Qualifying Paper and Comprehensive Exams

Qualifying Paper  

The qualifying paper will be written and assessed as part of course requirements and the course grade for EDCI 8650 Curriculum and Instruction  in Contemporary Urban Settings; students will further obtain approval of the final draft of the paper by their dissertation committee members.  The student is responsible for submitting a copy of the paper to their committee members as an opportunity for faculty to better know the students and their scholarly thinking and writing.  If there is a significant discrepancy/problem with the students’ work, the chair should bring the problem to the attention of the EdD program committee.

Comprehensive Exams

The comprehensive exam consists of written exam questions pertaining to the student’s area of research and study and occurs at the midpoint of the program. The purpose of the comprehensive exam is for doctoral students to demonstrate their knowledge of theory and research within their specific concentration areas, empirical research, and social justice as well as their facility in writing scholarly text.  Citations of theory and research are expected in APA 7th Edition format. Members of the Dissertation Committee assess and evaluate the doctoral student’s responses. Successful completion of the written portion of the exams precedes an oral defense with dissertation committee members for final determination of pass or fail. Per Program Policy (see Graduate Catalog) students may attempt the comprehensive exams twice only.  Once a doctoral student  has successfully completed their “comps” they are considered ready to begin preparation of the prospectus – or dissertation study proposal.

The comprehensive exam consists of three questions, 1) research-oriented, 1) content-oriented, and 1) program -oriented (curriculum and instruction focused on social justice). Your Dissertation Committee Chairperson will facilitate your preparation for the exams (discussion, consultation, reading lists beyond coursework in your area) as well as the development of the content and research questions to you will be expected to respond.  The Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction Program Committee develops and distributes the third question to Chairs.  

Each student is responsible for individual work with original submissions. Turnitin Software will be employed.

  • Comprehensive exams are administered in a take-home format.
  • Collaboration is not permitted in preparation, writing, or proofing/revising the comprehensive exams.  Your submission may be processed through Turnitin, a plagiarism-checking software.
  • Responses should be a minimum of 10 and maximum of 25 pages in length, exclusive of references, for each of the three questions formatted in APA 7th edition style.
  • The dissertation committee chair is responsible for developing the research and content oriented questions; the program oriented question will be developed by the EdD Program Committee members and provided to the committee chairs.
  • Comprehensive exams are conducted over the semester break between Year 2 and Year 3.
  • Students will receive their three exam questions on the last class day of the program Fall (year) 2 courses.
  • Responses are to be submitted to the dissertation chair (cc Dr. Sullivan and Auslander) on the first class day of Spring (year) 2 via email format.
  • Once the written comprehensive exams are deemed satisfactory by the student’s committee, the oral defense may take place.  This form must be submitted to Dr. Sullivan: Successful Completion of Comprehensive Exam Form
  • If there is a significant discrepancy or problem with a student’s submission, the chair of the dissertation committee should bring the problem to the attention of the EdD program directors and/or committee. 
  • Per Program Policy (see Graduate Catalog) you may attempt the comprehensive exams twice only. The doctoral student’s second attempt schedule is determined by Dissertation Committee members.
  • Oral defenses of the comprehensive exam should be scheduled in Fall 2 for sometime in Spring 2 prior to approximately 15 February. Electronic means such as Skype/Google Hangout are acceptable in conducting the oral defense.