Doctoral Policies and Forms

Program Prerequisite
Applicants to the Education Doctoral Programs (EDP) who have not completed an introductory course in educational statistics equivalent to EDUC 702 within the past five years may be required to successfully complete EDUC 702 prior to enrolling in advanced inquiry coursework. The credits earned in EDUC 702 will not count toward the EDP credit requirements but may be counted as transfer credit hours upon committee approval.

Supervisory Committee
The student's supervisory committee should be formed according to the policies policies established by the NDSU Graduate School. Students in the Education Doctoral Programs must have two core faculty members on their supervisory committee, one of whom must serve as the chair or co-chair of the committee. A core faculty member is defined as any individual whose faculty workload assignment is 100% in the Educational and Organizational Leadership (EdOL).

The supervisory committee should typically be formed by the end of the second semester of enrollment to discuss and approve the student's plan of study (below). Failure to complete a plan of study in a timely manner may impact eligibility for financial support. Upon selection of your committee and determination of your intended coursework, you are expected to schedule an initial committee meeting, attended by the majority of your committee, to discuss your proposed coursework. Any changes to the plan of study must be made with the approval of the committee.

Students are expected to meet with the supervisory committee periodically as they progress through the degree program in accordance with the Portfolio process (described below). Such meetings include, but are not limited to, the plan of study meeting (portfolio meeting I), a formative discussion meeting (portfolio meeting II), the comprehensive exam (portfolio meeting III), the dissertation proposal meeting, the dissertation chapter 4 meeting, and the final exam (dissertation defense).
(Adopted 10-17-11)

Transfer of Credit
The candidate's supervisory committee is responsible for approving the plan of study and for certifying that the candidate has met the academic requirements for the doctoral degree. This may require more than the minimum number of credits listed in the degree plan depending upon the student's background and goals. The student's supervisory committee has the authority to approve up to a maximum of 30 (semester) credit hours from a Master's degree or its equivalent.

Students with prior coursework toward a doctoral degree may petition the EDP faculty for an additional 10 credits of doctoral-level coursework to be counted toward the plan of study if it can be demonstrated that the coursework is equivalent to courses included in the EDP curriculum. It is the student's responsibility to initiate a course transfer petition (below). The petition must be submitted to the EdOL faculty prior to the end of the first semester of attendance, specify the transfer courses to be considered, be accompanied by course syllabi and other documentation indicating the relationship of the course to the EDP curriculum, and provide a rationale for how the course(s) support the EDP goals and the student's plan of study. Petitions must be submitted to the EdOL Program Area Coordinator with the signature of the student's advisor. The petition will be considered at a regular meeting of the program faculty.

Comprehensive Portfolio (Preliminary/Comprehensive Exam)
The Comprehensive Portfolio is developed in three stages by the student during the pre‐candidacy phase of the doctoral program and represents the scope and depth of a student's goals, plans, and accomplishments in coursework, independent study, research experiences, internships, and other advanced learning activities. The review and evaluation process includes three presentations by the student to her/his Supervisory Committee over the duration of the doctoral program, typically about once per year during the portfolio week established by the program faculty each semester. The Comprehensive Portfolio is designed to allow a student to demonstrate his or her readiness to undertake doctoral research, so positive evaluation of the Comprehensive Portfolio is required before a student may submit and defend a dissertation proposal or otherwise proceed to the independent research phase. (Adopted 8-20-15)

Plan of Study Meeting (Portfolio Meeting I)
The student is required to meet with his or her supervisory committee to discuss and get approval for the Plan of Study in accordance with their dissertation and professional goals. While it is ideal to meet with all members of the committee, the outside committee member (Graduate School appointee) is not required to attend this initial meeting. In accordance with Graduate School policies, this meeting should occur not later than the term after the formation of the supervisory committee, or typically within the first three regular semesters. (Adopted 1-19-11)

Dissertation Proposal Meeting
The student is required to meet with his or her supervisory committee to discuss and get approval for the planned dissertation project. The specific format of both the dissertation proposal and the proposal meeting will depend upon the student’s intended dissertation project, and will be determined by the student’s advisor with approval of the supervisory committee. At the conclusion of the proposal meeting, members of the committee will complete and sign the Report of Dissertation Proposal Status form (below), indicating any necessary changes prior to proceeding with the dissertation study. A negative vote by more than one member of the student’s committee will signify that the proposal has not been approved. The original copy of this report should be filed by the student’s advisor and copies sent to the student, each committee member, and the EdOL program coordinator. (Adopted 11-7-13)

Scholastic Standards
Consistent with Graduate School policies concerning academic standards for graduate students, doctoral students in Education are generally permitted to receive no more than two grades of C, D, F, or U during completion of their doctoral degree. After receipt of a second grade of C, D, F, or U, students will be expected to immediately take steps to improve academic performance. Students completing coursework will be expected to meet with their supervisory committee to address any deficiencies. Students who do not yet have an approved supervisory committee will be expected to meet with their doctoral advisor and the program coordinator or department head. Students who have completed coursework will be expected to complete a learning contract before enrolling in any additional dissertation credits and may also be expected to meet with their supervisory committee. Receipt of an additional grade of C, D, F, or U throughout the duration of the doctoral program may result in the student being referred to the Graduate School for immediate dismissal. (Adopted 1-18-17)

Additional NDSU Graduate School Policies
In addition to the program-specific policies listed above, students in the Education Doctoral Programs are expected to adhere to policies established for all NDSU doctoral students. The current list of Graduate School policies relevant to doctoral students is available on the Graduate School website at


 The following forms are specific to the Education Doctoral Programs:

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