Doctor of Education

Mission and Vision Statement


The mission of the Doctor of Education (EdD) is to facilitate the development of investigative, individual, interpersonal, and innovative skills needed for leaders to address emerging issues in educational settings. This is accomplished through academic experiences which challenge professionals to transform the institutions and communities they serve by advancing ethics, change, and social justice through the decision sciences.


To be a nationally recognized leader in the development of scholar-practitioners who serve to advance ethics, change, and social justice through the decision sciences.

Doctor of Education Introduction

Doctoral coursework is offered through a roughly once-a-month weekend class session at the Cedar Bluff, Knoxville, TN site. Two classes occur for students on class weekends at the Knoxville/Cedar Bluff campus. The program is designed to develop exemplary educational leaders accomplished through rigorous academic training which challenges practitioners to make a positive impact on this generation and the next. Candidates can earn a concentration in one of three areas: Curriculum & Instruction (CI), Instructional Leadership (IL), or Higher Education (HE).

The LMU doctoral program is an independent program requiring candidates to take appropriate and timely initiatives to meet program expectations and deadlines regarding coursework and dissertation completion. Candidates are provided guidance about the program design and dissertation requirements at the beginning of their journey. A program of study serves as a reference for candidate progress throughout the completion of the degree program. An EdD is a research degree, and the quality of the dissertation (content and form) reflects the attributes of the researcher and the standard of the school, program, and University.

EdD Program Design

Sixty-Three Hour Program. Applicants must possess a master’s degree in a field that is related to the concentration that is selected for study – i.e., education for IL and CI; and higher education for HE. The program consists of 63 credit hours including (a) 15 credit hours of doctoral core; (b) 18 credit hours in a primary concentration; (c) 15 credit hours in in an alternate concentration; and (d) 15 credit hours in independent dissertation coursework. Candidates may need to take additional dissertation hours in order to complete the degree program. Candidates will graduate with an EdD with two concentrations. 

Forty-Eight Hour Program. Applicants must possess an educational specialist, or master’s degree plus 30 hours minimum, in a field that is related to the concentration that is selected for study (i.e., education for IL and CI; and higher education for HE) or possess a doctorate in their professional field, e.g. OTD, JD.

The program consists of 48 credit hours including (a) 15 credit hours of doctoral core; (b) 18 credit hours in a concentration; and (c) 15 credit hours in independent dissertation coursework. Candidates may need to take additional dissertation hours (EDLC 899) dependent upon their progress in the program. Candidates may choose to enroll in 15 additional hours from the alternate concentration to graduate with a doctoral degree in two concentrations. Candidates holding an Educational Specialist degree from Lincoln Memorial University can apply to complete a 48-hour program in one or two concentrations. The Program of Studies for each of these options can be found in a section presented later in this catalog.

Thirty-Six Hour Program. To apply for the 36-hour program applicants must possess an Educational Specialist degree from Lincoln Memorial University and desire to continue their studies in the concentration that was selected for their EdS degree. Accordingly, this degree is offered in the concentrations of Instructional Leadership and Curriculum and Instruction. LMU EdS Graduates who qualify for admission into the LMU EdD program can apply 30 EdS credit hours toward the doctoral program when they pursue their EdS concentration within the EdD program. This means the total number of hours of coursework remaining after the EdS would be 36 credit hours.

Application Process

Domestic Applicants
Domestic applicants seeking admission to the doctoral program must meet the following criteria and submit required documentation as stipulated. Admission packages for membership in the Fall cohort group must be submitted in completed form prior to February 1 for early consideration or before May 1 for final consideration of the year in which admission is being sought. The admissions process consists of two stages with the first being a paper- based document review and the second, a performance- based assessment that includes a writing sample and interview.

Paper-Based Document Review (Stage One)

  1. Application Form
  2. Application fee of $50 (USD), non-refundable
  3. Transcripts for all graduate level coursework
  4. Three (3) recommendations from persons knowledgeable of applicant’s professional experience and skills (preferably from current work supervisor, former work supervisor, and current or former work colleague)
  5. Resume or Curriculum Vita

The Admissions Committee will review all documents and rate the applicants per their ability to successfully complete requirements within the doctoral program. In the event this review leads the Committee to make an affirmative decision, the applicant will advance to Stage Two of the application process. All decisions made by the Admissions Committee are final. 
Performance-Based Assessment Component (Stage Two Review)
Those applicants recommended for additional consideration will be invited to complete the following assessments.

  1. Writing Sample. In a proctored setting, or via electronic submission (per program discretion), applicants will have a specified period of time in which to respond in writing to a select number of essay questions.
  2. Structured Interview. Applicants will participate in personal interviews with members of the doctoral program faculty.

These interviews will be held at the Cedar Bluff campus in Knoxville, TN or via virtual platform, such as Zoom, dependent on program discretion.

The Admissions Committee will review all available data and forward a final recommendation for, or denial of, admission to the applicant. The decision of the Admissions Committee is final. Upon notice of acceptance, applicants will work with an assigned faculty member to complete a program of study appropriate to the degree program and concentration(s) they have selected.

Admitted applicants are required to attend a program orientation before beginning their work in the program. Failure to do so may result in a deferred enrollment or re-assessment of the admittance decision.

International Applicants
Given that the application and admissions processes to the doctoral program require time, applicants should begin collecting and submitting required paperwork once a decision has been made to apply. All paperwork that is required within the first stage of the process is due before February 1 for early consideration or before May 1 for final consideration of the year in which application is being made. Under this timeline, applicants receive a decision regarding their admission by May 30 of the same year.
The admissions process to the doctoral program consists of two stages. The first stage is a paper-based examination of applicant data which is conducted by the University’s Principal Designated School Official (PDSO). The PDSO for LMU is Conrad Daniels, who can be reached at this email: The second stage is performance-based and is undertaken by the School of Education Doctoral Program.

  • Stage One Review: The PDSO coordinates a review process with other personnel within the university to ensure the applicant is able to meet the criteria established by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, and other agencies, as required. This process includes but is not limited to: obtaining a copy of the applicant’s passport; collecting data from standardized examinations; securing copies of evaluated transcripts; and other related actions. This information must be received before Stage Two. Upon the candidate’s successful completion of the Stage One process, the PDSO will send verification of the applicant’s eligibility to the School of Education Doctoral Program for continued review and consideration.

Note: The PDSO reserves the right to undertake any identity verification procedures that they believe are required in order to validate the applicant’s personal identity. Such procedures may include but are not limited to direct contact with university faculty having personal knowledge of the applicant; request for additional documentation; photographic identification; and other means as might be deemed necessary to authenticate the identity of applicant.

Should fraudulent identity be discovered:

  • During the application process, the process shall be immediately terminated, and the School of Education shall have no obligation to return any monies or materials provided as part of the application process; and
  • After admission has been granted, the applicant shall be immediately dismissed from the program and forfeit any and all rights to re-enrollment.
    Entrance into candidacy within the doctoral program begins with the applicant’s certification by the PDSO. Please see the table below for an overview of the documents required in Stage One of the application process. Should the PDSO determine that the applicant does not meet its requirements, the applicant shall not receive consideration for admission to the doctoral program.

Stage One Screening Process (PDSO)

  • Initial Application Form and Non-Refundable Application Fee of $50.00 USD – completed on the University’s website  
  • Copy of the Passport Photo Page

Standardized Examinations
Applicants from Non-English-speaking countries:
a. In those cases where English is not the native language of the applicant, score reports from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)2 or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are required for admission. In order to qualify for program admission, applicants are required to obtain a minimum TOEFL score of 71 (iBT), 197 (CBT) or 527 (paper-based) as determined by the type of examination that was taken. In the case of the IELTS, a minimum score of 6.0 is required for program admission.

b. International candidates seeking to transfer from other regionally accredited United States post-secondary institutions who have earned a minimum of thirty (30) college-level credit hours and who meet the aforementioned standards of academic proficiency will not be required to submit TOEFL or IELTS scores. Applicants from English-speaking countries:

In those cases, in which English is the spoken language, official score reports from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)3 depicting performance in the areas of quantitative reasoning; verbal and analytic writing are required. These data must be less than five (5) years old as of the date of application. Applicants must obtain a minimum combined verbal and quantitative score of 750 (or 285 if taken after August 1, 2011) and a minimum analytical writing score of 3.5.

Official Transcripts for all Graduate-Level Coursework
Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) requires that all graduate-level transcripts for international candidates be evaluated and translated by an outside service. The official transcripts must be sent to World Education Services (, or for a course-by-course evaluation and verification that the degree is equivalent to a master’s degree issued from an institution of post-secondary education in the United States of America. The official WES report should be sent to LMU along with the application packet.

Recommendation Forms
Three (3) recommendations from persons knowledgeable of the applicant’s professional knowledge and skills need to be completed and submitted.

Resume or Curriculum Vitae
A copy of the applicant’s resume or curriculum vitae is required and should be submitted.
Additional Documents - Additional documents as requested by the PDSO at the time of application.

TOEFL scores are non-negotiable – applicants failing to perform at the stipulated level shall not be considered for admission to the program.

Stage Two Screening Process (School of Education Doctoral Program)
Writing Sample

Applicants will submit a copy of a thesis or a formal paper that they completed as part of their master’s degree program. Applicants may also be required to submit their philosophy of education and research interests.
Structured Interview Applicants will participate in an online or in-person structured interview with members of the doctoral program faculty.

Topical Presentation
Applicants may be asked to provide a five (5) minute presentation on a current topic of their interest. This presentation may be delivered in-person or via the Internet.

  • Stage Two Review: School of Education Doctoral Program. Following notification from the Office of International Programs that an applicant has passed the Stage One review, the admissions representative for the doctoral program will deliver the information collected by this office to the faculty Admissions Committee. This Committee will review the data and determine the applicant’s level of preparation and likelihood of success in completing the degree requirements. In the event these data lead the Committee to make an affirmative decision, the applicant will advance to Stage Two of the admissions process. At this point in time, any information requested from the applicant should be submitted as follows: Attention: Doctor of Education Program, Carter & Moyers School of Education, Lincoln Memorial University Cedar Bluff, 421 Park 40 North Blvd., Knoxville, TN 37923.

International applicants recommended for Stage Two consideration will be asked to fulfill the requirements listed.

Admission packages for membership in the Fall cohort must be submitted in completed form prior to February 1 for early consideration or before May 1 for final consideration of the year in which admission is being sought.

The Admissions Committee will review all available data and forward a final recommendation for, or denial of, admission to the applicant. The decision of the Admissions Committee is final. Candidates who are granted admission to Lincoln Memorial University will receive a letter of acceptance - a copy of which will be provided to the Office of International Programs for use in working with the candidate to complete all remaining processes. This letter, along with the I-20 form furnished by the University, must be presented to the Consular Office of the United States to which the candidate applies for a student visa. Those applicants accepted into the program will be required to complete, sign, and return related documents (e.g., Affidavit of Support and Certification of Finances form) and pay the Candidate and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS 901) fee (see These final steps in the admissions process are coordinated and directed by the Office of International Programs in conjunction with the PDSO.

Upon notice of acceptance, applicants will work with an assigned faculty member from the EdD program to complete a program of study appropriate to the degree program and concentration(s) they have selected. Sample program of studies plans are posted and available for review within the Graduate Education Catalog.

Applicants who are accepted for candidacy in the doctoral program will be expected to participate in an all-day orientation program which is offered in advance of the onset of Fall term courses. 

Program Degree Concentrations
Each of these concentrations has been designed to develop leaders who are scholars; have outstanding personal qualities; are able to conduct original research and interpret and communicate the results of that research through their writing, teaching, and leadership; learn the art of effective collaboration; and can, and will, translate theory into practice. In addition to completing all of the required coursework successfully, candidates must complete a dissertation to earn the education doctorate. The dissertation must be a work that reflects a high-level of quality and represents an original and significant contribution to the discipline.

Most candidates will take at least 12 hours of doctoral core classes.

Doctor of Education—Concentration in Curriculum & Instruction (CI)

Educators who are interested in pursuing leadership positions in PK-16 settings will find this concentration provides a rich curriculum capable of preparing them for careers they may want to undertake. Successful completion of the coursework and research will enable them to develop the skills, confidence, and knowledge required to become leaders in positions at the Director and/or Central Office level in curriculum and instruction; at the state level with a focus on curriculum and instruction; and other types of organizations that demand knowledge in the area of curriculum and instruction.

Course Curriculum provides:

  • access to current research and practice pertaining to the design, delivery, and assessment of instructional programs;
  • direction on how to ensure the appropriate inclusion of information and other digital systems into organizational processes;
  • exposure to instructional strategies, learning styles, human cognition, and diversity-related issues; and
  • knowledge and skill growth in understanding, conducting, and applying research in the field of curriculum and instruction in the context of developing a deep appreciation of, and ability to implement constructivist principles in all aspects of instructional programs.

Doctor of Education—Concentration in Instructional Leadership (IL)

This concentration affords those educators who want to enhance their opportunities in PK-16 settings as principals, assistant principals, superintendents, directors, or in related leadership roles at local, regional, state, or even national positions that demand skilled leadership and a comprehensive knowledge base. This concentration provides multiple opportunities to acquire the knowledge needed to pursue such positions but is not an initial IL licensure program.

Course Curriculum provides:

  • acquisition of expertise in evolving leadership and organizational theories;
  • practice in the identification of issues surrounding financial stewardship;
  • employment of predictive leadership models to address emerging educational issues;
  • development of the skills required to analyze and reflect critically upon contemporary issues facing education;
  • learning on how to engage inquiry in decision- making processes; and
  • opportunities for candidates to acquire a deeper understanding of the application and conduct of research in the field of leadership and administration in education.

Higher Education Concentration (HE)

The Higher Education concentration will help candidates acquire the knowledge and skills they will need to assume leadership roles in institutions of higher education (public and private); liberal arts and research- based sites; community colleges; and related academic entities.
Course Curriculum Provides:

  • experience in conducting and publishing research which answers meaningful questions and makes a difference to campus practice and/or to the fields of higher education;
  • preparation to effect change at site and organizational levels through creative interventions and program design;
  • exposure to, and familiarization with, pertinent laws, regulations, policies; accrediting agencies; and standards of governing;
  • strategies for relating to, and working with, diverse populations;
  • skill development in how to communicate competently in a global and multicultural context; and
  • strategies for appropriately confronting personal and institutional injustice and marginalization in higher education.

Available at LMU’s Cedar Bluff Campus, Knoxville, TN during the Fall and Spring term and via online delivery during summer terms.

Course Delivery

The doctoral program operates on a cohort group model. However, prospective candidates and interested others may elect to enroll in individual courses as may be beneficial to their making a decision to pursue program admission and/or for their personal edification.

New cohort groups affiliated with all three concentrations begin during each Fall term. In some instances, one or more cohort groups are merged for the delivery of core coursework this allowing for rich inter-disciplinary discussions and opportunities for professional networking that may yield long-term benefits for all concerned.

During each term (Summer, Fall, Spring) two courses are offered for candidate enrollment and three courses for those international candidates participating in the program.

Each term’s course schedule is designed to leverage delivery of the program of studies that is aligned to completion of the degree; however, given the number of variables that must be factored into schedule development, there may be occasions when it is impossible to provide access to a specific course and/or access to a given course at a specific time.

Attendance Policy

At the graduate level, direct interaction with the course instructor and with other candidates is integral to each candidate’s ability to acquire, integrate, and obtain a better context for the knowledge and skills that the course is designed to deliver. Each candidate is expected to attend each class and to interact with the instructor, other candidates as appropriate and class presenters during, as well as outside of, class hours throughout the term. Students who miss any part of one session will not be eligible to receive full credit for a course grade. Students who miss any part of two or more classes must repeat the course.

NOTE: Session refers to Friday/Saturday session. Class refers to any part of the Friday/Saturday session.

If a student has a course session conflict, they are required to email both their instructors with the issue in the same email and copy the program director. The instructors will alert the program director, if they are not already copied on said email, who will determine the decision. Most of the time, the student must determine if they can miss the conflict that has arisen or uphold the conflict with consequences. Upholding the conflict, and therefore missing class, will result in a lowered grade. For a Friday/Saturday session, each class missed will result in a half letter grade deduction, for example A to B+, meaning the highest grade the student can earn is a B+. A half letter grade is A to B+, A- to B, B+ to B-, or B to C+. For a Saturday session, there is only one class and if it is missed the student's grade will be lowered by a complete letter grade for example A to B, meaning the highest grade the student can earn is a B. A complete letter grade is A to B, A- to B-, B+ to C+, or B to C. If the student decides to miss class, they are still responsible for ALL assignments at the original due date, including a make-up assignment for missing the class discussion portion, as determined by the instructor. Failure to complete any assignments will result in an additionally lowered grade as noted in the grading policy section. In very rare cases, absences could be approved; however, these are extremely rare. Please note, professional responsibilities of LMU employees who are also EdD students are not automatically approved and are not exempt from this policy.

Candidate in 899 hours do not have schedule class sessions; however, the chair and candidate meet as determined by the chair. Candidates and chairs will work together to find times to meet. Should a candidate schedule a meeting with a chair and must miss, they should reach out to their chair. If a candidate misses more than one scheduled meeting with their chair, this is grounds for a lowered grade in 899, as described in the 899-grading section.


Grading Policy

Please note: The instructor does not assign Incompletes in the course. Per program policy, a student must earn a grade no lower than a B- to successfully complete the course. If a student earns a C+, they must repeat the course. In the event a student earns a grade lower than a C+, they will be administratively withdrawn from the doctoral program. 


Quality of work exceptional 



Quality of work above course expectation 


Very Good 

Quality of work better than satisfactory 


Quality of work satisfactory 



Quality of work meets minimum requirements 


Must repeat course before moving forward 

Quality of work does not meet requirement for doctoral program 

Dismissal from doctoral program 

A grade of B- is the minimum grade a candidate can receive to successfully pass an LMU doctoral course.  

A grade of an A is an expectation of a doctoral student; however, if a faculty member notices a problem with work, including but not limited to quality, completion, growth, turning in on time, and meeting specific requirements (e.g., page numbers, word counts), the grade should reflect this issue. Faculty members will deduct a half a letter grade for each instance of each issue noted above. Additionally, faculty members should meet with students if any of these issues occur and document this meeting. Additionally, there are other reasons why a student may receive a C in a course. Those reasons are:

  1. Grossly not meeting expectations (e.g., length requirement is 20 pages and student submitted 9 pages),
  2. Failing to turn assignment in on time – reflected in grading policy above, or
  3. Other reasons via faculty discretion.

Incomplete Policy

Instructors do not assign a grade of Incomplete (I) in the EdD program unless under emergency circumstances. Instructors may assign a grade of Incomplete (I) only in cases where a student has a documented emergency, after consultation with the program director. If a grade of Incomplete (I) is assigned, students must satisfy all course requirements, including outstanding assignments, within six weeks of the end of the term (the day in which final course grades are posted) in which they receive an incomplete. Dissertation chairs are not permitted to assign an Incomplete (I) in 899 for any reason, including for documented emergencies. Grading in 899 is explained in a future section.

Academic Misconduct

Academic misconduct is a serious offense that jeopardizes a candidate’s academic, career, and personal success. Candidates may be dismissed from the Doctoral Program for academic misconduct (including plagiarism). If that occurs, the candidate will receive an email and a letter indicating the infraction and effective date of dismissal. Candidates who are dismissed will not be readmitted to the Program.

Behavior and Dispositions

Appropriate dispositions and behavioral expectations are discussed in the EdD orientation. After orientation, students are required to sign these dispositions, which states they will adhere to them in class and in all EdD program components. This signed form is uploaded to the student’s portal under forms.

Faculty will monitor behavior of students during class. Should there be any issues noted, the following procedure will be implemented.

  1. First offense within any class: Email about issue (e.g., student did not meet the quality of assignment), forward to Program Director.
  2. Second offense within any class: Faculty meeting with the student (include Program Director); document the issue using the Developmental Plan form; student, faculty, and program director must sign the form; and then send via email to student and copy Program Director. Grade in class should reflect this second offense. Student should not score above a B in the class.
  3. Third offense within any class: Administrative withdrawal –Faculty sends an email communication that the student has had two offenses previously and has not improved and copies the Program Director. Program Director sends Administrative Withdrawal letter to the student. Grade in the class should reflect this third offense. Student should score a C in the class.

All offenses will be shared internally, during faculty meetings (under candidate concerns).

Additionally, regular disposition forms are collected each term.

  • Each term, each instructor will complete a disposition form on each student in their class
  • Forms are completed within five days after the last class
  • This also includes candidates in 899 hours – all chairs are required to complete disposition forms.

Should there be any issues noted, the same procedures above will be followed, unless one of the procedures was already started with an in-class issue, in which case, the procedure will resume at the next appropriate step.

Comprehensive Examination

Criteria for Taking the Comprehensive Exam

Students must have successfully completed ALL coursework (i.e., B- or above) for their major concentration before they can take comprehensive exams. Comprehensive exams are taken after the student completes the quantitative research course, the qualitative research course, and the dissertation design course, or at program director’s discretion. Comprehensive exams will be given at the end of each semester, if appropriate to provide anonymous scoring. Students will be sent an email from the program director or designee with the comprehensive exam dates for the two available terms and students must declare which term they will take the comprehensive exams by a designated date, which is prior to the offering of either exam. Students take one comprehensive exam, called the Core Comprehensive Exam, and potentially a concentration-based exam, at the discretion of the EdD program director.

Comprehensive Exam Repeat Policy

Students who do not pass the comprehensive exam will be permitted to re-take the exam. They must re-take their exam in the following semester. Students who do not pass the comprehensive exam on their second attempt will be administratively withdrawn from the program.

Independent Dissertation Research – EDLC 899

Chair Determination

Candidates choose, or may be assigned, a dissertation chair. The program director will alert students when it is time to select a chair or will notify students once a chair has been assigned. It may be necessary to assign chairs should EdD capacity be an issue, low faculty numbers in the EdD program. Chairs MUST be approved by the EdD Program Director. The program director maintains a list of approved chairs. The program director reserves the right to change a candidate’s chair should it be determined that the chair/candidate relationship is not conducive to the candidate’s progress or if the relationship does not represent the standards of the EdD program. The chair is the ultimate decision maker in the candidate’s dissertation process.

Committee Determination

A candidate’s committee consists of a chair and at least two committee members. The candidate may add a third committee member, with chair approval. Committee members should be chosen in consultation with the chair. If a committee member is chosen without the knowledge of the current chair, the chair may remove the committee member at any time. All candidates must have at least one full-time EdD Faculty member on their committee. Full-time EdD Faculty are those whose sole responsibility is to teach in teh EdD Program. If the chair is external from the EdD faculty, the chair and candidate will work with the EdD program director to determine an EdD faculty member for committee placement. Any external committee members, those outside LMU, must submit a CV, dissertation, and statement of commitment to attend the candidate’s proposal defense via Zoom and final defense in person during daytime hours. This documentation must be sent to the program director for approval. The committee must be chosen prior to scheduling the proposal defense. It is highly recommended the candidate and chair include a methodologist as a committee member. Committee members are not financially compensated for any portion of their work on committee.

Dissertation Expectations

  • Candidates write using the APA 7th (or current APA) edition style guide.
  • Candidates write entirely in past tense. (Present perfect is acceptable. It is also acceptable if a student begins a statement with past tense but keeps remaining verbs present.)
  • Candidates cannot develop their own instrument for quantitative research.
  • Instruments for qualitative research must be based on previous literature and documented.
  • Candidates must receive permission to use existing instrumentation.
  • Candidates must triangulate or show reliability/validity for data.
    • A qualitative study must include more than a questionnaire.
    • A quantitative study must include a valid/reliable, existing instrument.
  • Expert methodologists must be consulted while a student is drafting their methodology section.
  • Conducting a study in one’s own school or district is strongly discouraged.
  • Decisions based on ease are inappropriate. Decisions should be based on literature and study conditions.
  • Dissertations are drafted using Microsoft Word.
  • All IRB guidelines must be followed.

EDLC 899 Grading - Adequate Progress


Chairs will meet with candidates within three weeks of the beginning of each term and complete the Form 12 - 899 Planning Form to agree upon adequate progress goals and work products for the term. The expectation is that each candidate sets goals to fully complete at least one chapter in their dissertation per term. Candidates are responsible for arranging the meeting within the three weeks to complete Form 12 with their Chair. Candidates will upload their co-signed 899 Planning Form to the portal within the first three weeks of each term, after the candidate and chair have met.


Candidate grades for 899 include A, B-, or C. No other grades shall be used for EDLC-899/Independent Dissertation Research coursework. Adequate progress is marked by a grade of A. Inadequate progress at the end of the term is marked by a grade of B-. If a candidate has already obtained a B-, a second semester of inadequate progress, or B-, becomes a C and the candidate is administratively withdrawn from the EdD program. In the EdD Program, as reflected in the Grading Policy section of this document, a C is the equivalent of failing a course (F). Candidates cannot have more than one term of inadequate progress while enrolled in EDLC-899/Independent Dissertation Research hours. If a B- is obtained in 899, candidates will receive a letter of warning. If a second B- is obtained, and a C is reported, candidates will receive a letter of administrative withdrawal from the program.

Milestones in the Dissertation Process

Criteria for Submitting an IRB Application

Candidates must meet all criteria to schedule a Proposal Defense and must have successfully passed their Proposal Defense. Candidates must have obtained permission, or tentative permission, from all district or school level sites used for study. Candidates must have an active CITI certificate. Candidates must upload a completed and signed Form 3 to the Portal. The IRB application must be updated if the study changes and must be extended if the study lasts beyond one year. When the candidate submits the IRB application, the email must include the chair and EdD IRB representative.

Criteria for Scheduling a Dissertation Defense

Candidates must have completed Chapters 1-5, which must be approved by committee Chair, and after Chair approval, sent to all committee members at least two weeks prior to the Dissertation Defense date. Chair can utilize the EdD Dissertation Checklist to verify the dissertation is ready for defense (see Appendix D). Candidates must have a valid (non-expired) active IRB approval. The Dissertation Defense must be scheduled in person. Following the Dissertation Defense, the candidate must complete all edits from the committee, and obtain the chair’s final approval. The final dissertation is then sent to the program director for approval, then to the dean for approval, and finally to the librarian for publication. The chair facilitates the process a candidate goes through for all final edits and final steps in the dissertation process.

Criteria for Graduation

Candidates must have completed and signed Form 9 - Intent to Graduate; this form must be filed to the registrar by October 31 for December graduates and March 31 for May graduates, and June 30 for summer graduates. Forms are due to the EdD program director by October 1 for fall graduation, March 1 for spring graduation, and June 1 for summer graduation. Summer graduates participate in the December graduation ceremony. The form requires chair and program director signature. Candidates who have not successfully passed their Dissertation Defense may not file an Intent to Graduate Form. Candidates must have successfully completed their Program of Study (including a minimum of 15 hours of EDLC 899), successfully passed their Dissertation Defense, and be in good standing with the university. Candidates must have completed all final revisions, closed out the study with the IRB, submitted the dissertation to ProQuest, and have completed and signed Form 11 with all necessary signatures. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure they have taken and completed a minimum of 15 hours of EDLC 899. Failure to ensure this requirement has been met will result in a delay of graduation until all hours are taken as set forth in the timelines.

Adherence to Established Program Deadlines

The following table presents the deadlines for completion of doctoral candidates’ dissertation work. Please note that there is a distinction between deadline dates for participation in graduation exercises and deadlines for completing work prior to the end of a given term.
Deadline Dates for Participation in the Spring and Fall Graduation Ceremonies
Spring: Dissertation has been approved by the Dean by March 31 for a May graduation (Intent to Graduate forms due March 1)
Fall: Dissertation has been approved by the Dean by October 31 for a December graduation (Intent to Graduate forms due October 1)
Summer: Dissertation has been approved by the Dean by June 30 for a Summer degree conferral (Intent to Graduate forms due June 15). No commencement services are held in the summer so summer graduates will walk in December but will have degrees conferred in July. Deadline Dates for Completing Work Prior to the End of the Term
Spring: To avoid registering for the summer term, dissertation has been approved by the Dean by April 30 Summer: To avoid registering for the Fall term, dissertation has been approved by the Dean by July 31 Fall: To avoid registering for the Spring term, dissertation has been approved by the Dean by November 30

Leave of Absence

A candidate who wishes or needs to interrupt study temporarily because of personal exigencies may request a personal leave of absence. A candidate who is current with his or her degree requirements is eligible for a personal leave after satisfactory completion of at least one term of study. Personal leaves cannot be granted retroactively and normally will not be approved after the tenth day of a term.

To request a personal leave of absence, the candidate must complete the appropriate form explaining the reasons for the leave, stating both the proposed start and end dates of the leave, and the address at which the candidate can be reached during the period of the leave. A copy of this form is available on the Dissertation Portal. Upon program re-entry, the candidate must schedule a meeting with the Program Director and complete a re- enrollment form a copy of which will be sent to the LMU Registrar.
The following information further explicates the leave of absence process.

  1. The Dean, on the recommendation of the Doctoral Program Director, must approve all leaves of absence.
  2. Candidates in the doctoral program may be granted a leave for up to one (1) academic year (three terms). The expected last date of registration will be adjusted by one term for each term of the leave.
  3. Candidates on leave may complete outstanding work in courses for which they have been granted approved incompletes. They may not, however, fulfill any other degree requirements during the time on leave.
  4. A leave of absence does not exempt the candidate from meeting the tuition requirement or payment of fees already accrued.
  5. A candidate on leave of absence is not eligible for financial aid, including loans; and in most cases, candidate loans are not deferred during periods of non- enrollment.
  6. Candidates should consult the University Financial Aid Office to ascertain financial aid implications prior to applying for a leave of absence.
  7. A candidate on leave of absence is not eligible for the use of any University facilities normally available to enrolled candidates.
  8. Candidates on leave of absence must file a formal application for readmission and submit it to the doctoral program office. The doctoral program office will forward a copy of the application to the Registrar. Such notification should be given at least four weeks prior to the end of the approved leave.
  9. Candidates who fail to register for the term following the end of the approved leave will be administratively withdrawn from the doctoral program.
  10. Candidates who do not apply for a personal leave of absence, or whose application for a personal leave is denied, and who do not register for any term, will be administratively withdrawn from the doctoral program.

Continuous Enrollment Requirement

Candidates and students must maintain continuous enrollment in the EdD program. Continuous enrollment means the candidate or student is enrolled in their coursework, including 899 hours, by the day of the start of the EdD program courses. If a student or candidate is not enrolled by the first day of the start of the EdD program courses, the student or candidate will receive a letter of administrative withdrawal. It is the candidate or student’s responsibility to keep up with their hours and to follow and abide by all registration deadlines.

Time in the EdD Program

Each student has a maximum number of years to complete their doctoral degree. This section refers to full completion of all requirements in the EdD program. The number of years is determined by the hour program in which the student is enrolled.

  • 36-year program – 5 years maximum
  • 48-year program – 6 years maximum
  • 63-year program – 7 years maximum

Once candidates reach the year maximum for their program, they will be administratively withdrawn from the program, unless they are 1) actively working on their dissertation and 2) making adequate progress on their dissertation. The program director will send a letter to the candidates who have met their year maximum and explain that the program director will review all progress in the dissertation portal at the end of every term to ensure the candidate is making adequate progress. This review of progress is in addition to and above the chair’s determination of adequate progress. Should the program director find the candidate is not making adequate progress, the candidate will be administratively withdrawn from the program and not allowed an appeal.

Degrees and Certificates