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Ph.D. in Educational Administration, Curriculum and Supervision

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Educational Administration, Curriculum and Supervision Ph.D

Ph.D. programs are highly individualized, and are the result of collaborative planning involving the student, major advisor, and doctoral committee.  Typically, Ph.D. programs of study are designed to enable students to develop a high level of expertise in a specific area of research.  

The mission of EACS is to promote critical inquiry that addresses important issues relating to teaching, learning, and leadership in order that service and collaboration among colleagues and the professional communities may be enhanced.

The EACS faculty is comprised of scholars and practitioners who are committed to providing an enriched curriculum to equip Ph.D. students with the habits of mind, habits of hand, and habits of heart that are needed to develop stewards of the discipline (as termed by the Carnegie Foundation).

The development of research competency is one of the critical features of a Ph.D. program.  The student must demonstrate proficiency in both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies.

Research Proficiency Requirements

  1. EACS, or EDS 6970 Pro Seminar, 3 credits, required course1 A "Pro"2 Seminar taught by Department faculty that introduces students to doctoral study, including quantitative and qualitative approaches, library resources, various writing styles and other logistical considerations.
  2. Quantitative Methods:
    EIPT 5023 Analysis of Quant Data I
    EIPT 6023 Analysis of Quant Data II
  3. Qualitative Methods
    Two courses (6 total hours) as approved by the committee3
  4. EACS, EDAH or EDS 6970 Prospectus Development Seminar (3 credit hours, required course)
  5. Additional research methods course (quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods - 3 credit hours)

1All research related credits count toward the minimum 95 required for a doctorate in the Department.

2From propaedeutic, a Greek word for the preliminary body of knowledge and rules necessary for the study of some art or science.

3Required research courses from the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree in EACS may NOT be used to fulfill this requirement

Doctoral Application Deadlines

Norman campus: September 1 (Spring admission) and April 27 (Fall admission)

Tulsa campus: April 15 (Summer admission)

Applications completed and received after the deadline may be reviewed at the discretion of the faculty.

At the doctoral level, selection of an advisor is done at admission time and selection of an advisory committee is done no later than two semesters after admission. The choice of advisor should be a collaborative one between student and faculty. The student should meet with the advisor as soon as possible to plan the first steps of the program. The student and advisor should spend sufficient time together to carefully develop the program. Note:  advisor at the doctoral level is synonymous with major advisor, major professor and chair of doctoral committee.

A major step in the doctoral program is the selection of the advisory committee. This committee, chosen early in the program (preferably no later than the end of the second semester after admission), serves as advisor and mentor to the student from that point on. The composition of the committee varies according to the specialized interests of the student, and the student, with assistance from the preliminary advisor, decides whom to invite to serve. The committee is made up of at least five graduate faculty members with at least one member from outside the Department but holding a graduate faculty appointment on the Norman campus. Each doctoral advising committee shall have at all times at least one faculty member from the area in which the doctoral work is being undertaken. Under very exceptional cases due to staffing problems or other equally exceptional causes, this rule may be waived, if and only if, a statement approved by the area faculty is filed with the Graduate Liaison Office indicating the approval of such an action. Invited faculty members in discussion with the student, individually decide whether or not to serve on the student's doctoral committee.

The decision to serve on an advisory committee will depend upon the area of expertise, interest, advisory load, and committee load. The Dissertation Committee, whether or not the same make-up as the advisory committee, consists of a group who brings particular expertise to the student's areas of interest, with each member typically having a unique contribution and role.

When all invited committee members have agreed to serve, the student should obtain and complete the Doctoral Committee Appointment Form, obtain the signatures of the members and the advisor, and submit the form to the Graduate Programs Officer for recording and forwarding to the Graduate College.

The next step is the advisory conference, at which time the full committee, in conference with the student, approves the planned doctoral program and the residency plan. Well before the conference, the student and the major advisor should block out the tentative program, including all required work, the research proficiencies selected, etc. The student should obtain a copy of the Advisory Conference Report form from the Graduate College website and complete it as fully as possible, including all previous as well as tentatively planned work for the doctoral degree. In addition, in consultation with the advisor, the Residency Requirement Form should be completed.

The student, in preparation for the advisory conference, should duplicate for each committee member (a) the Advisory Conference Report with tentative program, (b) the Residence Requirement Form, (c) a personal vita sheet, and (d) a tentative projected time frame sheet for completion of the remaining degree requirements. Clearing with the committee members an agreed time and scheduling the meeting place are the next responsibilities of the student. Following the advisory conference all completed forms must be sent to the Graduate Programs Officer in the departmental office where they will be checked for accuracy and completeness and relayed to the Graduate College for approval .

The student should familiarize him/herself with the research proficiencies requirements early on. Once the student has determined those proficiencies in which to qualify, it is a very good idea to begin work on the proficiencies immediately.  Do not postpone them. Taken early, they will be very useful in other coursework, and will lay the groundwork for necessary skills in reading research, assisting with and completing research, and successfully completing the dissertation.

In the past, the residency requirements focused on employment and number of credit hours per semester for a year's time. Neither of these criteria assured growth and development in academic and professional endeavors. Indeed, the requirements were often viewed as hardships to endure with little relevance to the purposes of doctoral study.

The purpose of the present residency requirement is to promote and ensure the quality of academic and professional growth. Whether one is pursuing an Ed.D. or Ph.D. degree, a variety of experiences beyond the traditional course work, examinations, and dissertation research is necessary for complete preparation. The intent is to both broaden and extend those experiences that will enhance the student's skills and abilities.

Sample Residency activities include:

  • Research and Writing
    Conducting collaborative research with a faculty member or with fellow students, working as a research assistant, critiquing a colleague's research article proposal, developing or assisting in the development of a grant proposal, presenting a paper or poster at a state, regional or national professional conference, and serving as the author or co-author of a book review, research article, or an article for a professional publication.
  • Professional Service
    Contributing to or editing a professional newsletter, serving in a graduate student organization, serving on a departmental, university or professional committee, serving as a consultant for a local agency, assisting in the organization of a professional conference or workshop, organizing an invited speaker session or a departmental new-student orientation, study groups, seminars, forums and lecture series.
  • General Professional Participation
    Serving as a research subject, attending professional presentations, colloquia and seminars on campus or at state, regional and national professional meetings, hosting visitors to campus, observing colleagues in innovative or exemplary programs, and participating in a study group or professional network.

The General Examination will be taken after the completion of all coursework, including research proficiencies, with the possible exception of the Prospectus Development Seminar. The student must complete the Application for the General Examination (available from the Graduate College website) and submit the completed form to the Graduate Programs Officer to be checked and relayed to the Graduate College. Upon approval by the Graduate Dean, the student should check with the advisor or the Graduate Programs Officer regarding time, place and form of the examination.

An option for the general examination recently adopted by the Department is to assign a topic, question or problem within the area of specialization and provide three weeks to three months for a response, the form of which could be a position paper, a synthesis, an annotated bibliography, or any other product that would more nearly correspond with the purposes of the degree and the examination. The option, or variations of it, could be used by the major professor and/or members of the committee. The decision about the particular form the general examination would take would be made by the committee members at the time approval for generals is secured.

Upon completion of the written portion of the Generals, the student should schedule a committee meeting for the oral portion of the examination. It is official Graduate College Policy that all members of the doctoral committee be present at the oral portion of the general examination. Following satisfactory completion of this phase, a memorandum stating the results of both portions of the examination shall be signed by the entire doctoral committee and must be submitted to the Graduate Dean and filed with the Graduate Programs Officer.

Selection of the topic for the dissertation is often a frustrating process for the student. It is the rare student who identifies a specialized interest early in the program and who maintains it through the completed dissertation. The nature of the doctoral program, by exposing the student to new knowledge, typically broadens interests and introduces new vistas which often make topic selection more complex. It is not unusual for the student to lose interest in a topic as knowledge grows and interests broaden and change. Should this occur, another topic should be chosen rather than to pursue the original one merely because one has invested some time in exploring it. The dissertation has meaning and excitement only to the extent that the researcher is truly interested in the question.

Once the topic is identified, the student should begin the development of the Prospectus. Again, consultation and assistance from the major advisor and the committee are very important. The Prospectus Development Seminar (PDS) should also be taken at this point; it will provide invaluable assistance in the development and refinement of the project. Taking the seminar before some general decision has been made about the area of investigation may result in a too hasty decision about the topic; therefore every attempt should be made to identify the topic beforehand. Since the purpose of the PDS is to develop the Prospectus, it is strongly advised that the enrollment in PDS be deferred until the student is actually ready to begin work on the Prospectus.

When the major advisor agrees that the prospectus is ready, the student should distribute copies to the doctoral committee members and then set a time for convening the committee for the Prospectus Meeting.  At that time the committee will make final recommendations for any improvements or modifications.  When the prospectus is accepted, all committee members sign their approval and the signed copy is filed in the Graduate Records Office. The student is now cleared to proceed with the dissertation research. If for some reason, as the research progresses, modifications are necessary, the committee must approve such changes. The changes must be filed as amendments to the original prospectus with the Graduate Programs Officer.

The method of preparation and handling of the dissertation will vary from committee to committee as well as topic to topic. The student should ascertain precisely the particular requirements of format and documentation. The student should also learn from the advisor and committee exactly how each wishes to review work in progress, i.e., chapter by chapter or in larger portions. In the dissertation process the committee members will be of great assistance to the student and frequent consultation is in order as the reading copy is developed. The student should pay careful attention at this point to all the necessary procedural steps regarding dissertations and defense listed on the doctoral checklist, and all deadline dates.

While working on the dissertation and after the completion of the general examinations, the candidate must maintain continuous enrollment by enrolling in at least two hours of EACS 6980 Dissertation Research. (See Graduate College Bulletin). If continuous enrollment is interrupted for two consecutive semesters, excluding summer session, the candidate is dropped from the rolls and must reapply for admission if he/she wishes to complete the program.

The Department allows four academic years following successful completion of the general examination to complete the dissertation. If not completed within that time span, the candidate must re-take the general examination in order to obtain approval to continue or petition the Graduate Liaison for a one year extension. Specific program areas may have more restrictive deadlines in which to finish the dissertation.

The culminating point of the doctoral process is the final examination:  the oral defense of the dissertation.  Upon completion of the dissertation, reading copies must be prepared for each committee member.  When approved by the major advisor, one copy of the reading copy of the dissertation, along with a memorandum of approval from the major advisor and endorsed by the graduate liaison, is presented to the Graduate College by routing it through the Graduate Programs Officer.

The Graduate College will provide the Authority for the Exam form, along with any other required forms. The Graduate Dean may add a member-at-large to the doctoral committee to represent the Graduate Council. The examination, which is open to the public, is not to be scheduled during the period of final course examinations or at any time when a suitable committee cannot be assembled. At least four members of the doctoral committee, including the major professor and the outside member, must be present to conduct the examination.  Defense deadlines approximate the following dates.  Fall-December 1; Spring-March 1; and Summer-July 1. Please check with the Graduate College or Graduate Programs Officer for exact dates.

Distribute reading copies to committee members at least two weeks before final oral examination (defense of dissertation). Obtain their corrections and comments to incorporate these into the final dissertation copy.  Be sure to arrange with members of the doctoral committee as to the date, hour, and place of the final oral examination. It is the student's responsibility to provide the Graduate Programs Officer with information for distribution of the announcement of the final oral examination, the abstract and vita to College of Education faculty members at least one week before the examination. Consult with the Graduate Records office for the form of the announcement, abstract and vita. Within seventy-two hours after the Final Examination/Thesis Defense, the completed Report of the Comprehensive/Final Examination must be filed in the Graduate College. Three final copies of the dissertation on 100% cotton bond paper with original signatures of the committee must be delivered to the Graduate College. A student must deposit the three final copies of his/her thesis in the library within sixty days following successful defense of the thesis or last day of classes, whichever is first.


Tim Ford, Ph.D.
Program Coordinator(918)