Frequently Asked Questions
What if my test scores aren’t high enough?
Your test scores must meet the minimum to be accepted in the program. Students sometimes retake the tests to raise their scores. Many students find the Study Guides (available in the bookstore) very helpful in improving their scores. If you retake the test, the previous scores are disregarded – this is not held against you in the admission process.
How soon will I know if I am accepted?
You should receive a letter within two weeks after the admission committee meets. The letter will inform you of your status, and if you are accepted it will include the name of your temporary advisor.
Can I take classes prior to being accepted in the program?
You must be enrolled in a degree program in order to take classes. There is no guarantee that classes taken prior to admission will be accepted as a part of your program, this decision is made by your doctoral committee. Only students enrolled in the Ed.S. or Ed.D. degree programs may register for 700 level courses. Most of these courses require departmental approval for registration.
How many semester hours are in the program?
The program consists of a minimum of 76 hours, including the successful submission of a dissertation.
How much of the program is available online?
This is not a distance education program – almost all of the classes require live meetings, on a weekly or bi-monthly schedule. Some classes are technology enhanced and have some live meeting component. Most classes include some use of the Internet for coursework and communication.
How long does it take to complete the program?
That depends on a number of factors, including your personal situation, the acceptance of previous courses in your Program of Study, your initiative and the availability of classes. The average is around three (3) years for coursework (three terms per year), with another two (2) years to complete your dissertation. Five (5) years is a reasonable expectation.
What is a “Program of Study”?
While the doctoral program has a very definite structure, the coursework plan is individually written. Variations occur in elective choices, in the area of emphasis, and in previous coursework accepted in the program. The Program of Study is an official “contract” written by the student and the committee chair with input from other committee members. This constitutes the definitive coursework required for completion of the program.
Is there a time limit on completing the program?
After you complete the coursework and pass your qualifying assessment (successful defense of your portfolio), you are accepted into “candidacy.” You are to complete your dissertation within four (4) year of acceptance into candidacy.
Does “residency” mean I have to live on campus?
Residency is defined as continuous enrollment (two out of ever three contigous terms) and attendance at the annual doctoral seminar. Residency also includes a group of experiences in which you work closely with faculty. These experiences and the residency portfolio are listed in the program handbook.
Are tuition waivers available?
There are a limited number of tuition waivers available to doctoral students. Tuition waivers are awarded from the Graduate Dean’s Office located on the Huntington Campus.
How do you decide on a topic for your dissertation?
As you work through your couses and interact with faculty and peers, dissertation topics will present themselves. Students are encouraged, however, to be proactive in exploring topics of interest with their advisor, professors, and peers.