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Doctoral Program Information

Academic Load for Doctoral Programs

DBU doctoral students taking a minimum of 6 hours in a Fall, Spring, or Long Summer term are considered full-time status. Doctoral students taking a minimum of 3 hours in a Summer 1, Summer 2, Long Winter, Short Winter, or Mini-Term are considered full-time status. Doctoral students taking a minimum of 3 hours in a Fall, Spring, or Long Summer term are considered half-time status. Doctoral students working on the completion of a dissertation are considered full-time for enrollment status. Doctoral students registering for more than 6 credit hours during any semester must have the approval of the program director and dean.

Doctoral Extended Leave

Students must maintain continuous enrollment in the summer, fall, and spring semesters each year of the program through the defense of the final dissertation. A leave of absence for a period of time no longer than one calendar year may be granted due to medical necessity or other compelling circumstances beyond the student’s control. A student requesting a leave of absence must complete the Request for Leave of Absence Form indicating specific details for the request. Leaves of absence must be approved by the Ed.D. or Ph.D. Program Director. Students who have received approval for a Leave of Absence are not required to maintain continuous enrollment for the time specified in the absence approval. A leave of absence is not to be used as a method of avoiding continuous registration requirements. A leave of absence does not stop the clock or extend the deadline on the seven-year time limit for completing the doctoral program. It is the student’s responsibility to confirm any disposition changes related to financial aid, including student loan repayments.

Grading for Doctoral Programs

Each professor determines the requirements and method of evaluating students in their courses. Students must earn a “C-” or higher in every course or seminar. While a student may earn a “C-” or better in all courses or seminars, all work in the doctoral program must meet program standards. All comp remediation and continuous enrollment courses will receive a credit (CR) or no credit (NC) grade. A student will receive a letter grade once successfully defending the proposal/prospectus and the dissertation. Students are required to maintain a grade point average of 3.25 in order to qualify for comprehensive examination. This provision applies to all courses taken as well as to all repeated courses.

According to DBU policy, students may access final grades online through the WebAdvisor System. Program faculty will not, in accordance with FERPA policies, provide grade information to students via telephone, e-mail, posting, or any other source that may compromise student confidentiality.

Human Participants Policy

In preparation of the proposal, any research involving human participants must be in compliance with the Protection of Human Participants at DBU Manual and Protection of Human Participants Application Form. If the proposed research involves human participants, the candidate must have written approval from the Committee for Protection of Human Participants prior to contacting the research participants and before the proposal has final approval. Failure to gain approval before interacting with research participants could result in a denial of the candidate’s proposal and have possible legal ramifications for the candidate. The candidate and his or her dissertation committee chair should consult the Protection of Human Participants at DBU Manual for the formal process by which to obtain training and application approval.

Doctoral Academic Appeal Procedure

In order to ensure an appeal process that is fair and timely to all parties involved, the following procedure is in place for academic appeals.

  • If the student wishes to file a formal concern regarding classroom procedure, the process starts with step 1 below.
  • If a student wishes to raise grounds for challenging a specific academic policy of the Program or University, not the resolution of an academic matter with a faculty member or other responsible person, the appeals process begins with step 2 below.

Upon receipt of a formal written appeal, the procedure below will be followed:

  • 1The student should schedule a conference with the faculty member (or other individual directly responsible) within 14 calendar days after the posting of grades. The faculty member (or other individual) may resolve the problem at that point.
  • 2If the matter is not resolved to the satisfaction of the student, he/she may submit a written appeal to the appropriate program director. If the appeal involves a classroom procedure, the written appeal must be submitted within seven calendar days of the conference with the faculty member (or other individual).
  • 3The program director shall schedule a conference with the student and/or other involved persons within seven calendar days of receiving the appeal from the student.
  • 4The program director shall notify all parties in writing of his/her decision within seven calendar days after the conference.
  • 5If the student believes the decision of the program director is unwarranted, he/she may appeal to the appropriate dean in writing within seven calendar days after receipt of the decision of the program director.

    The appropriate dean is identified as:

    • Ph.D. student appeals to the Dean of the Cook School of Leadership
    • Ed.D. student appeals to the Dean of the Cook School of Leadership
    • Ed.D. K-12 student appeals to the Dean of the College of Education
  • If one person serves as both the program director and the dean, the appeal process should proceed directly to Step 8.

  • 6The dean shall establish a meeting date for the purpose of hearing the appeal. All parties involved shall be notified of the meeting date at which the appeal will be heard and given the opportunity to be present.
  • 7The dean shall notify all parties in writing of its decision within seven calendar days.
  • 8If the student believes the decision of the dean is unwarranted, he/she may appeal to the appropriate committee in writing within seven calendar days after receipt of the decision of the dean.

    The appropriate committee is identified as:

    • Ph.D. student appeals to the Cook School of Leadership Doctoral Steering Committee
    • Ed.D. student appeals to the Cook School of Leadership Doctoral Steering Committee
    • Ed.D. K-12 student appeals to the Ed.D. K-12 Committee
  • If the dean also serves as a member of the appropriate committee, the dean shall not have a vote on the appeal before the committee.

  • 9The committee shall establish a meeting date for the purpose of hearing appeals. All parties involved shall be notified of the meeting date at which the appeal will be heard and given the opportunity to be present.
  • 10The appropriate committee shall notify all parties in writing of its decision within seven calendar days.
  • 11If a student believes the decision of the committee is unwarranted, he/she may appeal to the Provost in writing within seven calendar days after receipt of the decision of the appropriate committee.
  • 12If requested, the Provost shall schedule a conference with the student and/or other involved parties to be held within 14 calendar days of the receipt of the student's appeal.
  • 13The Provost shall notify all parties in writing of his/her decision within 14 calendar days after the conference.

The Doctoral Academic Appeal Procedure is an internal academic process of the University and legal counsel may not participate in any conference or hearing.

Probation and Suspension for the Doctoral Program

Academic Probation

A student who fails to achieve and/or maintain an overall 3.25 grade point average during any semester of enrollment will be placed on academic probation for one semester. At the end of the probationary semester, the student’s academic standing will be evaluated by the Academic Director of the doctoral program in consultation with program faculty and the Ed.D. or Ph.D. committee. If the student has failed to bring up the grade point average to 3.25, the student may be given one final semester to make sufficient academic progress. If, following that semester, the grade point still falls below the 3.25 required for Comprehensive Examinations, the student will be disallowed further study in the program.

Dismissal from the Doctoral Program

Although it is not expected, a student may be dismissed from the doctoral program for any of the following reasons:

  • Academic dishonesty
  • Failure to complete the program in the allotted time. Students are allowed seven years to complete the course of study. The seven (7) years is calculated from the first July semester matriculation and terminates on the last regular business day of June of the seventh year.
  • Failure to maintain continuous enrollment in the summer, fall, and spring semesters each year and pay the required fees will result in prevention from further participation in the program.
  • While it is possible for a student to earn a “C” in the doctoral program, he or she must maintain a grade point average of 3.25 in order to sit for both the Research and Statistics (2nd year) and the Seminar Content and Bibliography (3rd year) Comprehensive Examinations. Failure to maintain the required minimal grade point will constitute a basis for dismissal from the program.

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