13.1 Total Credits
The minimum academic credit required for the Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership and Policy is 66 credit hours. Students admitted provisionally may be required to earn more than the minimum number of credit hours.
During the first semester of enrollment, each student will be assigned to an advisor who has the responsibility for guiding the student’s academic program of study.
13.3 Qualifying Examinations
- There are three (3) graduate exams required in the Ed.D. program: the Graduate Expository Writing Exam, the Preliminary Exam and the Comprehensive Exam.
- Ed.D. students must be in good standing (as defined by the graduate school) and Master's students must be in good standing (as defined by the School of Education) to sit for the qualifying exam.
- The Graduate Expository Writing Exam is administered by the Graduate School. A passing score (demonstrated by a certificate) is a pre-requisite in order to sit for the Preliminary and Comprehensive Exams.
- A mandatory preparatory session is required before the administration of the Preliminary and Comprehensive Exam. Preparatory sessions are generally held on or around Reading Day of each semester.
- Satisfactory performance on a written preliminary qualifying examination is required for all doctoral students. The Preliminary Exam is administered twice a year, once in fall semester and once in spring semester. All parts of the Preliminary Examination are taken on site. The examination covers the major field of study and requires a minimum period of six clock hours. Successful completion of the specified pre-requisite courses is required to sit for the Preliminary Exam. Students who take additional courses prior to sitting for the Preliminary Exam assume the risk of accumulating additional credit hours without knowing if they can continue to matriculate in the program beyond the Preliminary Exam.
- Satisfactory performance on a written comprehensive qualifying examination is required for all doctoral students. This examination is taken after the student has passed the preliminary examination and completed all required course work except the Internship, Dissertation Seminar and Dissertation. The Comprehensive Exam is administered twice a year, once in fall and spring semesters.
13.31 A student whose performance on the Preliminary or Comprehensive examination is unsatisfactory may request departmental approval for reexamination after one semester. Any student who fails the examination for a second time will not be permitted to continue work for the Ed.D. degree.
13.32 Satisfactory performance on an oral qualifying examination is required. This examination is administered in connection with the defense of the dissertation and covers the candidate's field of research and related areas of study (see 13.54 below).
Admission to candidacy constitutes formal recognition of a student's advanced standing and departmental approval of the student's course of study. Admission to candidacy also serves to notify the University of the probable completion date. Students cannot graduate in the same semester in which they enter candidacy.
13.41 Students are admitted to candidacy when they have successfully completed all requirements for the Ed.D. degree except for the dissertation.
13.42 Students are eligible to enroll in dissertation research credits once they have been approved for candidacy. Before a student can be admitted to candidacy, he or she must have done the following:
- Completed an Admission to Candidacy form (available on the SOE website), which includes a list of graduate courses completed, being taken, and yet to be pursued in the field.
- Satisfactorily demonstrated expository writing proficiency and passed all qualifying exams administered by the department.
- Successfully defended a dissertation proposal. A copy of the approved dissertation proposal must accompany the Admission to Candidacy form.
Received the signatory recommendation of his or her major advisor on the candidacy form.
13.43 Candidacy for the Ed.D. degree shall be valid for no more than five academic years. Any student seeking renewal of candidacy must apply to the School of Education through the department for readmission. The department in which the student is seeking the degree shall determine the conditions under which the student may be reinstated, subject to the approval by the department and School of Education Executive Committee.
13.51 The candidate for the Ed.D. degree is required to present a scholarly dissertation that is the result of sustained research or the extensive evaluation of an educational program.
13.52 A maximum of twelve (12) semester hours of dissertation research may be counted toward the total credits required for the degree. Students must be enrolled in a dissertation research course as long as they are using University facilities or conferring with the dissertation committee. When the maximum number of dissertation research credits has been earned that can count toward the degree, students should then be enrolled in Independent Study or Directed Individual Study to complete work on the dissertation.
The dissertation shall conform in form and style to the latest edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. The dissertation should also conform to the HUSOE Dissertation Guide, which can be found online at https://education.howard.edu.
Dissertation research courses will be assigned a grade of Incomplete while the work is in progress. The Incomplete grades will be removed upon successful passage of the final oral examination for the dissertation.
13.53 The student and the advisor shall select and submit to the departmental chairperson names of a committee of at least three university faculty to supervise the studies upon which the dissertation will be based.
13.54 The candidate shall be required to participate in a pre-final oral defense, as determined by the dissertation committee, and pass a final oral examination in defense of the dissertation. Although the examination will be based primarily upon the dissertation research, it may also include related aspects of the field (see 13. 31).
13.6 Procedures for Administering the Final Oral Examination
13.61 Committee for the Final Oral Examination
The Final Oral Examination Committee for the Doctor of Education degree is composed of a minimum of four members, a majority of whom should represent the major department. The dissertation advisor provides the primary direction and support to the candidate throughout the research process and development and submission of the dissertation. Committee members may include department faculty, SOE faculty, faculty representing an allied Howard University School or department (if applicable), in addition to an external examiner with academic and professional credentials comparable to those of Howard University’s School of Education faculty.
Members of the examination committee are expected to remain on the committee until the final oral examination process is complete. A member who finds it necessary to withdraw from the committee must write a letter to the department chair. The department chairperson is responsible for facilitating the appointment of a replacement and notifying in writing the Director of Graduate Studies (using the requisite committee membership form).
13.62 External Examiner for the Final Oral Examination
The external examiner should meet the following roles and expectations:
Have academic and professional qualifications comparable to those of the Howard University faculty;
Be an impartial and disinterested examiner and arbiter; and
Have had no prior interaction with the candidate or with the candidate’s research or investigation before receipt of the completed dissertation. Specialists in the area of the dissertation research who have been involved in any way with the advisement of the dissertation are not eligible to serve as external examiners.
13.63 Dissertation Submission and Acceptance Standards
All committee members (excluding the external reviewer) must certify that they have read the dissertation and determined that it meets the standards of the School of Education and is in its final form (see SOE – Ed.D-4 Certification by Members of the Dissertation Committee), prior to submission of the document to the Office of the Dean for scheduling an oral examination defense date. If a committee member identifies deficiencies in the document, it is the committee member’s responsibility to communicate any concerns to the dissertation advisor and the candidate and to refuse to certify the document until it meets standards. Once the dissertation has been certified by the committee members, the Director of Graduate Studies accepts the document as “defense-ready.”
Under no circumstances is the committee chair, department chair, or dissertation advisor authorized to convene a final oral examination if any committee member expresses concern that substantial modifications of a clerical, organizational, or substantive nature are necessary.
13.64 Conducting the Final Oral Examination
An oral “pre-defense” shall be scheduled no later than three weeks before the date for the final oral dissertation examination. A pre-defense is intended to allow the student and members of the dissertation committee (with the exception of the external reviewer and the committee chair) to review the student’s oral presentation of the dissertation as well as the actual dissertation document. This meeting allows the student to receive feedback about progress and to determine whether the dissertation will be “defense-ready” by the date for the oral dissertation examination.
The final oral examination shall be scheduled no later than three weeks before the proposed date for the final oral dissertation examination. Final oral examinations must adhere to the School of Education’s published deadlines. Once the dissertation committee has determined that the dissertation is “defense-ready,” the advisor shall request permission from the Director of Graduate Studies to schedule an oral examination, adhering to the published deadlines. The Director of Graduate Studies serves as the committee chairperson and presides over the final oral examination. The committee chairperson and all five members, as specified above, will constitute a quorum.
13.65 The final oral examination shall be open to the University community, but the deliberations of the committee shall be private.
Upon a favorable unanimous vote of the examining committee, the candidate will be certified as having passed the final oral examination. It is expected that some modifications to the dissertation will be required as a result of the examining committee’s review and questions. All modifications recommended by the committee must be given in writing to the candidate. Any modifications must be completed in 10 business days according to the Procedures for Academic Final Oral Examinations for the Ph.D, Final Oral Exam Form GS-EAS. Also, the plan for making the modifications, including the names of members of the committee who will be responsible for making certain that the desired changes are complete, must be written and communicated to the candidate. A copy of this plan must also be submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies in the Office of the Dean.
Candidates who fail the final oral examination may be given a second oral examination. The second examination must not be held earlier than sixty (60) days from the date of the first final oral examination. The Director of Graduate Studies must approve the application for a second oral examination. Failure on the second oral examination is final and will result in dismissal from the program.
13.66 Submission of the Final Dissertation
A final copy of the dissertation, incorporating required changes that resulted from the final oral examination, must be submitted to the Office of the Dean no later than 10 business days after the final oral examination. Dissertations not in final form (with typographical and/or formatting errors, incomplete and/or missing front matter, back matter, and required forms with signatures, etc.) or requiring revisions will be returned to the dissertation advisor. The dissertation advisor must provide certification that the final dissertation has been evaluated for plagiarism using the Turnitin software. Approval for graduation will NOT be granted until the Director of Graduate Studies determines that all revisions are complete and the dissertation is in its final form.
13.67 Within two weeks after passing the oral examination, the student shall submit to the Director of Graduate Studies one original and two copies of the dissertation, certified as approved by the oral examination committee (using the requisite Oral Examination form). The full dissertation shall be accompanied by four copies of an abstract that is approximately 500 words in length. The candidate must also provide evidence that an electronic version of the final approved dissertation has been uploaded to the HUSOE Taskstream system.
13.68 The title page of the dissertation shall conform to the following sample: