Examinations

The Ed.D. Program includes rigorous classes, a qualifying examination, and written and oral defense of both a Dissertation Proposal and Dissertation, passage of which is required for student progression to program completion and degree conferral

  1. Qualifying Examination.

    The qualifying examination is based on the student's approved literature review and is a rigorous assessment of student knowledge in response to questions generated by the Qualifying Examination Committee.

  2. Written and Oral Qualifying Examinations.

    The qualifying examinations are administered at a time in the program sequence when the candidate's mastery of the majority of the core leadership and methodological elements can be fairly evaluated and when the candidate is ready to begin his/her dissertation research.

    Once students have passed their qualifying examination, a proposal for the dissertation is written and defended orally during the third year in the program. Once the student's proposal (both written and oral) has been approved, they bridge the transition from coursework to the actual writing of the dissertation.

    The final step in the program is the written dissertation and oral defense.

  3. Dissertation Proposal and Dissertation Final

    Examination (Written)

    The dissertation research will focus on a significant professional problem or issue and will have the potential to contribute, generally or in the context of a particular educational institution, to the improvement of public PreK-12 or community college education. Work in support of the dissertation is embedded throughout the Ed.D. curriculum. However, formal dissertation research is subject to (a) passage of the dissertation proposal examination which constitutes formal approval for the candidate to proceed with the dissertation research as proposed and (b) approval of human subjects by the Institutional Review Board. The dissertation must demonstrate a strong scholarly and professional foundation of knowledge on the part of the candidate and must demonstrate the candidate's ability to apply this knowledge to rigorous study of PreK-12 or community college education.

    The student must submit his/her dissertation proposal for approval following the procedures and format established by the campus program faculty. The dissertation proposal will contain, at a minimum, a description of the problem, a review of the relevant literature, a statement of the research question, and a description of the research methodology. The proposal must contain either (a) materials that have already been submitted to the Institutional Review Board regarding the proposed dissertation research or (b) materials completed for submission to the Institutional Review Board to meet human subjects requirements.

    The dissertation proposal examination is ordinarily conducted by a three member committee that includes (a) two tenured or tenure-track members of the Ed.D. program faculty and (b) one member from the affiliated core faculty. The committee reviews the dissertation proposal and communicates formally in writing to the student its (a) approval, (b) approval with modifications, or (c) lack of approval. In the case of approval with modifications or lack of approval, the committee will communicate to the student in writing the process and expectations for resubmission. If the student is required to resubmit the proposal, the committee will review the revised proposal and communicate the outcome to the student in writing. The student must receive written approval of the proposal by the committee and written notification by the Institutional Review Board that human subjects review requirements have been met in order to proceed with the formal conduct of the dissertation research.

    The dissertation is the written product of the research undertaken in accordance with the approved proposal. The dissertation will state the research problem and question(s), describe the primary theoretical perspectives of the research, identify the major assumptions, explain the significance of the undertaking and relate it to the relevant scholarly and professional literature, describe the research methods, the sources for and methods of gathering data, the approaches used for analyzing the data, the findings based on the analysis of the data, and the conclusions or recommendations. The dissertation will reflect original analysis and independent, critical thought.

    Final Examination (Oral)

    The student is required to present the proposal orally to the committee and respond to committee members' questions about the proposal. The proposal defense must be completed prior to the end of the first quarter (fall quarter) in Year III of the program. This examination will be administered by the dissertation committee. Unanimous agreement of the dissertation committee is required for approval of the dissertation and recommendation that the Ed.D. degree be conferred. In the event that the dissertation committee requires substantive changes to the dissertation, the final vote of the committee will be postponed until the changes are completed.

    Submission of the approved dissertation is the last step in the program leading to the awarding of the Ed.D. degree. The dissertation must be submitted by the specified deadline. The dissertation format must conform to CSUSB's approved dissertation manuscript requirements as outlined in the Student Handbook. The final copy of the dissertation must be approved by the dissertation committee and the Office of Graduate Studies.

For more information please visit our website. Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership