Graduate Policies

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The Ed.D. follows the University’s academic policies regarding graduate programs, as found on the University’s website: There are several exceptions, as noted below: 

Leaves of Absence. When a candidate accepts a seat in the program, it is assumed that the candidate is fully prepared to remain in active matriculation for the duration of the three-year course of study.  As a cohort-based program, doctoral candidates move through the program together, building relationships and expanding skill sets, so ongoing enrollment is a primary component of this degree program. 

 There may be occasions, however, when a doctoral candidate cannot continue in the program due to an unforeseen personal or professional emergency. There are two options available to doctoral candidates in these circumstances: 

  • If the candidate is within the first two years of study, s/he may request a leave of absence. The leave of absence may be granted for a period of one year, to allow for the student to re-enter the program with a subsequent cohort and pick up where s/he left off in the curriculum. Generally, only one leave of absence is permitted; appeals for a second consecutive leave of absence must be made to the program director, with appropriate documentation to support the request. If a doctoral candidate is denied a second leave of absence, s/he may appeal to the Dean of the College of Education for reconsideration. 
  • If the doctoral candidate is in the last year of study (all coursework completed with only dissertation credits remaining), the leave of absence may be granted on a semesterly basis as most of the work is completed independently. Requests for leaves of absence must be made each semester as long as the doctoral candidate wishes to remain active in the program. In accordance with University policy, all coursework must be completed and the dissertation successfully defended within eight years of admission.  
  • Leaves of absence from the program are not retroactive, so requests must be made prior to the start of each semester. If personal emergencies dictate, the doctoral candidate may withdraw from coursework up until the deadline posted by the Office of the Registrar in order to receive a “W” for the semester. Tuition refunds follow University timelines as well. 

Full-time Study. Students enrolled in the Ed.D. program and following the established course of study over three years (55 credits) are given full-time status. This designation is important for federal financial aid, as five credits per semester are required for eligibility. 

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