The Doctor of Education degree program is designed to provide students with advanced professional training and to further develop their abilities in the scholarly study of professional problems. The College of Education offers Doctor of Education degrees in on-campus and online formats.
Upon admission to a Doctor of Education program, each student is assigned an academic advisor. The student and advisor plan a program of study to meet the student’s individual goals and general degree requirements. Departments may require that a copy of the program plan be kept on file.
Graduate students and advisors should be guided by the Graduate College policy on doctoral degree time limits. If a time extension is desired, it may be requested by completing a Graduate Student Petition including an Academic Progress Plan. These petitions are considered and acted upon by the student’s advisor, the department, and the Graduate College. Each individual who has authority to act on the petition may either approve or deny the petition.
All students admitted to a Doctor of Education degree program must fulfill Graduate College requirements for the doctoral degree, departmental requirements, and the following College of Education minimum requirements on the Urbana campus or Urbana off-campus or online courses:
Completion of at least 64 credit hours beyond the master's degree including:
A student who has completed coursework as part of the requirements for the Certificate of Advanced Study in Education at the University of Illinois may petition for the application of not more than 24 hours of such work toward the program leading to the Doctor of Education provided the coursework has been taken within five years of the date of the petition and the Certificate of Advanced Study has not been granted.
The College of Education follows the Graduate College's rules on residence credit. In addition, residence credit for online programs is met by taking 16 hours over 4 consecutive semesters of study.
For students entering a doctoral program already holding a master's degree (Stage II), transfer of credit from outside institutions into this degree is not allowed. This is in accordance with the Graduate College's policy on transfer credit.
The Qualifying Examinations are written comprehensive examinations administered to doctoral students near the completion of their coursework. The examinations are scheduled by the student through the online Qualifying Exam Information Form. Purposes of the qualifying examinations in the College of Education include: assessing the student's breadth in the discipline and depth in areas of interest, and providing an opportunity to explore, make connections, and integrate content in the discipline. The exam will be evaluated by a minimum of three readers. Generally, the readers are the student's advisor and two other faculty members with expertise in the fields being examined from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus.
All Ed.D. students will take a General Field Examination covering the field of study embraced by the home department or program area.
All Ed.D. students will take a Special Field Examination covering an area of specialization proposed by the student with the concurrence of the advisor. The Special Field should be a scholarly specialization more broadly conceived than the anticipated dissertation topic. The advisor will be responsible for developing questions for the Special Field exam, drawing upon the expertise of other faculty when needed.
Formats should be decided well in advance of exam dates. In particular, students should discuss the format of the Special Field Exam with their advisors to arrive at a recommendation that best meets student needs as well as the expectations of the advisor and the Department. The three formats are:
To pass the examination, the student must receive excellent or satisfactory ratings from all faculty readers on each of the General Field and Special Field exams. There are three possible ratings for all sections of the qualifying exams.
If the examination is rated "unsatisfactory" by any member(s) of the committee, the member(s) making that evaluation shall communicate the major deficiencies with the advisor and make a collective decision as to the format and scope of the revised or new examination, if applicable. All faculty readers who rated the first exam "unsatisfactory" will evaluate the revised exam. A satisfactory or excellent rating must be awarded unanimously for the student to pass the revised examination, and should one or more readers judge the second exam unsatisfactory, the readers shall meet to review the student's performance. If extenuating circumstances exist that warrant a third attempt, the advisor may request approval from the department head/chair or designee. Students shall normally be permitted two attempts to pass each of the qualifying examinations.
Students shall receive results within three weeks from the submission of the exam. The department will ensure timeliness of review and communicate results to students and to the advisor.
Faculty have two weeks upon receipt of the qualifying exam to submit their results to the Graduate Student Services Office (GSSO). Shortly thereafter, GSSO will send the results to the student, copying the Director of Graduate Studies and advisor.
The first person a student should consult concerning the qualifying exams is their advisor. If irreconcilable differences arise between the student and advisor concerning scheduling, format, content, or rating procedures, the student should consult the department head/chair or designee. If the problem cannot be resolved, consult the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs. Normal grievance procedures can be used (see Grievance Policy and Procedures section of this handbook). If a student wishes to postpone a scheduled examination, the request should be made through the advisor to the Graduate Student Services Office.
For all dissertations, approval for use of human subjects or confirmation that human subjects review is not required must be obtained from the Institutional Review Board prior to doing research on the dissertation topic. A letter showing approval from the Campus Institutional Review Board (IRB) must be provided to the department contact in the Graduate Student Services Office prior to the scheduling of the preliminary examination. Students should begin the approval process eight weeks prior to the examination.
The preliminary oral examination (prelim) follows successful completion of all required coursework, the residency requirement, the research methods requirement, the qualifying examinations, and human subjects approval. In addition, all incomplete grades must be changed to letter grades prior to the prelim.
The purpose of a prelim is for a student to present the rationale and format for the dissertation. During the examination, an agreement is reached between the student and the committee concerning the proposed dissertation. Thus, the examination is held prior to the collection of data or other major work on the dissertation. The student must be registered in order to take the preliminary oral examination.
Students should begin appointing the committee and scheduling the preliminary examination (prelim) at least four weeks prior to the expected date. The committee must meet the preliminary examination committee requirements of the Graduate College including:
In addition to these requirements, College of Education requirements must be met:
For committee members outside of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a letter of justification and curriculum vitae must be submitted by the chair to the Graduate Student Services Office who will then submit it to the Graduate College for approval. In appointing the committee, the student submits committee member information to the Graduate Student Services Office by completing the Request for Appointment of Committee Form. This form must be submitted at least four weeks before the examination. The Graduate Student Services Office will retrieve the appropriate approvals.
The student must present the dissertation to the prelim committee for reading two weeks before the examination; in some cases, it may be more reasonable to allow three weeks. Failure to do so may result in delaying or canceling the prelim.
Remote participation for the preliminary or final exam is permitted for both on campus and online Doctor of Education students.
For on campus students, the chair, student, and at least one additional voting member of the committee must be physically present for the entire duration of all oral components of the examination. If the committee has more than one chair, all chairs must be physically present; in these cases, no additional voting member is required to be physically present. All voting members of the committee must be present in person or participate via teleconference or other electronic communication media during the examination, deliberation and results determination.
The chair obtains the Preliminary Exam Result (PER) form from the Graduate Student Services Office prior to the examination and returns the form immediately after the examination. All voting members must sign the PER.
Decisions of the prelim committee must be unanimous. The committee may make one of the following decisions:
The result of the examination is communicated to the student and the Graduate Student Services Office as soon as possible at the conclusion of the examination.
Number of Attempts: After a fail result, a student will only be allowed to take the prelim one additional time while working toward the completion of any one program of study.
The prelim must be retaken if the final examination is not passed within five years of the original prelim.
The Graduate College requires that all doctoral students be registered for the entire academic term during which they take the prelim. Additional Information on registration requirements can be found on the Graduate College web site under Requirements and Policies for Doctoral Degree.
The Ed.D. dissertation is intended to demonstrate the student’s ability to relate academic knowledge to the problems of professional practice. The dissertation should be characterized by the kind of synthesis of experiences that is the hallmark of a highly qualified professional. The demonstration of these qualities may take a variety of forms such as: (a) a field study; (b) a scholarly, original paper dealing with the interpretation and evaluation of the work of a particular writer whose findings have a significant bearing on any aspect of the educational enterprise where the significance has not been clearly indicated by earlier studies; or, (c) an analytic report demonstrating the student’s ability to carry a project through from conceptualization to evaluation. (Graduate Faculty Action, February 15, 1973)
The dissertation usually requires a year or more of study. Registration in dissertation research hours for on-campus or in absentia students, after the completion of the required 64 hours beyond the master’s degree, is required. This registration typically comes after the coursework is completed and before the time limits are reached.
The dissertation must be prepared using one of the following commonly accepted editorial styles:
NOTE: LaTex is not an acceptable editorial style. However, this typesetting system can be used in conjunction with one of the above editorial styles.
The student will consult with the advisor and dissertation committee members to choose the style to be used. In exceptional circumstances, style manuals not listed above may be used with prior approval of the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs. In addition, the Thesis & Dissertation policies and procedures issued by the Graduate College must be followed. In the case of explicit differences between the Graduate College instructions and the style manual selected, the Graduate College instructions take precedence. For example, students choosing the APA style manual should follow the Graduate College instructions rather than those included in the APA manual for insertion of tables and figures. Every dissertation in final manuscript form must be reviewed and approved by the dissertation director of research and/or chairperson of the dissertation committee to ensure that the dissertation meets the Graduate College and departmental requirements for deposit.
Abstracts for dissertations in the College of Education must include a synopsis of the following information to describe fully the completed study:
Final examinations are oral and open to the public. The final examination committee chair is responsible for convening the committee, conducting the examination, and submitting the Final Exam Result form to the Graduate Student Services Office.
Students (also known as "candidates" at this stage) should begin appointing the final examination (final) committee and scheduling the final at least four weeks prior to the expected date. The committee must meet the final examination committee requirements of the Graduate College including:
In addition to the Graduate College requirements, College of Education requirements must be met:
For committee members outside of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a letter of justification and curriculum vitae must be submitted by the chair to the Graduate Student Services Office who will then submit it to the Graduate College for approval. In appointing the committee, the candidate submits committee member information to the Graduate Student Services Office by completing the Request for Appointment of Committee Form. This form must be submitted at least four weeks before the examination. The Graduate Student Services Office will retrieve the appropriate approvals.
The final is a public event to be conducted in a room that will accommodate the candidate, the committee, and any attendees. The public may not ask questions or give input during the examination.
The candidate must present the dissertation to the final committee for reading two weeks before the examination; in some cases, it may be more reasonable to allow three weeks.
Remote participation for the preliminary or final exam is permitted for both on campus and online Doctor of Education students.
For on campus students, the chair, candidate, and at least one additional voting member of the committee must be physically present for the entire duration of the examination. If the committee has more than one chair, all chairs must be physically present; in these cases, no additional voting member is required to be physically present. All voting members of the committee must be present in person or participate via teleconference or other electronic communication media during the examination, deliberation and results determination.
The chair obtains the Final Exam Result (FER) and the Thesis/Dissertation Approval (TDA) forms from the Graduate Student Services Office prior to the examination and returns the forms immediately after the examination. All appointed committee members' signatures are required on the forms; signatories must sign for themselves. Committee members have the right to review the final copy of the dissertation before signing. The committee should meet in private before beginning the examination. At the conclusion of the examination, the committee will meet in private to discuss the results and then inform the candidate.
Results: Unanimous decisions are not required. Decisions of the committee for the final are recorded on the FER. The voting members of the committee must make one of two decisions:
Number of Attempts: After a fail result a candidate will only be allowed to take the final one additional time while working toward the completion of any one program of study.
After the passing the final examination, provide the dissertation in final form to the committee chair and visit the Graduate College Thesis & Dissertation web pages for further deposit instructions
All candidates who have successfully defended their dissertation must obtain departmental dissertation format approval prior to final deposit with the Graduate College Thesis Office. Departmental format approval consists of three parts:
Because revisions requested by the chair and dissertation committee may cause a change in pagination or format, students should submit a PDF of the dissertation to the Graduate Student Services Office only after all revisions have been approved by the chair, dissertation committee, and the head/chair of department/program or authorized signatory. The departmental dissertation review process will not begin until prior approvals have been received. Dissertations must be received by the Graduate Student Services Office contact two weeks prior to the Graduate College doctoral dissertation deposit deadline to allow an opportunity for revisions. Late submissions may result in a delay of the student's graduation and degree conferral.
After the departmental format approval, the dissertation is deposited by the student to the Graduate College using the ETD process.