Student Services

Step-by-Step Graduation, Doctoral

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)  
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

All forms submitted in support of graduation will require approval of the advisor and the Program Director of Graduate Studies.  Completed forms are to be submitted to the Student Services Graduate Studies Office, room 1204 Benjamin Building for review and approval of the Associate Dean of the College of Education.  


doctoral Degree Steps

Continuous registration is required each Fall and Spring semester.  Summer registration is required if you are advising with your adviser or using University facilities.  Newly admitted students must register in the semester of admission in order to validate the admission offer.
Registration is required in the semester of graduation, including one of the summer sessions if graduating in August. 

Doctoral students advanced to candidacy are automatically registered by the University for 6 credits of 899, Doctoral Dissertation Research each Fall and Spring semester until degree completion. 
[Hide]Faculty Advisor and Doctoral Program Plan

Immediately following admission please consult with your advisor to develop your program of study.  Programs may choose to require, or not require, Doctoral Approved Program Form

Programs determine the number of credits that may be applied toward the doctoral program for coursework taken previous to doctoral admission. Prior coursework that is applied toward a doctoral program will not appear on the University of Maryland transcript (i.e. there is no official transfer of credit form for doctoral students).
[Hide]Research Courses

Programs determine the doctoral research course requirements. Please check with your advisor for your program required research courses.  

[Hide]Satisfactory Progress

Graduate students admitted to the Graduate School, College of Education, must make satisfactory progress in meeting programmatic requirements, must demonstrate the ability to succeed in his or her course of studies or research, and must attain performance minima. Please check with your Program  to obtain satisfactory progress requirements. Please note that your Program requirements and deadlines may exceed those established by the Graduate School and/or College of Education.

[Hide]Foundational Competencies Policy/College of Education Technical Standards

All graduate students who are in an approved program leading to initial teacher certification, or advanced certification, in professional preparation programs are expected to demonstrate that they are prepared to work with children and youth in educational settings. This preparation results from the combination of successful completion of university coursework and field/internship experiences and the demonstration of important human characteristics and dispositions that all educators should possess. For a complete description of the policy and standards click on the link above.

[Hide]Preliminary Examination

The EDMS Program requires a preliminary examination.  Please contact the HDQM Program Graduate Coordinator to obtain the examination requirements, the application process, and deadlines for the preliminary examination.

[Hide]Comprehensive Examination

A comprehensive examination is required of all doctoral students, after completion of the appropriate coursework. The individual departments in the College of Education determine what constitutes a comprehensive examination. Please check with your Program Graduate Coordinator for applications, processes, and deadlines.

[Hide]Admission to Candidacy

Applications for admission to candidacy are accepted after the satisfactory completion of the comprehensive examination. Candidacy applications receive final approval by the Graduate School on the 1st of each month, and are due by the 25th of the month prior.  The Graduate School requires doctoral students to be admitted to candidacy 6 months prior to graduation. Doctoral students admitted to candidacy will automatically be registered for 6 credits (full-time) of 899 “Doctoral Dissertation Research” by the University each Fall and Spring semester.

[Hide]Dissertation Proposal

The dissertation proposal meeting is held and attended by at least 3 faculty members, with the intent that the same faculty members will become part of the final defense committee.  Students should discuss with their advisor who the proposal committee members should be.  Committee members may change, with advisor approval, prior to the request for the formal appointment of the defense committee.  The purpose of the proposal is to grant approval of the topic for the dissertation study.

Please obtain the Certification of Doctoral Research Committee and Dissertation Proposal form prior to your proposal meeting, and present it at the proposal.

[Hide]Human Subjects Approval

At the University, all research that involves the use of human subjects requires review and approval by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to the initiation of the research. Researchers should review the IRB web page for regulations and application forms.  All researchers are required to complete CITI Training as a condition of IRB approval.  Be sure to click on “Registration and CITI Linking Guidance” on the IRB web page.

[Hide]Nomination of Thesis or Dissertation Committee

Request the appointment of the dissertation defense committee by filing the Nomination of the Thesis or Dissertation Committee form.  Be sure to include a copy of your Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval letter approving your human subjects research.

The Graduate School formally approves and appoints the committee to which the student defends the final thesis or dissertation. This form must be submitted by the deadline in the semester in which the student intends to graduate, or six weeks prior to the final oral defense, whichever is sooner to the College Graduate Studies Office. An oral defense may not be held without the formal approval of the committee by the Graduate School. Committee construction must meet the Graduate School criteria.  Committee construction criteria are listed on the form.  All members of the committee must be in physical attendance at the oral defense.  If one member of the committee finds it necessary to attend from a remote site,  special permission for remote participation must be requested of the Graduate School.

The members of the Dissertation Examining Committee should receive the dissertation at least ten working days before the scheduled defense. Should the Dissertation Examining Committee deem it reasonable and appropriate, it may require submission of the dissertation more than ten working days in advance of the defense.


[Hide]Semester of Graduation

File the required forms by the published deadlines in Important Deadline Dates.  Please keep in mind that all forms must be advisor and program approved prior to submission to the Graduate Student Services Office in Education, so allow extra time to meet the deadlines.

  • Apply for graduation.  No approval is required.
  • Refer to the Graduate Catalog for Graduate School requirements applicable to all doctoral degrees.
  • File the Nomination of Thesis or Dissertation Committee form, if not already filed (see above).
  • Announce your Oral Defense date, time, and location to the Program Graduate Coordinator.  Part I of the dissertation defense is a public presentation by the candidate on the main aspects of the research reported in the dissertation.  Oral announcements are disseminated to all faculty and graduate students within the department or graduate program in which the candidate's degree is to be awarded.
  • Follow the Graduate School formatting standards of the on-line Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) Style Guide
  • Dissertation Defense Forms
    Based on the approval of the Nomination of the Dissertation Committee, the following forms will be generated and provided to your advisor or Program Graduate Coordinator for your defense meeting.    
      • Interim Report Form
        Filed with the College of Education, Graduate Studies Office immediately following your defense, documenting the outcome of the defense meeting.

      • Report of the Examining Committee Form
        Signed by members of the committee and held by the Chairperson until the revisions to the dissertation are satisfactorily made.  The Report of the Examining Committee form acts as documentation that all requirements for the degree have been met. If any other requirements are outstanding (i.e. internship completion, papers, coursework, etc.) the Chairperson should not release the Report of the Examining Committee form until all requirements are met for the degree. The Report Form is due on the same deadline as the dissertation, filed with the College of Education, Graduate Studies Office, and is submitted by the Program, not the student.

      • Electronic and Thesis Publication Form
        This form is due on the same deadline as the dissertation, filed with the College of Education, Graduate Studies Office.
Follow the guidelines and pay the fees for electronic submission of your dissertation.

The required Graduate School Doctoral Student Surveys are available on-line. 

The College of Education will request graduates to file an Exit Survey in the semester of graduation.  Graduates will receive, by e-mail, instructions and passwords in order to file the survey on-line. This survey information is used to determine how education programs can be improved. Your participation in the survey is important to the College as it enables us to evaluate our strengths and weaknesses. More importantly, this survey gives you the opportunity to assess your professional competence and to evaluate the University of Maryland's performance in preparing this important endeavor.

[Hide]International Students

If you are a graduating international student, and are on an F-1 Visa, you must comply with Sevis Regulations that are monitored by the International Student and Scholar Services Office Office on campus. As part of the regulations you must file the F-1 Exit Plan Form before you complete your program requirements. This form will require your advisor's signature

[Hide]Additional Requirements
  • Satisfy any provisional admission conditions or conditions of enrollment.
  • Be sure that you are admitted under the degree option that you intend to earn.  If you need to change your degree objective please file the Degree Change Form.

  • Stay within the 9-year time-frame awarded to complete degree requirements. If you go beyond the 9-year time frame, be sure to submit the Request for Time Extension the semester prior to your time-out date.

  • Complete all course work and any requirements of the program to which you are admitted.