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  The Graduate School of Education 2019-2021 Degree Requirements Doctor of Education Program for Students Entering in or subsequent to Summer 2010 Dissertation  


The Ed.D. culminates with a 15-18 month dissertation experience. The dissertation requires students to identify and investigate a problem of practice systematically using current literature and an inquiry methodology. Students are to write a final report that is presented publicly and may include a conference presentation, journal article or book chapter, or presentation to a local community. Students will have the option of working on their dissertation projects individually or in groups organized around key topics of interest.

Students who have not completed the dissertation after 24 credits of 700-level research, but are actively working toward that goal, will be registered for Matriculation Continued as recommended by the committee chair and approved by the Ed.D. director. All degree candidates must be registered continuously in the Graduate School of Education (GSE) in the manner described under Continuous Registration in the Academic Policies and Procedures chapter of this catalog.

Dissertation Committee

The development of the dissertation is formally monitored at both the proposal stage and the final defense by a dissertation chair who is a member of the GSE faculty and two additional committee members, at least one of whom must be a member of the GSE faculty. All committee members must have a doctorate. The Ed.D. director will match students with committee chairs. Other members of the committee will be approved by the Ed.D. director in consultation with the committee chair and the student. A vita for an outside committee member must be provided and approved by the Ed.D. director.

Subsequent changes in the composition of a doctoral committee require concurrence among the chair of the committee, the Ed.D. director, and the faculty members involved.

Dissertation Proposal

A dissertation proposal provides a plan for completing a dissertation. It sets the goals for the enterprise, links the current work to previous efforts, describes the anticipated advance in knowledge and/or practice, and describes the steps to be taken to reach the goal (including methods to be used to ensure valid, reliable, and unbiased assessment/documentation/ research).

The student must accept responsibility for developing an acceptable dissertation proposal in consultation with his or her committee. An open defense is required before the proposal can be given final approval.

An announcement of the proposal defense, including an electronic copy of a one-page abstract, is to be submitted to the Office of Student and Academic Services at least two weeks prior to the defense date. This abstract will be used to publicize the proposal defense. After the proposal has been successfully defended, two copies of the approved proposal, signed by each committee member, are required to be filled in the Office of Academic Services.


Certain requirements must be adhered to during the preparation of dissertations. Specific regulations, such as those pertaining to format and style, must be followed in order to ensure that the dissertation can be accepted by the school for submission to the candidate's doctoral committee and to the university library for filing. The final date for submission of the dissertation and abstract is posted on the GSE website.

A copy of the final defense draft should be available to the committee at least two weeks prior to the defense date. Upon completion of the oral defense, the student is required to submit an electronic copy of the dissertation, including the abstract, on the RUetd website: The electronic copy must include the names of the candidate's doctoral committee without signatures. Additional materials required for final submission include one paper copy of the abstract, one copy of the signed title page, the receipted payment form, the ProQuest agreement forms, and survey forms. All of the above forms must be submitted to the Office of Student and Academic Services no later than the announced deadlines for completion of degree requirements.

Dissertation Defense

Each student will prepare a dissertation defense. The dissertation defense is conducted with members of the student's dissertation committee, and conducted to provide a thorough and systematic examination of the candidate on the content of the dissertation. Approval of a dissertation requires a unanimous vote of the committee. The chair of the committee reports the result of the examination to the Office of Student and Academic Services. All members of the university community are invited to be present during the oral examination.


After a candidate has been awarded the doctorate, the Graduate School of Education requires that the dissertation be microfilmed. Therefore, the dissertation must be prepared with the same care as if it were to appear in printed form. The abstract, which is to accompany the dissertation and which must not exceed 350 words, will be published in Dissertation Abstracts. It also should be submitted ready for publication. University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, Michigan, will microfilm the dissertation and publish the abstract. Publication by microfilm does not preclude publication by other methods.
For additional information, contact RU-info at 848-445-info (4636) or
Comments and corrections to: Campus Information Services.

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