.

Dissertation Proposal Defense Form


Dissertation Defense

The student works with the Dissertation Advisory Chair to determine when to schedule the Dissertation Defense. The dissertation defense is scheduled only after the dissertation is in its final draft with few edits remaining to be completed. The dissertation defense is a formal presentation. 

Dissertation Defense Checklist

Dissertation Defense Form