Dissertation and Dissertation Committee
Students may not register for dissertation courses until they have successfully completed the Capstone Doctoral Course (EDAD 6380). The dissertation research course (EDAD 6398) must precede the dissertation writing course (EDAD 6399) and the student cannot enroll in these courses simultaneously. A dissertation is required of every candidate. It must address a topic of educational significance, be a contribution to scholarship, derive from independent investigation in the major area, and must be approved by the Dissertation Committee.
The Doctoral Program Committee in consultation with the student will appoint a Dissertation Committee. Committee appointments will take into consideration faculty academic expertise in the student's focus area and the workload of the faculty members. The Dissertation Committee shall include at least four faculty members (three members from the doctoral program faculty and one from outside the Department of Educational Leadership and Foundations). The Dissertation Committee approves the dissertation proposal, advises the student on the research and writing of the dissertation, and conducts the final dissertation oral examination. The membership of the Dissertation Committee may or may not be the same as the program committee.
The chair of the Dissertation Committee ordinarily serves as the research supervisor. Other committee members should be consulted regularly as appropriate. The membership of the Dissertation Committee is submitted to the Graduate School for approval.
Changing Dissertation Committee Members
Only in unusual and extenuating circumstances will students be able to change committee members once their Dissertation Committee has been approved. However, candidates may submit a written request to the Doctoral Program Committee indicating their desire to change a committee member accompanied by a justification for such action. If the Doctoral Program Committee concurs with the student that a change is needed, the committee will meet with the student and affected faculty to determine the appropriate substitution.
Students will work with their Dissertation Committee to plan, design and implement their independent scholarly research after successfully completing all courses and the Capstone Doctoral Course and advance to doctoral candidates.
The student enrolls in EDAD 6398 (Dissertation Research) during this period and develops a dissertation proposal with his/her Doctoral Dissertation Committee. The student continues to enroll in EDAD 6398 until the dissertation committee approves the proposal. Once the dissertation proposal has been approved, the doctoral candidate will enroll in EDAD 6399 (Dissertation Writing) until the dissertation is completed.
Institutional Review Board (IRB)
Under current University of Texas System policy and federal guidelines, researchers who use humans as subjects or participants in their research (regardless of whether the project is funded or not) must complete a "Research Protocol" and submit it to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) through the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects (ORSP) before the research is initiated. The student’s dissertation chair and department chair must sign their research protocol to indicate that they have reviewed the protocol for compliance with University policy, ethical issues and scientific or educational merit.
Following review and approval by the Dissertation Committee, a complete protocol and sample of the informed consent forms(s) should be completed and submitted to the ORSP, which will arrange for expedited or full committee review by the IRB. Additional information on the IRB can be found at http://orsp.utep.edu/ .
A satisfactory final oral defense is required. The Department of Educational Leadership and Foundations will publish the time and place of this examination. College of Education faculty members are encouraged to attend the exam, which is open to members of the University and the public.
A copy of the dissertation’s final draft must be submitted to each member of the Dissertation Committee no less than four weeks before the student’s dissertation defense date. A draft also should also be submitted to the Graduate School for a format review. Two weeks before the defense, a written request to hold the final oral examination must be submitted to the Department of Educational Leadership and Foundations. Graduate School policy requires that dissertation defenses must be scheduled at least 10 work days prior to commencement. The Graduate School publishes dissertation deadline dates each semester.
The defense covers the dissertation, the general field of the dissertation, and such other parts of the student's program as the committee determines.
Dissertation Committee members indicate their approval by signing the Dissertation Defense form that is then submitted to the Graduate School. A majority of the Dissertation Committee members must approve the dissertation. The results of the review are then communicated to the student.
Submission and Publication of the Dissertation
Students must submit their dissertation in an approved electronic format to the Graduate School after a successful defense. The Graduate School has information about electronic submittal. In addition, the student must provide one hard-bound copy of the dissertation to the Department of Educational Leadership and Foundations.
Dissertations must be made available to the public. Under exceptional circumstances the student may request that the Dean of the Graduate School delay making the dissertation available to the public for one year. This request must be supported by a written recommendation from the Dissertation Chair.
At the beginning of the student's last semester, he/she must complete a Graduation Application form, have it signed by the Doctoral Dissertation Committee, and submit this form to the Graduate School along with the appropriate diploma fee. At this time, the student will receive a doctoral student graduation packet from the Graduate School that outlines graduation requirements.