Ph.D. Plan of Work

Course Requirements

Area of concentration

30 semester hours (minimum). The courses constituting the area of concentration are specified by the EPS Unit. They may include offerings from outside the College of Education, with the advisor's approval.

Advanced EPS Courses

15 hours in the following advanced courses. EPS 9600 (3 cr.) Seminar in Theory and Research in Educational Leadership; EPS 9610 (4 cr.) Seminar in Educational Policy Development; EPS 9620 (4 cr.) Seminar in Educational Policy Initiatives; EPS 8710 (4 cr.) Readings in Educational Policy Studies.

Doctoral Seminars

The Ph.D. program requires at least 6 hours of approved doctoral seminars. These seminars are open only to students officially admitted to a doctoral program. Areas outside the student's major are to be selected from the following:

  • EHP 9600 - History and Philosophy of Education 3 Cr.
  • EDP 9310 - Educational Psychology 3 Cr.
  • EDS 9620 - Educational Sociology 3 Cr.
  • TED 9130 - Curriculum and Instruction 3 Cr.

Research Techniques

At least 15 semester hours in research techniques are required from the following:

  • EPS 8180 - Research Seminar 4 Cr.
  • EER 7630 - Fundamentals of Statistics 3 Cr.
  • EER 7650 - Computer Use in Research 3 Cr.
  • EER 7870 - Fundamentals of Qualitative Research 3 Cr.
  • EER 8800 - Variance and Covariance Analysis 3 Cr. Or EER 8820 - Multivariate Analysis 3 Cr.


Electives should be chosen with the advisor's advice.



30 semester hours. A dissertation is required. It is completed under the direction of the WSU major advisor. The research project is to be based on theories related to policy studies.

  • ED 9999 - Dissertation Research and Direction 30 Cr.

Post Course Work Activities


Qualifying Examination (QE)

The Qualifying Examinations should be completed not earlier than the final semester in which coursework is taken. Students should consult with the advisor to determine the method of the written exam: Traditional (proctored), Take-Home or Blended (proctored and take-home). Students that pass the written exam advance to an oral exam.  Please review the Qualifying Examination webpage.


Dissertation Research

The student selects a dissertation research topic in consultation with the major advisor, develops a dissertation proposal (prospectus), and obtains the advice, consent, and approval of the members of the doctoral committee prior to launching the study. The student must also submit an application to the Human Investigation Committee (HIC) to obtain University approval for the research. The student presents the research proposal at a meeting of the doctoral committee. The approved dissertation proposal, the signed Record of Approval Form, and the signed HIC form are submitted to the Education Graduate Office (Room 489 Education).



Doctoral candidacy is attained upon the submission of an approved doctoral plan of work, the completion of coursework, residency, research techniques, qualifying examination, and the acceptance of an approved dissertation research proposal by the college graduate officer.


Defense of the Dissertation ("final oral")

The public defense of the dissertation by the student is made before the doctoral committee and under the auspices of a graduate examiner (moderator), who is appointed by the University Graduate School.


Time Limitation

The requirements for the Ph.D. Degree must be completed within 7 years. The period begins at the end of the semester in which the student is admitted to, and has begun coursework, in the doctoral program.


Graduation Schedule

At the beginning of the semester in which all requirements are completed, the student should observe the "graduation schedule". The requirements include: completed coursework, examinations, oral defense of the dissertation, approval of the dissertation format by the doctoral committee and the University Graduate School, signatures of the doctoral committee on the title page of the dissertation, submission of the perfect copy dissertation with abstract to the Graduate School, and payment of appropriate fees.



Students expecting to graduate at the end of the semester in which all requirements are completed must apply for graduation prior to the first day of classes for that semester.