Requirements for the Doctor of Education Degree


A minimum of 60 credits earned in courses and in dissertation research, at least 54 of which were completed at UVM following formal admission to the program. With the prior approval of their graduate program advisor and the Graduate College, doctoral students may apply up to 6 credits of 3000- or 4000-level coursework towards their graduate program. A student's advisor must submit this request to the Graduate College for approval before the student enrolls in the course. Under no circumstances will a course numbered below 3000 be applicable to a doctoral program. Doctoral students must achieve a 3.00 grade point average.

A maximum of 6 credit hours may be accepted in transfer from an accredited graduate program. Credits to transfer may be completed prior to admission to the Doctor of Education program provided that the credit is approved by the student's graduate program advisor and that the credit conforms to all other Graduate College requirements.

Comprehensive Examination

Consistent with Graduate College requirements, the Ed.D. program requires students to complete a comprehensive examination of core knowledge prior to the completion of the degree program. This examination occurs in the semester following completion of the core course curriculum. The examination tests knowledge in areas of study germane to all Ed.D. students. 

Research and Dissertation

Each candidate must complete an acceptable original research project which contributes new knowledge or techniques in an academic field. Each candidate must enroll in a minimum of 18 credits of dissertation research. Only a member of the graduate faculty may supervise dissertation research for the Ed.D.

Dissertation Defense Forms

A Public Notice of the defense is required at least three weeks prior to the scheduled defense date in order for the student to defend. The Intent to Graduate form and Defense Committee form must be submitted to the candidate's department and the Graduate College by the published deadline for the cycle in which the student plans to complete all degree requirements.

Dissertation Format

Students are required by the Graduate College to use a computer software program appropriate to the discipline to create the Table of Contents and the Lists of Tables and Figures from the dissertation text headings.

A dissertation must be prepared and submitted in compliance with the "Guidelines for Writing a Thesis or Dissertation" available from the Graduate College website.  A formatted copy of the dissertation must be reviewed by the Graduate College for a Format/Record Check at least 3 weeks prior to the scheduled oral defense. Each student must also provide copies of the dissertation to members of the dissertation defense examination committee at least 2 weeks before the scheduled examination. A student's committee may require earlier deadlines.

The dissertation may be defended only after successful completion of the comprehensive examination and the submission of an original copy of the dissertation to the Graduate College for a Format/Record Check.

Dissertation Defense Examination Committee

The dissertation defense examination committee consists of a minimum of 4 University of Vermont faculty members, all regular members of the graduate faculty. The advisor and 2 graduate faculty members must be from inside the Department of Education or the Department of Leadership and Developmental Sciences, though one may be from outside these departments with program approval. The chair must be both a member of the graduate faculty and from outside the candidate's and advisor's department and program. The definition of outside faculty means the faculty member has no appointment of any kind in the department or program. The dissertation defense examination committee must be approved by the Graduate College prior to the defense. 

The chair of the dissertation defense examination committee has the responsibility for ensuring proper conduct of the examination, appropriate documentation of the results, and that the signatures of endorsement are added to the Defense Examination Record following a successful defense.

The acceptability of the dissertation is determined by the dissertation defense examination committee. The chair of the dissertation defense examination committee notifies the Graduate College of the outcome. The result of the defense and the date defended will be recorded as a notation on the academic transcript. If a student's defense examination performance is not satisfactory, then 1 reexamination, and 1 only, is permitted.

After a successful dissertation defense, candidates must electronically upload the corrected dissertation to for approval by the Graduate College within the time period specified by the dissertation defense examination committee, and/or the Graduate College.