- Getting Started in Your Doctoral Program
- Advisory and Research Committee
- Electronic Plan of Studies (e-POS)
- 60 Hour Program
- 90 Hour Program
- Shared Policies for 60 and 90 Hour Programs
- Guidelines for Maintaining Doctoral Progress
- Nomination to Candidacy
- Maintaining Active Status
- Dissertation Proposal
- Use of Human Participants
- Completing Your Doctoral Program
Getting Started in Your Doctoral Program
During the first semester each doctoral student will be advised by the program head or Department Chair, or will be assigned a temporary faculty advisor. Before the end of the third semester in the program, each student must submit an electronic Plan of Studies (e-POS).
Advisory and Research Committee
The advisory and research committee consists of at least three Graduate Faculty members, at least two of whom must be endorsed. At least two committee members must be from the major area of study. The Committee Chair, who is the student's primary advisor, must be an endorsed Graduate Faculty member in the major area of study. If a student has a minor, a faculty member representing the minor should be part of the committee, for interdisciplinary minors, the minor representative should be from outside the program. However the minor member can be waived if approved by the minor department and the Office of Graduate Studies. Additional exceptions regarding the committee composition may be approved by the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.
After admission to candidacy, the student’s Committee has the responsibility to guide the student through the dissertation process and to conduct the final oral defense. At this stage, the committee typically remains intact, but students may reconstitute their committee if they wish, to ensure the committee has the expertise necessary to guide the dissertation. Ultimately, the choice of a Committee Chair involves a combination of personal compatibility and compatibility of the research interests of the student and the Chair. The student and the Committee Chair typically confer regarding the selection of other committee members. For the post-candidacy stage, it is possible to include a committee member who is not an Indiana University faculty member, such as a faculty member at another university. The outside Indiana University member is in addition to the three required IU committee members. To receive approval for such an addition, the outside Indiana University member must have special expertise not available among Indiana University faculty, either in the substantive area of the study or in the research methodology.
Electronic Plan of Studies (e-POS)
The e-POS is a coursework plan to fulfill program requirements. These requirements fall into several component categories. The student and the Committee Chair are responsible for planning and creating the e-POS. The e-POS must then be approved by the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. If any courses listed on the e-POS were not taken at Indiana University, a Request for Transfer of Graduate Credit must be submitted concurrently for approval. An e-POS should be submitted within one year of matriculation. Failure to do so can result in a hold on enrollment.
60 Hour Program
For the 60 credit hour program, a master's degree is a prerequisite for admission. Master's coursework may not be counted toward the 60 required credit hours, but graduate coursework beyond the master's degree may be, as long as it meets requirements. In this program, 42 credit hours must be taken on the campus where the degree is awarded. At present, the 60 credit hour program is only available in Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Leadership, Higher Education, Instructional Systems Technology and Literacy, Culture, and Language Education.
The major must consist of a minimum of 27 credit hours, of which 3 credit hours are to be in an inquiry linkage course. Courses from related areas of study may be included in the major component if their relevance to the major can be demonstrated and committee approval can be secured. Early inquiry experience courses may be required by the program.
Inquiry Core courses are to lay a rudimentary methodological foundation for applied inquiry courses in the major, and for dissertation research. This component requires a minimum of 9 credit hours of inquiry core coursework. The Inquiry Core includes a survey course in research methodologies (e.g., Y520) and beginning courses in statistics, measurement, program evaluation, or in ethnographic, qualitative, quantitative, and historical research methods. A list of approved Inquiry Core courses is available at the School of Education Graduate Student Portal website. Substitutions or transfer courses for this section must be approved by a member of the Inquiry Methodology faculty as well as your Committee Chair.
Programs require up to 15 credit hours of additional coursework to reach a total of 51 pre-dissertation hours. Students should see program-specific requirements in the Bulletin. If a program requires a minor, it will consist of a minimum of 9 credit hours of coursework taken in an area of studies outside of the major. The minor must complement the major and have integrity in its own right. The committee member representing the minor field must approve the selection of courses in the minor area. 9-hour Ed.D. minors are listed in the School of Education Bulletin. Any minor not listed with a 9-hour version in the School of Education Bulletin must be submitted as an individualized minor. Ed.D. minors not officially listed in the School of Education Bulletin will show as individualized on the transcript.
The dissertation requires 3 credit hours of 795 and 6 credit hours of 799. The focus of the dissertation is on data collection and analysis for the purpose of answering practical questions and developing possible solutions in the field. Descriptive research, program evaluation, needs assessment, case study, campus audit, and survey research are examples of the kinds of research studies expected.
90 Hour Program
For the 90 credit hour program, credit hours earned in master's or specialist degree programs may be included in the doctoral program as long as they are relevant to the student's doctoral areas of focus. 60 credit hours (including 12 dissertation credit hours) in the 90 credit hour program must be taken at Indiana University.
Electronic Plan of Studies (e-POS) Components
A major consisting of a minimum of 36 credit hours of coursework in the selected field of specialization is required. Courses from related areas of study may be included in the major component if their relevance to the major can be demonstrated and committee approval can be secured.
In addition to the inquiry core coursework, 6 credit hours of inquiry coursework are required in the major. One of these inquiry courses must be an early inquiry experience, during which a student carries out a research project, including the collection and analysis of data to answer a research question, and the writing of a research manuscript. This research is to be prior to the dissertation and not a direct part of the dissertation research. The early inquiry experience may be implemented through an independent study course (e.g., a 590 course), through a master's thesis (e.g. 599 course), or through a departmental research seminar. Each student must carry out an independent research project. The research manuscript that results from this study must be read and approved by the student's committee.
The second of the two major area inquiry courses is an inquiry linkage course. This is a course in which research relevant to the major field of specialization is studied. Such study, however, focuses more on the research design and methodology of research in the major area than on the findings of the research. Analyzing and critiquing the research methodology are of primary importance in this experience. Each department has a research seminar or a specialized research methodology course for this purpose. The inquiry core courses normally should be completed prior to taking inquiry courses in the major.
Inquiry Core courses are to lay a rudimentary methodological foundation for applied inquiry courses in the major, and for dissertation research. This component requires a minimum of 9 credit hours, however many doctoral programs in the school require 12 or 15 credit hours of Inquiry Core coursework. The Inquiry Core includes a survey course in research methodologies (e.g. Y520) and beginning courses in statistics, measurement, program evaluation, or in ethnographic, qualitative, quantitative, and historical research methods. A list of approved Inquiry Core courses is available at the School of Education Graduate Student Portal website. Substitutions or transfer courses for this section must be approved by a member of the Inquiry Methodology faculty as well as your Committee Chair. Inquiry Core courses may be used toward the doctoral program requirement of 15 credit hours outside of the major program area.
Programs require up to 30 credit hours of additional coursework to reach a total of 75 pre-dissertation credit hours. Students should see program-specific requirements in the Bulletin. If a program requires a minor, it will consist of a minimum of 12 credit hours of coursework taken in an area of studies outside of the major. The minor must complement the major and have integrity in its own right. The committee member representing the minor field must approve the selection of courses in the minor area. Students may minor in any area of study inside or outside of the School of Education that is listed in the University Graduate School Bulletin. An interdisciplinary or individualized minor is also possible.
The dissertation requires 3 credit hours of 795 and 12 credit hours of 799. The focus of the dissertation is on data collection and analysis for the purpose of answering practical questions and developing possible solutions in the field. Descriptive research, program evaluation, needs assessment, case study, campus audit, and survey research are examples of the kinds of research studies expected.
Shared Policies for 60 and 90 Hour Programs
Workshop courses are intended primarily as a mechanism for the professional development of teachers and other education professionals. The topics covered and the skills learned in workshop courses are generally of a very applied nature, with the intent of giving participants hands-on experience with models and techniques directly useful in school settings. Workshop courses are typically scheduled to meet on a very concentrated schedule (e.g., for one or a few continuous days, sometimes all day) and have little or no time between class sessions for studying or for out-of-class assignments. They may or may not generate credit hours. Workshop courses awarding credit require a minimum of 700 contact minutes per credit hour and require readings and papers or projects for each credit hour earned. (Papers are sometimes scheduled with a due date after the end of the workshop period.)
Up to 9 hours of credit gained through workshop courses (including conference and institute courses) may be used in Ed.D. programs.
The purpose of residency in graduate programs is for students to become closely involved in the academic life of their program and of the university; to become immersed in their graduate study for a substantial period of time; and to develop a relationship of scholarly and professional collegiality with faculty and fellow students. To this end, it is advantageous for students in graduate programs, especially those in doctoral programs, to be deeply engaged for a significant period. Ed.D. students are expected not only to take courses, but to participate in other aspects of the intellectual life of their discipline and of the university community. Each program offers opportunities for involvement, such as presentations, colloquia, and conferences in which students are invited to participate in discussions about both theoretical and practical issues in their discipline. Students should follow their program-specific residency requirements.
Students in Residential Programs Taking Online Courses
Students in residential programs may take online courses, but on campus courses must account for at least half of their coursework. Online courses do not count towards the residency requirement. Information on tuition and fees can be found on the Bursar website.
Students in Online Programs Taking Courses on Campus
Students in online programs are allowed to take on campus courses. However, students doing this can be subject to not only higher tuition rates but also additional on campus fees. Information on tuition and fees can be found on the Bursar website.
Some graduate coursework completed at other universities may be transferred into degree programs at Indiana University. All coursework transferred must be from an accredited college or university. No transfer credit will be given for a course with a grade lower than a B. Courses graded P (Pass) may not ordinarily be transferred into education graduate programs. Courses graded S (Satisfactory) may be transferred only if a letter is received from the course instructor stating that the student's performance in the course was at or above a grade of B.
All transferred courses must be relevant to the student's e-POS. They must be approved by a program advisor and by the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. An official final transcript reflecting the courses to be transferred is required. A course description or syllabus may also be required in order to judge the appropriateness of coursework.
Students may transfer no more than 30 credit hours into an Indiana University 90-hour doctoral program. No more than 18 credit hours may be transferred into a 60-hour doctoral program. The form required for students to transfer courses is available at the School of Education Graduate Student Portal.
Students in a doctoral program may declare a double major. A double major requires students to take all of the required coursework in both majors. No minor is required, and some required courses outside of the major proper may be double-counted (i.e., research courses— including inquiry linkage courses and foundations courses). Please note that the credit hours will not be double-counted. Students must be admitted to each program in which they are intending to major. Double majoring students must include two representatives from each major on their advisory and research committee, and they must take qualifying examinations in both major areas. Only one dissertation is required.
Guidelines for Maintaining Doctoral Progress
In order to be eligible to take the qualifying examinations a student must have:
- been admitted unconditionally to the doctoral program;
- an appointed doctoral advisory committee and an-POS that has been approved by the Graduate Studies Office;
- completed all or nearly all doctoral coursework, with no more than 6 credit hours graded as incomplete; and
- completed the early inquiry requirement for that doctoral major program.
Prior to beginning a doctoral dissertation, students in the School of Education must pass a qualifying examination in the major area, or areas (for a double major) of study. This examination process is intended to determine if a student is qualified to begin work on a doctoral dissertation.
A minor area qualifying examination may also be required for minors outside the School of Education.
Departments and programs determine the specific form of qualifying examination their students will take and establish the times at which examinations will be administered. Students need to file an application with their major and minor departments in the School of Education to take their qualifying examinations. Such application forms are available in departmental offices.
All qualifying examinations contain written and oral components. The written component will take one of three forms:
A proctored examination: The major area examination is administered in the School of Education in two four-hour sessions on consecutive days. The minor area examination is administered in a four-hour session on a third day. The major and minor examinations may be taken in the same semester or in different semesters.
A take-home examination: Students completing a take-home examination in either their major or minor area should contact the appropriate program or department for examination requirements.
Portfolio: Students work with their doctoral advisory committee to determine the contents of the portfolio and a timeline for its completion. Students taking this form of examination should see their advisors regarding specific requirements for preparation of their portfolios.
Students are not required to register for the semester they are taking qualifying exams. However, continual enrollment is required every fall and spring the semester after passing the qualifying exam until graduation. Summer enrollment is only required if the student is graduating in the summer.
After all portions of the written component of the qualifying examinations are taken, an oral examination must be held. The primary purpose of this examination is for the advisory committee to review the answers to the written qualifying examination questions, to request elaboration or clarification to questions that were poorly or incompletely answered, and to quiz the student in-depth over any or all of the examination material.
Students with a double-major must take qualifying examinations in both major areas.
Retaking the Exam
Students who fail some or all portions of the qualifying examinations may be allowed to retake these portions. This decision is made by the student's advisory committee and the Department Chair, and is based on the student's overall program performance and the extent of the deficits on the qualifying examinations. Only ONE retake of the qualifying examinations is allowed.
The date of passing the oral qualifying examination is a critical date. All coursework must be completed within seven years (prior and post) of the examination date. If coursework has been completed more than seven years prior to the examination date, course revalidation is required.
The dissertation must also be completed within seven years of passing the final component of the qualifying examination. After this time, doctoral candidacy is terminated for students who have not completed the dissertation. Such students may apply for readmission, but will be subject to the current admission criteria. If readmitted, students must retake the current qualifying examinations and fulfill other conditions imposed by the department in order to establish currency (such as taking or auditing selected courses). If the qualifying examinations are passed and the other conditions are met, these students are readmitted to candidacy. They have three years from the passing of second qualifying exam date to complete and submit a dissertation.
Revalidation is a process whereby a student demonstrates current knowledge of course material that was not taken within seven years of passing the oral qualifying examination.
Several methods of revalidating old courses are available:
- Passing an examination specifically covering the material taught in the course (such as a course final examination).
- Passing a more advanced course in the same subject area, taken more recently (within the seven years).
- Passing a comprehensive examination (e.g., a doctoral qualifying examination) in which the student demonstrates substantial knowledge of the content of the course.
- Teaching a comparable course.
- Publishing scholarly research that demonstrates substantial knowledge of the course content and understanding of fundamental principles taught in the course.
- Presenting evidence of extensive professional experience that requires the application of material taught in the course.
Forms for course revalidation are available on the School of Education’s Graduate Student Portal. Courses must be revalidated individually (only one course per form). A Curriculum Vitae is required when revalidating coursework through professional experience, publications, and teaching.
The revalidation evidence for each must be assessed by an Indiana University faculty member who teaches the course being revalidated. The revalidating faculty member must be personally convinced, based upon present evidence, that the student has current mastery of basic course concepts and principles.
If the course instructor is not available, a faculty member in the same program specialization area may be substituted. Permission to use a part-time faculty member or a faculty member at another university for course revalidation must be secured from the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.
Departments have the right to limit the amount of old coursework to be included in graduate programs.
Transfer credit must be transferred before it can be revalidated.
Nomination to Candidacy
It is the responsibility of the advisory committee, either before or during the oral examination, to review all aspects of the student's doctoral program work, to assess the student's development as a scholar and a professional educator, and, if appropriate, to discuss topics for dissertation research and career goals. Thus, the committee is expected to assess the student's progress in the doctoral program, inventory the work remaining, plan program requirements to ensure a good fit to career goals, and offer advice, criticism, and encouragement.
Examination of all major scholarly works produced by the student during their program is also the responsibility of the advisory committee under the guidance of the committee chair. These works include the research manuscript that resulted from the early inquiry experience study, papers presented at conferences or published, and scholarly works produced in courses taught throughout the program. These may include literature reviews, position papers, curriculum development projects, program evaluation studies, measurement instrument construction studies, needs assessments, library research studies, and data-based research.
When the advisory committee is satisfied with the student's performance in the written and oral qualifying examinations and with the student's overall progress in the doctoral program, the student can be nominated to candidacy.
All non-dissertation coursework must be completed and graded at this time.
Students must submit a Nomination to Candidacy form, which may be found on the School of Education’s Graduate Student Portal.
Admission to candidacy is approved by the Graduate Studies Office after the student has an approved e-POS, completed all required non-dissertation coursework, and submitted a Nomination to Candidacy form.
Maintaining Active Status
After passing qualifying examinations, doctoral students must register for at least 1 credit hour each semester (not including summer session) in order to maintain active student status. This is ordinarily done by enrolling in 1 or more credit hours of dissertation credit (799). After 90 credit hours of program coursework have been taken and students have been admitted to candidacy (i.e., all but the dissertation hours have been completed and qualifying examinations have been passed), students may enroll in G901 Advanced Research in order to maintain active status. G901 is a 6 credit hour course and is an inexpensive way for students to maintain continual enrollment. However, enrollment in G901 is limited to 6 semesters. Permission from the Graduate Studies Office is required to enroll in G901. The G901 request form can be found on the Graduate Student Portal.
Off campus sections of 799 may be available for doctoral students who reside more than 25 miles from the Bloomington campus. Permission should be requested through the department.
Students who fail to register each semester after passing qualifying examinations must back-enroll for all semesters missed, in order to graduate.
After candidacy students are required to submit a dissertation proposal, a document that is considerably more detailed than the prospectus/summary. The proposal should contain the following elements: a statement of purpose, rationale, literature review, research questions, proposed procedures, the source of data, methods of data collection, methods of data analysis or data reduction, and the contribution of the study to theory and/or to practice. Frequently, students are advised by their advisory and research committee to write a draft of the first three chapters of the dissertation (purpose and rationale, literature review, and method) as their research proposal.
A meeting of the advisory and research committee must be held to discuss and approve the dissertation proposal. A dissertation proposal approval form is available on the Graduate Student Portal. When committee approval has been secured, the form must be submitted to the department who will file it with the Graduate Studies Office. This form must be submitted to the Graduate Studies Office before a defense announcement will be approved.
Use of Human Participants
If the proposed research includes the use of human participants or accessing archival data that includes identifiable information of human beings, the School of Education requires verification of review from the Institutional Review Board. A copy of the Institutional Review Board approval must be submitted with the Dissertation Proposal Approval Form after the dissertation proposal meeting.
If the proposed research does not involve the use of human participants or accessing archival data that includes identifiable information of human beings, the School of Education requires verification from the dissertation advisor that Institutional Review Board review is not required (by checking the appropriate box on the Dissertation Proposal Approval Form). Note that human research proposals applicable under the exempt category of IRB review still require IRB approval.
Completing Your Doctoral Program
The Ed.D. Dissertation Guide can be found on the Graduate Student Portal. This guide contains detailed instructions for the preparation and submission of the dissertation manuscript.
A Dissertation Defense is scheduled at the completion of the dissertation research, after the dissertation manuscript is complete, allowing the student to defend the dissertation research. Committee members must receive a copy of the dissertation manuscript two weeks prior to the final Defense.
A Defense Announcement must be submitted to the Graduate Recorder in the Graduate Studies Office one month prior to the examination. Formatting instructions are located in the Ed.D. Dissertation Guide.
Following acceptance by the advisory and research committee, the dissertation is submitted to the Graduate Studies Office. Students are expected to submit the final version of the dissertation within six months of the defense date to maintain sufficient academic progress.
Ed.D degrees are awarded monthly. An online Application for Graduation must be submitted to the Graduate Studies Office at least one month prior to the degree conferral date. In order for a name to be listed in the Commencement program, students must apply much earlier. The Graduate Studies Office will send out an e-mail and post these specific dates each semester. Generally, applications must be submitted by the timeframes listed below, however exact dates are subject to change year to year.
Late September for December Commencement
Late February for May Commencement
Failure to apply for graduation by the deadline may result in your degree being denied for that graduation period. The online application to graduate can be found in the Graduate Student Portal.
There are two Commencement ceremonies per year: May and December. May commencement is intended for students graduating January through August, and December commencement for students graduating September through December. Procedures for participating in Commencement may be obtained online at commencement.iu.edu. Information will be mailed by the IU Alumni Association to those who applied on time to graduate.
Additional policies apply. Please refer to the Policies Governing All Graduate Programs section of this bulletin for more information.