Dissertation Information

Important Documents:

Dissertation Timeline

Phase 1: Cohort-based Coursework (Year 1-2)

Complete classes in Year 1 and Year 2 (e.g., Quantitative Methods) 

Dissertation emphasis: identify a research area and refine it into a research question. 

Complete dissertation-specific skill classes: 

  • LDRS 7453 Critical Inquiry – 5 components of dissertation + draft “Introduction” 
  • LDRS 7573 Advanced Research Methods – draft of the methodology chapter 
  • LDRS 8903 Guided Reading – draft of literature review 

Phase 2: Transitional (Year 3)

Recruit Chair and Committee with approval of CFLS Dean 

Comprehensive Examination (Academic Essay, Oral Examination, Video) – Year 2 

        CFLS Committee evaluates Comprehensive Examination (Pass/No Credit) 

        Ph.D. will require comprehensive examinations over three areas: leadership theory, research methods, and

        critical issues related to the concentration; the Ed.D. exams will be over two areas: leadership theory and

        critical issues related to concentration.  

LDRS 8923 Dissertation Proposal – drafting of dissertation proposal 

        Dissertation Committee gives proposal preliminary approval 

Dissertation Proposal Defense 

        Dissertation Committee evaluates proposal (Pass/No Credit)  

Submit proposed research to NU Institutional Review Board (IRB) 

Execute research for the dissertation. 

Write up findings for Committee review. 

Phase 3: Dissertation Completion (Year 4)

LDRS 8943 Dissertation Research – independent study with Chair  

LDRS 8963 Dissertation Writing – independent study with Chair 

Work with Chair and Committee on dissertation drafts 

Oral defense of final dissertation draft 

Dissertation Committee evaluates dissertation defense (Pass/No Credit) 

Dissertation completed and approved by Committee, CFLS Dean. 

  • Submitted bound copy of dissertation to the CFLS and electronic copy (PDF) to Library.  
  • Dissertation posted on Ebscohost Dissertation and Theses Database.  

Ph.D. students are required to complete 72 semester credit hours of coursework and an approved dissertation within 6 years of starting the program. Ed.D students are required to complete 60 credit hours of coursework and an approved dissertation within 5 years of starting the program.