1 Student Handbook The Doctoral Program in Educational Psychology Georgia State University Department of Educational Psychology and Special Education This document has been prepared as an overview for the convenience of the student. It is not intended, nor should it be used, as a substitute for the careful reading of the Graduate Bulletin and other official documents of the College of Education. It is the student s responsibility to know about requirements, which may change, for his or her program. The official document for your program is the College of Education Graduate Bulletin for the academic year in which you were admitted. Georgia State University Department of Educational Psychology And Special Education Atlanta, Georgia (404) Revised March 2014
2 Introduction The Ph.D. program in Educational Psychology develops a substantial knowledge base in the principles of psychology applied to education, broadly defined. The program prepares a student to pursue a variety of career paths, including careers as faculty members in colleges and universities, as researchers in departments of education in government and business, and as professionals in training and research programs in government and industry. Those students who are currently certified or licensed in such fields as teaching, speech pathology, nursing, counseling, or school psychology can further develop their expertise in these fields by studying the psychological principles of development and learning. A College of Education doctoral program flowchart as well as the COE procedures and forms for doctoral students are available in the Office Academic Affairs (OAA) website: Because these procedures can change, it is best for students to check this website periodically. Advisory Committees During the student s course of doctoral study, there are two advisory committees. These are the Doctoral Advisory Committee and the Dissertation Advisory Committee. Upon admission, the Educational Psychology Program appoints an advisor to work with the student. The student must contact his or her advisor every semester about course work. This advisor assists the student in initial course selection and the selection of the Doctoral Advisory Committee. The Doctoral Advisory Committee is one of the most important decisions of your graduate career. Doctoral Advisory Committee The Doctoral Advisory Committee assists the student in planning an appropriate program of study and in preparing for completion of non-course work requirements, including the comprehensive examination. The Doctoral Advisory Committee has the responsibility of approving the program of course work, approving residency, organizing study for the doctoral comprehensive examination, and the grading and evaluation of the doctoral comprehensive examination. The Committee composition should be decided as soon as possible, but not later than the accrual of 27 semester hours of course work, or no later than one calendar year from the beginning of course work, whichever comes earlier. The planned program should also be submitted at this time. The official College of Education planned program form is available at In addition, the student should complete the EPY planned program form available from the EPSE office. Program planning will be conducted at a formal meeting at which the student and the student s Doctoral Advisory Committee are present. The Doctoral Advisory Committee consists of a minimum of three members. The major advisor serves as chair of the Doctoral Advisory Committee, is a full-time tenure-track member of the College of Education faculty, and has a primary appointment with the Educational Psychology Program faculty. Also, the major advisor has been a faculty member 2
3 at Georgia State University for at least one academic year, holds an earned doctorate, and meets the requirements of the Department of Educational Psychology and Special Education for graduate faculty status. A second member of the Doctoral Advisory Committee must also be a member of the Educational Psychology faculty. A third member of the Committee cannot be an Educational Psychology faculty member. The College of Education requires that at least three members of the Committee hold doctorate degrees. All Committee members but one must hold graduate faculty status. The College of Education web page lists faculty holding graduate faculty status. All appointments to the Doctoral Advisory Committee, including its chair, are subject to approval by the student, the Department chair, and the dean of the College of Education. After the initial Committee has been established, should a student s research interests change, membership can be revised prior to taking comprehensive examinations. Dissertation Advisory Committee At the time of preparation of the dissertation prospectus, changes in the membership, including the chairmanship, of the Doctoral Advisory Committee may be made in order to constitute the Dissertation Advisory Committee. Between completion of the comprehensive examination and submission of the dissertation prospectus, the Doctoral Advisory Committee must be expanded by at least one additional member. The resulting committee, representing expertise in the research topic and the proposed research methodology, includes no fewer than four members. The Dissertation Advisory Committee has supervisory responsibility for judging the acceptability of the dissertation prospectus and recommending advancement to candidacy. The Dissertation Advisory Committee aids the student in developing the dissertation prospectus and later the dissertation. The Committee is responsible for judging the significance and acceptability of the dissertation prospectus, the soundness and acceptability of the dissertation, and the competence and acceptability of the student s oral defense of the dissertation. All appointments to the Dissertation Advisory Committee, including the Chair, are subject to approval by the student, the Department chair, and the dean of the College of Education. The chairperson must have an appointment in Educational Psychology. In addition to the Chair, at least one additional member of the Committee must hold a primary appointment in Educational Psychology. The College of Education requires that the Committee chair and all but one of the Committee members must hold graduate faculty status with the College of Education. Program of Study A minimum of hours of coursework is required for the Ph.D. program. This coursework is divided into two areas: (1) 18-hour College of Education Core that includes courses in research methods and the dissertation, and (2) hour Educational Psychology Major. The details of the requirements in these areas area described below: 3
4 A. CORE AREA (MINIMUM OF 18 SEMESTER HOURS) The purpose of the College of Education core is to develop general research competence, including expertise in at least one particular research paradigm appropriate to the major field, and ultimately to dissertation research. The research area includes five courses in research methods (15 hours). In addition, the core is intended to develop an awareness of the context in which educational issues can be understood and interpreted by taking a course in social foundations of education (3 hours) or one in psychology of learning (3 hours). The course selection of the core is specified in the Graduate Catalogue under the section for the College of Education General Core Area Requirements. Research Courses (15 hours) Note Two of the four research core requirement courses must be completed within the first two calendar years following admission to the doctoral program. Choose one course (3): EPRS 8500 Qualitative/Interpretive Research in Education I (3) EPRS 8530 Quantitative Methods and Analysis in Education I (3) Other requirements (12): A two course sequence (6 hours) in research methodology (see below for specific tracks/courses) Two courses (6 hours) in advanced research methods as identified by the Doctoral Advisory Committee 1. Quantitative Methodology o EPRS 8540 Quantitative Methods and Analysis in Education II o EPRS 8550 Quantitative Methods and Analysis in Education III (3) o EPRS 8820 Institutional Research (3) o EPRS 8830 Survey Research, Sampling Principles and Questionnaire Design (3) o EPRS 8840 Meta-Analysis (3) o EPRS 8860 Bayesian Statistics (3) o EPRS 9550 Multivariate Analysis (3) o EPRS 9560 Structural Equation Modeling (3) o EPRS 9570 Hierarchical Linear Modeling I (3) o EPRS 9571 Hierarchical Linear Modeling II(3) o EPRS 9900 Advanced Research (3) 2. Qualitative Methodology o ANTH 8010 Qualitative Methods in Anthropology (3) o EPRS 8510 Qualitative Research in Education II (3) o EPRS 8520 Qualitative Research in Education III (3) o EPRS 8640 Case Study Methods (3) o EPRS 8700 Visual Research Methods (3) o EPRS 9120 Poststructural Inquiry (3) 4
5 o EPRS 9400 Writing Qualitative Research Manuscripts (3) o EPSF 9280 Interpretive Inquiry in Education (3) 3. Single-Case Methodology o EPY 8850 Introduction to Single-Case Methodology (3) o EPY 8860 Applications of Single-Case Methodology (3) 4. Historical/ Philosophical Methodology o EPSF 9850 Historical Research in Twentieth Century American Education (3) o EPSF 9930 Philosophical Analysis and Method (3) 5. Measurement Methodology o EPRS 7920 Classroom Testing, Grading, and Assessment (3) o EPRS 8920 Educational Measurement (3) o EPRS 9350 Introduction to Item Response Theory (3) o EPRS 9360 Advanced Item Response Theory (3) Social Foundations of Education and Psychology of Learning Core (3 hours) In addition to highly specialized research in specific areas, doctoral students in the College of Education must possess a deep understanding of comprehensive, theoretical principles and broad ideological conceptualizations. Through historical, philosophical, sociological, and anthropological inquiry, knowledge of social foundations fosters the types of speculative investigations essential for thorough understandings of those theoretical principles and ideological conceptualizations necessary to uphold the integrity of the Ph.D. degree. The psychology of learning component is based on the following guiding principles: (1) Educational leaders make judgments that affect learning. (2) Doctoral students should have a substantial understanding of the psychology of learning. Select one (3): EPSF 8270 Philosophy of Education (3) EPSF 8280 Anthropology of Education (3) EPSF 8310 Sociology of Education (3) EPSF 8320 Politics and Policy in Education (3) EPSF 8340 History of American Education (3) EPSF 9260 Epistemology and Learning (3) EPY 8030 Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis (3) EPY 8050 The Psychology of Instruction (3) EPY 8070 Understanding and Facilitating Adult Learning (3) EPY 8080 Memory and Cognition (3) EPY 8180 Development During School Age (5 to 18 Years) (3) EPY 8200 Advanced Developmental Psychology: Cognition and Intellect (3) EPY 8220 Advanced Developmental Psychology: Personality and Socialization (3) EPY 8260 Psychology of Adulthood and Aging (3) 5
6 B. MAJOR AREA (MINIMUM OF SEMESTER HOURS) Required (9): EPY 8010 Professional Studies in Educational Psychology (3) EPY 8961 Professional Development Seminar in Educational Psychology (3) EPY 9000 Facilitating College Teaching (3) Select (9-15): Students must select a minimum of 15 hours of additional credit hours of coursework, a majority of which must be in educational psychology. As an exception, students who have a Master s degree in Educational Psychology from Georgia State University select a minimum of 9 additional credit hours. C. DISSERTATION (15) Required (15): EPY 9990 Dissertation (15) Program total: minimum of semester hours Students should take EPY 8961 in their first semester of enrollment, while EPY 8010 should be taken no later than the second year of enrollment. Students should note that prerequisites for EPY 8010 include two graduate methodological courses or consent of instructor. EPY 9000 should be taken in the middle or toward the end of the program of study. Upon completion of EPY 8010, it is expected that students will enroll in a minimum of two directed reading courses (EPY 8810). During these courses, students will meet with a cohort of students and/or their advisor on a monthly basis. The first expected enrollment in EPY 8810 is the semester following completion of EPY The purpose of this first directed reading is to work on the residency study. Completion of this course is the residency study submission. Upon successful completion of comprehensive exams, it is expected that students enroll in another EPY 8810 course to work on their dissertation prospectus. Completion of this course is the successful defense of the dissertation prospectus. Each month, students will provide their advisor with an update on their directed reading progress. Progress should also be described in the annual review documentation (see below for annual review information). It is the responsibility of the students, with the help of their advisors, to find a cohort of students, and to organize student and/or advisor directed reading meetings. Continuous Enrollment Policy Graduate students must register for at least a total of six semester hours of course work during any period of three consecutive semesters (fall, spring, and summer) until completion of degree. In order to graduate, students must be actively enrolled in course work in the program of study during the semester they finish degree requirements for graduation. For the most up-to-date continuous enrollment policy, go to: 6
7 Certificate Opportunities Each student and advisor should discuss the student s career goals. Depending on the outcome of this discussion, students are strongly encouraged to pursue one, both or all of the following: A certificate of excellence in college teaching, a certificate in quantitative research in education, and/or a certificate in qualitative research in education. Students who select to earn a certificate of excellence in college teaching need to: 1. Take EPY 9660 (Internship in Educational Psychology), which is taken after EPY In this internship, students are encouraged to teach in the EPY Program. In general, students are hired to teach undergraduate courses (EPY 2050 Human Growth and Development, EDUC 2120 Sociocultural Perspectives on Diversity, EDUC 2130 Exploring Learning and Teaching). 2. Follow the requirements as listed at: Students who select to earn a certificate in quantitative and/or qualitative research need to follow the requirements as listed at: and/or: Additional Information Pertaining to Program of Study Students who have not previously taken EPY 7080 and EPRS 7900 (or their equivalents) must take these courses prior to beginning their doctoral course work. These courses may not be included in their planned program. The minimum grade acceptable for all course work is B. An overall cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 is required to be eligible to take the comprehensive examination and for graduation. No coursework (transferred to or from GSU) that has been completed more than seven years prior to admission to candidacy may be used in the EPY doctoral program. All degree requirements must be successfully completed within nine years of a student s first matriculation into the Ph.D. program. Inappropriate or unprofessional conduct by a student may result in the student being dropped from a course with a grade of F and/or being dropped from the Program. If such removal is necessary, the student will receive a grade of F for the course and may be judged ineligible to continue in the EPY doctoral program. Annual Review The Annual Review of Ph.D. students in the Educational Psychology Program by the Educational Psychology Program faculty occur each year in April. Ph.D. students must 7
8 submit the required documentation to their advisor by March 15 of each year. Failure to submit the report of progress may result in expulsion from the program. Students Who Have Not Completed Their Comprehensive Examination or Residency Requirements The EPY Faculty reviews the following information. The student submits the first four or five items to their advisor. The student should use the EPY electronic planned program form and EPSE residency form ( 1. Electronic Planned Program Form that includes any course changes 2. Course grades 3. Copy of Doctoral Residency Form completed to date 4. A written report of progress of coursework and residency including activities from the previous year, professional goals, and plans for the coming year 5. Students who received an unsatisfactory evaluation the previous year must submit their remediation plan and a summary of how the goals in the remediation plan were accomplished 6. Information on student performance and professional growth from faculty who have been associated with the student during the previous year Students Who Have Completed Their Comprehensive Examination and Residency Requirements Students who have completed their examination and met all residency requirements must submit a written summary of progress toward the completion of the dissertation to their advisor. Students who received an unsatisfactory evaluation the previous year must submit their remediation plan and a summary of how the goals in the remediation plan were accomplished. Review Procedures The EPY Program Faculty meets as a whole to review student progress. Major advisors present information for their students. The evaluation includes (a) academic progress, (b) residency progress, (c) professional growth, and (d) professionalism. Evaluation involves consideration of a student s performance in all academic settings. The Review Committee rates student progress as satisfactory or unsatisfactory. The student receives the Committee s report by the middle of May. Any student receiving an unsatisfactory evaluation must meet with his or her Doctoral Advisor to devise a remediation plan. Failure to do so by September 15 is grounds for termination from the program. This written plan will include specific activities that will be accomplished prior to the next annual review. A copy of the plan, signed by both the student and the advisor, will be kept by the advisor and be part of the student s next year s annual 8
9 review. Students must include how they have accomplished the goals in the remediation plan during the next annual review process. Two unsatisfactory annual evaluations are grounds for termination from the program. Prior to termination, students are notified that their academic standing is in jeopardy and that the EPY program will review their status for possible exclusion from the program. Residency As indicated in the College of Education Graduate Bulletin, the purpose of the residency is to provide close and continuous involvement with faculty, professional colleagues, and other graduate students. The residency provides supervised opportunities for development in teaching, research, and service. It also provides time for concentrated study and course work, and opportunities to read, reflect, and do research for the advanced degree. Each doctoral student must have a Residency Program planned with and approved by the Doctoral Advisory Committee. The departmental residency requirements assure each doctoral student is involved in professional activities beyond completed course work. Some examples of activities include assisting a faculty member in teaching a course, submitting a data-based article to a refereed journal as senior author, attending conferences, and participating in professional organizations. Some of the residency activities are mandatory while others are optional The list of residency requirements is available at: Teaching Residency One required activity is the teaching residency. To complete the teaching residency, interns are required to assist faculty in the teaching of a course. * Assisting in teaching a course will include attending the classes. Interns will teach at least one unit in that course. They will design, implement, and assess one learning activity for the unit taught. They also will assess students on the material taught in that unit and provide feedback to the students on the assessment. In addition, interns will make a meaningful contribution to the course (e.g., assisting with assessment, offering office hours, providing review sessions, running small groups), and they will collect student feedback on their performance. If an intern chooses to complete the teaching component of the teaching residency in a course outside the EPY Program, his or her advisor must approve the course and instructor and must observe at least one of the classes when the intern is teaching. The instructor of the course outside of the EPY Program must be present when the intern teaches and must meet with the intern s advisor at least once. Assisting in teaching a course outside of EPY will include attending the classes. Interns will teach a unit in that course. They will design, implement, and assess one learning activity for the unit taught. They also will assess students on the material taught in that unit and provide feedback to the students on the assessment. In addition, interns will make a meaningful contribution to the course (e.g., assisting with 9
10 assessment, offering office hours, providing review sessions, running small groups), and they will collect student feedback on their performance. Teaching Opportunities Completion of the teaching residency (outlined above) with evidence of competency is a prerequisite for teaching EPY courses. As part of their graduate training, students are encouraged to teach in the EPY Program. In general, students are hired to teach undergraduate courses (EPY 2050 Human Growth and Development, EDUC 2120 Sociocultural Perspectives on Diversity, EDUC 2130 Exploring Learning and Teaching). While the teaching residency should take place in a face-to-face class, students are also encouraged to obtain additional online teaching experiences. *Students who are the instructor of record of a college or university course are not required to assist a professor in a course. Instead, these students can fulfill the teaching residency by successfully completing EPY 9000 and preparing a teaching portfolio that documents effective college teaching practices. Specifics about what is included in a teaching portfolio are available from the student s advisor or the program coordinator. The Comprehensive Examination Purpose The comprehensive examination requires students to demonstrate their ability to critically discuss theory and research in the field of educational psychology. The comprehensive examination consists of three components: a written paper, test questions and answers, and an oral defense. The topics of the written paper and test questions are often determined with input from the student. The paper and test questions may lay the foundation for the student s dissertation and are designed to encourage the student to master a body of literature in depth as well as demonstrate a breadth of understanding of educational psychology. Eligibility for the Comprehensive Examination A student is eligible to take the comprehensive examination when the advisor has reviewed with the student his or her progress and agrees that all courses have been completed, or nearly completed, all incomplete grades have been removed, and the residency paper is submitted to a journal or ready to be submitted to a journal, except for feedback from a coauthor. Structure The comprehensive examination consists of three parts. The comprehensive examination requirement is considered completed once all three parts are passed. A student has a maximum of two opportunities to pass each of the three parts. Failure to pass any one or more parts of the comprehensive exam on the second attempt is considered a failure of the entire comprehensive exam and will result in dismissal from the program. The three parts of the comprehensive exam include: 10
11 Written Paper. The student will write a paper that addresses a major issue in his or her area of interest. The purpose of the paper is to address a student s ability to provide a written indepth analysis of a specific topic in educational psychology. The paper should be a critical literature review such as those published in Psychological Bulletin or Psychological Review. It fulfills half of the written requirements of the comprehensive examination. Although a student can seek general guidance for this paper from faculty members, faculty members do not read or give specific feedback on drafts of this paper. The paper is meant to represent the best paper that a student can produce. It is strongly encouraged that a student reviews these guidelines with his or her advisor before beginning to work on the paper. With the exception of helping with guidelines and giving general guidance, faculty will not be available to read drafts of the paper. However, students are permitted and encouraged to seek feedback from peers before the paper is submitted as a part of the comprehensive examination. Because the paper is to be the work of the student, peer feedback should only consist of general comments about the paper (e.g., section needs to be better organized, you need to define your terms more precisely, and you might want to include more references in this section). Professional help (editor, proof reader, writing center assistance) cannot be used on a comprehensive paper. Test Questions. The other half of the written comprehensive examination consists of a closed book test taken in the Department. The questions, although related to a student s area of interest, require the student to demonstrate his or her breadth of knowledge of educational psychology. Faculty members will not be available to read drafts of test answers. However, students are permitted and encouraged to seek feedback from peers before sitting for the examination. Oral Defense. The third part of the comprehensive examination is an oral presentation of the information learned for the test questions and paper. Students will be asked to address specific questions raised by faculty based on the student s paper and answers to the written test questions. Procedure During the year when the student is finishing course work, the student will contact his/her advisor to determine whether the student is ready to call together a committee meeting to discuss the comprehensive examination. With the advisor s approval, the student will organize and have a meeting with his or her Doctoral Advisory Committee to discuss all three parts of the comprehensive examination. The student s paper topic and written test questions are based on the student s specific interests in the field of educational psychology and his or her course work. As part of this process, students frequently suggest possible questions and areas of interest to the Committee. At this meeting, the Committee will decide on the specific topic/issues to be addressed in the written paper. They will also discuss possible areas of interest for the test questions. The student and Committee members will agree on either (1) the specific questions that will be addressed on the written test or (2) a list of potential questions or areas that will be covered on the written test. Committee members have the right to decide which of these two options 11
12 will occur for a student. The test will consist of either 2 or 3 questions that can be addressed in 6 hours of writing. While preparing for the examination, a student may want to change some questions or areas of interest. If so, he or she must get Committee approval. If the changes are major, the student must meet again with his or her Committee. All three parts of the comprehensive examination are scheduled at or near the completion of the student s course work at a time convenient for the student and his or her Committee. The written test is completed during one calendar week, and shall consist of six hours of writing (usually over a 2-3 day period) in the Department. Answers to an individual question must be completed in one day. Typically if a student is answering two questions each question will be scheduled on separate days. If the test has three questions the exam can take place on two or three days. Students will write their answers on a Department computer during the time allotted for a particular question without benefit of notes or reference material. Upon completion, students will receive a printed copy of their answers. Students must turn in the written paper the first day they take the written test. Guidelines for the Written Paper Component of the Comprehensive Examination The purpose of the paper is to provide a written-in-depth analysis of a specific topic in educational psychology. The paper does not have a standard format, but it must present a clear line of reasoning that is logically developed and supported. The paper should include the following (though not necessarily in this order): 1. Literature review (a) This needs to be comprehensive and detailed (not cursory). (b) This needs to be an integration and synthesis, not just a listing of studies. 2. Deficits in the literature such as flaws in experimental design 3. Directions for future research The majority of references need to be drawn from peer reviewed journal articles. Some references citing books and chapters in edited books are acceptable, as well as a few references from conference papers, ERIC manuscripts, and Dissertation Abstracts. Website references are strongly discouraged, although in some instances may be justified. The paper must follow guidelines outlined in the current edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. It should be in the same final form as a manuscript to be submitted for publication. Policy for Scheduling the Comprehensive Examination 1. Students will contact the EPSE Administrative Secretary by at least a month ahead to schedule a room for taking their exams. This should be copied to the student s faculty advisor. 2. The student s advisor will provide the EPSE Administrative Secretary with the written test questions. 3. Students will take the written test in an available private room. They are not to take anything except the disk with the written test questions provided by the Administrative Secretary into the room. Consulting any sources (e.g., notes, published works, 12
13 Internet) during the written test is considered a violation of the honor code and automatically results in a failing grade for the test questions. 4. Students will give the Administrative Secretary a hard and electronic copy of their comprehensive paper on the first day of their written test. 5. The Administrative Secretary will distribute the test answers and paper to the student, as well as to the student s committee members. Grading and Oral Defense The student and the committee will determine the amount of time that will transpire between taking the written component and receiving feedback from the committee. This period will usually consist of two weeks, and in no case will feedback be given more than one week in advance of the oral defense. Feedback may consist of specific questions or areas that the Committee wants the student to address in the oral defense. It does not include specific feedback about passing the examination. The oral defense will usually be scheduled within three weeks of the week the student completed the written test. The oral defense covers only the areas tested in the written test and paper. During the oral defense, students cannot bring power point slides to help them during the oral examination. However, students are permitted to bring notes to OCCASIONALLY refer to them if needed. After the oral defense is completed, the student will leave the room. The student s Committee will then determine by consensus if he or she passed or failed the examination. A student can fail all or part of the comprehensive examination. The Committee can decide if the student should retake all or any of the three parts of comprehensive examination at a later time. The student has only one chance to retake all or any of the three parts of the examination. If the student does not pass ANY part of the examination (any part of the written paper, any part of the test questions, or any part of the oral defense) on the second attempt, he or she is not permitted to continue in the doctoral program. The Dissertation Prospectus The dissertation prospectus is written following successful completion of the comprehensive examination. Prior to beginning the prospectus, the student should purchase a copy of the College of Education Guide for Preparing Dissertations available at The prospectus is orally presented at a publicly announced open meeting of the Dissertation Advisory Committee attended by no fewer than four members of the Committee. A prospectus summary form must be completed and submitted to the Chair at least 5 business days in advance of needing the Chair s signature on the prospectus announcement form ( Announcement of the prospectus presentation must be made at least 10 business days prior to the date of the scheduled prospectus presentation. Additionally, the prospectus must be presented between the first day of classes and the last day of final examinations. It cannot be presented between academic terms or during term breaks. Candidates should expect a 13
14 minimum two-week turn around time for review of drafts of the prospectus. The College of Education stipulates that approval and acceptance of the dissertation prospectus requires a favorable vote of a majority of the Dissertation Advisory Committee, but the majority for this vote must include no fewer than four members regardless of the size of the Committee. Human Subjects Review All research involving human subjects requires review by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). IRB forms and instructions are available at A copy of the appropriate human subjects review form showing that all necessary Department approvals have been obtained, together with all required supporting documents specified in the IRB application, must be submitted to the office of Academic Assistance and Graduate Admissions. Advancement to Candidacy The Dissertation Advisory Committee recommends to the dean of the College of Education that the student be admitted to candidacy for the Doctor of Philosophy degree when the student has completed all requirements for the degree except the dissertation. This includes satisfactory completion of all course work required in the program of study within seven years of first matriculation, fulfillment of the Educational Psychology residency requirement, successful completion of all required examinations including the comprehensive examination, and submission and presentation of an approved dissertation prospectus. First matriculation takes place when a student takes the first course to be counted toward the Ph.D. degree. Preparing for the Dissertation Defense All dissertations must conform to the College of Education Guidelines for Preparing Dissertations. The College of Education recognizes three formats for the dissertation: the traditional format usually consisting of five chapters, the research article format, and the qualitative model format. The Chair will direct the student to use a specific format. Candidates should expect a minimum two-week turn around time for review of drafts of the dissertation. When the dissertation is completed, a public announcement of the oral defense of the dissertation is disseminated via the Office of Academic Assistance and Graduate Admissions to the College of Education Faculty. The announcement must be submitted to the office of Academic Assistance and Graduate Admissions at least 10 business days prior to the scheduled defense. Additionally, the dissertation must be defended between the first day of classes and the last day of final examinations. It cannot be defended between academic terms or term breaks. 14
15 At the same time the announcement of the oral defense is submitted, two typed copies of the completed dissertation are made available for faculty review in the Office of Academic Assistance and Graduate Admissions. The oral defense is scheduled on the main campus of the University and must be attended by no fewer than four members of the Dissertation Advisory Committee. Acceptance of the doctoral dissertation requires a favorable vote of a majority of the Dissertation Advisory Committee, but the majority for this vote must include no fewer than four members of the Committee. Degree Completion The student must file an application for graduation with the Office of the Registrar at least two semesters prior to the expected date of graduation. The dissertation must be concluded within two years of admission to candidacy. The student must be enrolled during the academic term in which all degree requirements are completed. Enrolment for a minimum of three semester hours of credit is required during at least two out of each three-term period following successful completion of the comprehension examination until graduation. Students should plan on graduation during Fall or Spring semesters. Many faculty members are not under contract in the Summer. The EPSE DSA To enrich the academic and professional experience for doctoral students in the Department of Educational Psychology and Special Education (EPSE), the EPSE Doctoral Student Association (EPSE-DSA) was developed in The aims of EPSE-DSA are to provide student-centered programs, services, and involvement opportunities that celebrate diversity, promote recruitment and retention, and foster leadership, and development. The specific goals of EPSE-DSA are: (1) to support doctoral students through their graduate school experience, (2) to provide fellowship opportunities among doctoral students, and (3) to provide a forum for the presentation of ideas and information that benefit doctoral students. To accomplish these goals, the EPSE-DSA executive board holds monthly meetings to discuss services, programs and opportunities needed. Decisions about what to sponsor are determined by feedback from active EPSE-DSA members. Two times each semester, EPSE- DSA sponsors topical events. Examples of event topics include: conferences and presenting, research designs, IRB, vita writing, studying for and practicing written comprehensive exams, writing for publication, editing, and the prospectus and dissertation processes. In addition to topical events, EPSE-DSA provides a monthly meeting time and place for members to collaborate and discuss current issues. We encourage all doctoral students to participate. Please be on the lookout for announcements about meetings and activities. 15
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