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Dissertation work demonstrates that graduates can design, conduct, and interpret research and theory about important educational issues and problems. All doctoral-level research should enhance understanding of education and/or inform educational policy and/or practice.

Ed.D. dissertation research typically builds upon prior scholarship and theory, applying research findings in ways that will illuminate and enhance educational policy and/or practice.

Ph.D. dissertation research advances educational scholarship by making an original contribution to educational knowledge and/or theory in a manner that could impact educational policy and/or practice.

  • Students in the EPPL PhD program, in consultation with their dissertation chair, may elect to use a three-article dissertation format rather than a traditional PhD dissertation format. The traditional PhD dissertation typically consists of a single study, with five to six chapters. The three-article dissertation format typically includes three separate but inter-related studies which are of publishable quality. This alternative format provides an opportunity for doctoral students to receive guidance and mentoring in publishing their research prior to and immediately after graduation.