Initial Enrollment for Coursework
Selection for Committee
Program of Study
Advanced Graduate Status
Dissertation Proposal 
Final Doctoral Examination
Completion of Requirements
Placement and Follow-Up
General Suggestions 


The following Guidelines are intended to serve as aids for Doctoral Students, Program Directors, and Doctoral Committee Members in the discharge of their responsibilities. If studied and followed with reasonable consistency, they should contribute to the security of the Chairperson, the Committee, and the Student, as well as to that of persons in administrative positions. In addition, the Guidelines are intended to unify doctoral programs in the Teachers College and establish procedures that are predictable.

Although these Guidelines conform to current policies and desirable practice, they are subject to modification by appropriate action and additional experience. Their evaluation should be a constant concern of all Staff and Students affected by them.

The section of the Graduate Catalog pertaining to regulations and requirements for doctoral programs and degrees should be studied. Any pertinent changes in university policies will be included in the latest issue of the Graduate Catalog.

The department's Program Director (or designated faculty member) approves enrollments in courses prior to the establishment of a Committee Chairperson.

In consultation with the Student, the Doctoral Committee determines the Student's plan of study and guides the Student's dissertation. Upon recommendation of the Departmental Program Director, the dean of the Graduate School appoints the Student's Committee. The Committee consists of either four or five members, depending on the Student's program of study. An at-large member must be from outside the college and may be appointed by the dean of the Graduate School.

  1. After consultation with the Student, the Program Director recommends a Committee Chairperson selected from the Group 1 graduate faculty of the department offering the major field of study (check with Director of Doctoral Program).
  2. After consultation, the Program Director and/or the Student obtain(s) agreement of a faculty member to serve as Chairperson.
  3. Program Director sends a letter recommending the doctoral committee chairperson to the Student and the faculty member involved.
  4. Program Director forwards to the Chairperson a file containing: 
        a. Copies of transcripts. 
        b. Copies of all pertinent correspondence. 
        c. Copies of any restrictions or deviations approved at the time of or following admission to the program.
  5. Chairperson and Student, in consultation with Program Director: 
        a. Although the Graduate School no longer requires a cognate or cognates to support the major, some departments may still require them. 
        b. Discuss potential Committee Members to represent the cognate area(s).
  6. Student and/or Chairperson gain(s) consent from the person(s) recommended to represent the cognate(s). (Student reports results to the Chairperson.)
  7. Student (after consultation with the Chairperson and the Program Director): 
        a. Selects a second committee member in the major field. 
        b. Obtains agreement to serve. 
        c. Reports to the Chairperson.
  8. Student and/or Chairperson completes RECOMMENDATION FOR ASSIGNMENTS TO DOCTORAL COMMITTEE, and submits it to the Program Director upon completion of the selection of Committee Members representing major and cognate areas. A specific recommendation for an institutional representative may be included or the dean of the Graduate School will recommend one.
  9. Program Director signs and transmits the Doctoral Committee Form to the dean of the Graduate School.
  10. Dean of the Graduate School: 
        a. Appoints an institutional representative to the Committee. 
        b. Approves the final committee assignments. 
        c. Sends a letter of appointment to each Committee Member, the Program Director, the Department Chairperson of the major and of each cognate, and the Student.


  1. The Doctoral Committee: 
        a. Meets with the Student to review the proposed program in the major area and cognate(s). 
        b. Approves a program identifying required courses. 
        c. Approves a tentative timetable leading to completion of the program.

    Required Courses
    All Doctoral Students in Teachers College must complete: 

            i. EDPSY 640, Methodology of Educational and Psychological Research (3), or its equivalent. This course is a prerequisite for all doctoral students. Students who enter a doctoral program without this credit must meet the requirement as a deficiency rather than as a part of the regular program. Equivalent courses shall be determined by the doctoral committee. 
            ii. EDPSY 641, Statistical Methods in Educational and Psychological Research (3). 
            iii. Either EDPSY 642, Intermediate Statistics, or another course from among qualitative and quantitative options (3). 
            iv. ID 705, Research Colloquium (2). 
            v. One course in humanistic studies and one course in behavior studies selected from a program approved list of alternatives ("program" refers to individual doctoral program). This list is available from the department's doctoral program director. 
            vi. DISS 799 (10 sem. hours), Doctoral Dissertation. Students may register for one to ten hours credit for any given semester. To be eligible to enroll for DISS 799, the doctoral student must have been admitted to candidacy (completed the comprehensive examinations and have a dissertation proposal approved.)

    Doctoral students in NCATE-accredited programs who have not had a graduate level multicultural course, are required to take one of the following: CPSY 678; EDMUL 660, 670; EDEL 644; EDFON 651; or SOC 521.

    Research Competency 
            i. The Student familiarizes himself or herself with requirements and procedures for satisfying research competency for the doctoral degree, as stated in the Graduate Catalog. 
            ii. The Student and his or her Committee consult on the relationships between research competency and the Student's professional plans and his or her dissertation topic. 
            iii. The Committee selects the required tools of research and designates them on the Student's program of study, along with a plan for demonstrating competency (by identifying courses to be completed or by other means).
  2. The Student: 
        a. Plans a program for the major with the Chairperson, the Committee Member for the major area, and the Program Director. The major must consist of at least 40-semester hours of graduate coursework. 
        b. Plans a program to meet 15- or 24-hour requirements with the Committee representative for each cognate area (this is true for the programs that require a cognate). 
        c. Provides the Chairperson with cognate area program plans. 
        d. Develops with the Chairperson a total program incorporating all recommendations and noting items to be brought to the attention of the total Committee. 
        e. Arranges with the Chairperson and Committee Members for a meeting of the Doctoral Committee. 
        f. Provides Committee Members with a copy of the proposed program of study prior to the Committee meeting. The proposed program includes:
                1. All coursework completed and proposed beyond the baccalaureate.
                2. A tentative timetable for various steps leading toward the degree.
                3. A tentative schedule of classes. 
        g. Discusses the schedule with the Committee Chairperson prior to the time of each registration. 
        h. Gains approval for any substitution(s) on the approved course of study by the Chairperson (or the concerned cognate representative) and the Program Director.
  3. Committee Chairperson and/or Student: 
        a. Prepare(s) an ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS CHECK SHEET FOR EdD AND PhD incorporating recommendations from the Committee Meeting and submit(s) it for signatures of Committee Members and the approval of the Program Director.

    Substitutions and deletions in the DOCTORAL DEGREE CHECK SHEET need to be approved by the Program Director. 

        b. Prepare(s) a PLAN FOR COMPLETION OF DOCTORAL PROGRAM incorporating recommendations from the Committee meeting so as to reflect a tentative schedule of classes to include all requirements for the entire program.
  4. Chairperson schedules Committee meetings as deemed necessary to approve program changes or to keep the Committee informed of the Student's progress.
  5. Program Director: 
        a. Gives final approval for the Student's total program. 
        b. Reviews and authorizes any substitutions in the Student's program. 
        c. Establishes and maintains the original documents in the Student's file. The file will contain transcripts, the program of studies, copies of the comprehensive examinations and the Student's responses, basic correspondence, and other pertinent material designated by the Program Director.

Stage 1. Completion of the master's degree or its equivalent. Requires completion with at least a 3.2 cumulative grade point average (GPA) at Ball State University or another university that is accredited by its regional accrediting agency. Students who have already completed a master's degree equivalent to that awarded by the major department are considered to have completed the first stage of the doctoral program unless the department stipulates otherwise.

Each academic unit that is responsible for a doctoral program will have a procedure to evaluate a student's progress during this stage. This evaluation will take place no later than the end of the second year to determine if the student is making satisfactory progress, and will be communicated in writing to the student. The evaluation is determined by the major department and could include, but is not limited to, an examination or other appropriate review that must be successfully completed before entering Stage 2.

Stage 2. Admission to Candidacy. Requires completion of all course work and fulfillment of any special departmental requirements (e.g., additional language examinations, if any), the passing of the comprehensive examinations, and approval of the dissertation proposal designate the end of Stage 2 (see below for specific information regarding requirements for the comprehensive examinations). Completion of this stage is referred to as Admission to Candidacy for the degree. Enrollment in credits for dissertation hours is permitted only upon the completion of this stage. If the foregoing requirements are not met, the student may be admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree on probation, or the privilege of further study leading to the doctoral degree may be denied.

Stage 3. Dissertation Completion. Activities are related to the research, writing, and final oral defense of the dissertation. During this stage, all doctoral candidates must be registered for a minimum of 3 credits each semester, except during the summer terms, until the final approved copies of the dissertation are deposited in the Graduate School, all credit hours for degree conferral have been completed, and the residency requirement has been fulfilled. If not registering for a course or courses, the doctoral candidate will register for three hours of DISS 799. A doctoral candidate in an externally accredited program that requires an internship experience is exempt from continuous enrollment while registered for internship credit.

The culmination of Stage 3 is degree conferral. No later than the first four weeks of the last semester before graduation, students must file an application for graduation with the Graduate School. Applications may be submitted online at


  1.  Committee and the Student decide on the appropriate semester for the comprehensive examinations (at the end of or near the end of all coursework). Doctoral examinations are scheduled in the Teachers College each semester. If the Committee feels that the examinations should be taken at a time different from the regular schedule, this may be so designated and arrangements made with the Program Director.
  2. Chairperson schedules written comprehensive examinations so that: 
        a. The written examinations will be taken during one week. 
        b. At least eight hours are reserved for the major area. At least four of the eight hours should be composed of a common set of departmentally written and approved questions covering core requirements. 
        c. Four hours are reserved for each 15-hour cognate and six hours for a 24-hour cognate.
  3. Committee Members representing the major area prepare the non-core portion of the major examination. (Consultation with other faculty members in the area is permissible.)
  4. A departmental doctoral comprehensive examination committee will prepare and evaluate the core examination. This core will be prepared by at least four Group 1 graduate faculty members.
  5. The cognate area representative(s) prepare(s) and evaluate(s) the examination for that cognate. (Consultation with other faculty members in the area(s) is permissible.)
  6. Non-core examination responses must be evaluated by Committee Members who prepared the examination. (Consultation with other faculty members in the area(s) is permissible.)
  7. Chairperson collects examination papers for the major and cognate(s) and makes them available to Committee Members so that each may read the total examination.
  8. Chairperson calls a meeting of the Committee with the Student not present (this may occur immediately prior to the oral portion of the examination) to: 
        a. Discuss the examination responses, individually and as a whole. 
        b. Agree on evaluation of the Student's performance on written examinations. 
        c. Agree on areas to be emphasized in the oral examination if written examinations warrant completion of the comprehensives.
  9. Chairperson and/or Student schedule(s) the oral portion of the comprehensive examination within three weeks (exclusive of vacation periods) after the written portion has been completed.
  10. Committee agrees, in private session subsequent to completion of the oral examination, on results of the comprehensive examinations. If two or more Committee Members dissent, the Student fails the examination and it must be repeated.

    In the case of a failed comprehensive examination (see definitions below), the examining committee chairperson's written notification will include a statement of the reason or reasons for the failure and the time specified before the next examination.

    A failed comprehensive examination is defined as one of the following: 1) failure of both the written and oral portions; 2) failure of the written portion if the examining committee determines that the student should not proceed to the orals; or, 3) failure of the oral portion if the examining committee determines that the student was unable to correct deficiencies in the written portion.

    A failed comprehensive examination may be repeated only one time. The committee members who administered the first examination will also administer the retest.

    A student who fails to pass the second examination is ineligible to continue and is dismissed from the doctoral program.

    If more than seven years have elapsed after the student successfully completed the comprehensive examinations, the student must retake the entire examination.

    Exceptions to the above guidelines must be approved in advance by the dean of the Graduate School.

    Alternately, the Committee may designate some other means of demonstrating competence in the unsatisfactory area(s) of the examination. If the Student fails the partial re-examination, he or she will receive a fail for the entire examination.

    Within seven days, the decision of the Committee is communicated to the dean of the Graduate School by filing STATUS OF COMPREHENSIVE EXAMS. On this form, the Chairperson indicates whether or not the Student passed. In the event a Student fails the comprehensive examination or any portion of it, the Chairperson must specify on the Appendix E form the time allowed before the next exam, the area or areas in which further examination(s) is/are required, any additional coursework needed, or other procedures that are required. A Student who fails to pass the second examination is ineligible to continue and is dismissed from the doctoral program.
  11. Chairperson schedules any re-examination(s) required in accordance with procedures outlined for the original examination.
  12. Chairperson files in the Student's folder, the original of all of the Student's written examination questions and responses. This file is housed in the office of the Program Director.


  1. Chairperson: 
        a. Encourages the Student to begin to explore dissertation topics early in his/her program. 
        b. Attends, if possible, the Student's trial proposal presentation in the research colloquium (if one is given). 
        c. Continually evaluates readiness and potential of the Student to do independent research.
  2. Student: 
        a. Explores dissertation topics throughout the coursework phase of his/her program. 
        b. Schedules research design and statistics courses as early as possible to aid in developing a dissertation proposal. 
        c. Narrows alternatives during investigation, preparation, and presentation of the trial proposal in the research colloquium (normally taken during the first year of residency).
  3. Student and the Chairperson work together to select the topic area for the dissertation. This should precede the comprehensive examinations.
  4. Student begins to develop specifics of the dissertation topic and to prepare the preliminary draft of the proposal, while testing ideas individually with Committee Members and discussing plans and progress with them.
  5. Student, working with the Chairperson, develops a draft proposal for a dissertation.
  6. When the Student, in the judgment of the Committee, has progressed to a satisfactory point in the program (after comprehensive examinations): 
        a. The Student, with the approval of the Chairperson, distributes copies of a draft dissertation proposal to each member of the Committee a minimum of two weeks prior to the date of consideration. 
        b. The Chairperson calls a Committee meeting for formal presentation of the draft proposal by Student. 
        c. The Student, after this presentation, prepares a refined draft of the preliminary proposal, if one is needed, or begins to develop a new proposal, if the Committee so recommends. (In developing a new proposal, the Student starts again at item 1 under DISSERTATION PROPOSAL and proceeds through the procedure outlined.)
  7. The Chairperson and the Student secure clearances from appropriate review bodies related to "research on human subjects," if the proposed research requires such clearance. See Suggested Dissertation Outline.
  8. The Chairperson, after the Student has prepared and presented a dissertation proposal acceptable to the Committee, secures signatures of Committee Members showing approval of the proposal. Appropriate information is centered on the APPROVAL FORM FOR DISSERTATION PROPOSAL AND ADMISSION TO CANDIDACY FOR THE DOCTORAL DEGREE.
  9. The Chairperson, in consultation with the Student: 
        a. Selects a Committee Member to serve as Director of the Dissertation. (Usually the Chairperson of the Committee serves in this capacity.) If the Chairperson of the Committee has lost Group 1 status, then he/she may continue as director of the dissertation only through written appeal to the dean of Teachers College. Only in rare instances will such an appeal be granted. 
        b. Agrees on timing of enrollment for dissertation credit. A Student cannot enroll in DISS 799 until the comprehensive written and oral examinations have been passed and the Student has been admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree (see Admission to Candidacy Form). 
        c. Sets likely completion date and tentative time for final oral examination, always being cognizant of Graduate Office deadlines. 
        d. May identify one of the Committee Members or another person as the advisor on statistical aspects of the research. (Information Technology Services provides assistance in planning statistical designs for research studies.)


  1. Student consults with the Committee Chairperson regarding: 
        a. Procedures to follow in communicating with Committee. 
        b. Availability of resource persons (statisticians) and resources (computers). 
        c. Enrollment in DISS 799. 
        d. Guides to writing the dissertation.

    (The 4th edition of the APA Style Manual by the American Psychological Association is the basic guide adopted by Teachers College, but departments may agree on another reference for use in writing dissertations in a specific field.)
  2. Student reviews the Graduate Catalog statements about dissertation requirements and checks with the dissertation director on whether the department has other approved dissertation guidelines in addition to those prescribed.
  3. During this stage, all doctoral candidates must be registered for a minimum of 3 credits each semester, except during the summer terms, until the final approved copies of the dissertation are deposited in the Graduate School, all credit hours for degree conferral have been completed, and the residency requirement has been fulfilled. If not registering for a course or courses, the doctoral candidate will register for three hours of DISS 799. A doctoral candidate in an externally accredited program that requires an internship experience is exempt from continuous enrollment while registered for internship credit.

    See Suggested Dissertation Outline.


  1. Committee and the Student will follow university regulations in the Graduate Catalog regarding final doctoral examination.
  2. Committee controls the nature of the final examination.
  3. Chairperson and the Student arrange the date, time, and place of the final examination, which is usually scheduled for a two-hour period. This information should be forwarded to Campus Update for publication.
  4. Chairperson posts in appropriate locations the ANNOUNCEMENT OF FINAL DOCTORAL EXAMINATION (oral part only).
  5. At least two weeks prior to the final examination, the Student distributes to each Committee Member a copy of the completed dissertation.
  6. Each Committee Member is present for the final examination. If substitutions must be made, arrangements should be cleared with all necessary persons (Student, Chairperson, other Committee Members, departmental chairpersons for area(s) the committee member represents, Program Director, graduate dean) well in advance of examination.
  7. Student supplies copies of the abstract (350 words or less) to the Committee Chairperson, who will make them available to the Committee.
  8. Chairperson is in charge of the examination and has responsibility for conducting it professionally and efficiently.
  9. Committee, immediately following the examination and in private session, decides whether to approve or disapprove the Candidate's performance totally or in part and what conditions are to be imposed, if any, prior to total approval.
    a. Two dissenting votes among members of the examining committee are required to fail a Candidate. If one member of the examining committee dissents, the dissenting examiner and, if appropriate, the chairperson of the examining committee will file a letter detailing the circumstances of the dissent with the dean of the Graduate School.
  10. Chairperson informs the Candidate of the Committee's decision.
  11. Chairperson: 
        a. Obtains signatures on the FINAL APPROVAL FORM FOR DOCTORAL CANDIDATES, if the Student satisfactorily completes the examination. 
        b. States in written form, when necessary, what steps must be taken before the Student can obtain approval on the final examination.

    Signatures of all Committee Members should appear on the written statement.


  1. Student: 
        a. Completes the APPLICATION FOR GRADUATION FOR DOCTORAL CANDIDATES and files it in the Graduate Office within the first four weeks of the term in which the Student expects to be awarded the degree, except that during First and Second Summer terms, the application should be filed within the first two weeks of the term. Check the appropriate schedule of classes for specific due dates. 
        b. Makes certain that all degree requirements are completed at least 20 class days prior to close of the semester or term in which certification for graduation is expected, except that during First and Second Summer terms, degree requirements can be completed ten class days prior to the close of the term. The Student clears any deviation from these regulations with the dean of the Graduate School who gives final clearance for graduation.
  2. Student sends a bound copy of the dissertation to the office of the Program Director for permanent filing.


  1. Student: 
        a. Visits Career Center early in the year in which completion of the doctoral program is expected if assistance on placement is anticipated. 
        b. Updates and completes credentials. 
        c. Prepares a vita sheet early in the year in which completion of the program is expected.
  2. Chairperson and the Student: 
        a. Discuss aspirations of the Student regarding employment and share plans with the Program Director and other Committee Members. 
        b. Explore desirable placement locations and areas of service.
  3. Chairperson: 
        a. Is encouraged to maintain contact with the Graduate, relative to satisfaction with position of employment and interest in possible changes and to transmit appropriate information to the Program Director. 
        b. Makes recommendation to possible employers regarding potential availability of Candidates.
  4. Program Director maintains files on location of Graduates and possibilities for relocation.
  5. Student, the Chairperson, and the Committee Members work with the Ball State University Placement Office to facilitate preparation and updating of credentials, placement of the Graduate, and potential positions in which the Candidate or Graduate may be interested.


  1. Program Director:
    Assembles and maintains a complete original file on the Doctoral Student containing: 
        a. Transcripts. 
        b. Information on experiences and backgrounds. 
        c. Copies of all correspondence. 
        d. Records on conferences. 
        e. Program of study and all pertinent notations. 
        f. Copies of all forms submitted to the Graduate Office. 
        g. Comprehensive examinations and responses. 
        h. The approved dissertation proposal. 
        i. Copies of all pertinent memoranda to Committee Members.
  2. Chairperson: 
        a. Studies the Graduate Catalog and keeps informed on policies and procedures relating to doctoral programs so that he/she can advise the Candidate wisely. 
        b. Sees that frequent communication with the Candidate and Committee is maintained. 
        c. Makes sure that agreements are in writing and distributed to all concerned parties, but always including Committee Members and the Program Director. 
        d. Discusses problems first with the Program Director. 
        e. Keeps department chairpersons of cognate areas fully informed of actions in which his/her programs and staff are involved. 
        f. Keeps the Program Director fully informed of the progress of Students in his/her area(s) of responsibility (both cognates and majors).
  3. Student: 
        a. Keeps the Committee informed of any changes in program or long-range goals. 
        b. Consults with Committee Members individually as to progress, suggested reading, research topic, and items of concern. 
        c. Reviews sections of the Graduate Catalog dealing with regulations and requirements for doctoral degrees. 
        d. Develops a proposal to present a paper at a local, state, regional, or international meeting of a professional organization. 
        e. Creates and submits a manuscript to be considered for publication.
  4. Committee Members: 
        a. Keep the Chairperson and the Student informed about any possible program changes that may be beneficial to the Student. 
        b. Keep the Chairperson, Student, and other Committee Members informed about extended periods of absence from campus that are anticipated.