The Doctoral Journey

Application is the first step toward a personally and professionally rewarding journey. Click on any of the steps in the Ed.D. journey below for more information.


The application to the doctoral program is an online process. Please visit the UWF Graduate School website to begin your application process online.  

Admission Requirements

Applications are accepted for the fall, spring and summer terms.  Preferred University application deadlines are as follows: 

Fall: May 1

Spring: September 1

Summer: February 1

University Requirements

1. Application for Graduate Admission and Application Processing Fee: 

Graduate applicants must complete the online graduate degree-seeking application. The application for graduate admission and a nonrefundable $30 processing fee payable to the University of West Florida should be submitted six to nine months prior to the semester for which admission is requested. It is the policy of the University not to defer or waive the application processing fee. The application processing fee must be in U.S. currency, drawn on a U.S. bank. There is an option to pay via MasterCard, Visa, or American Express credit card when the web application is submitted.

If you do not submit your application processing fee online at the point that you submit your application, please send your payment to:

University of West Florida
Cashier's Office
11000 University Pkwy., Bldg 20E
Pensacola, FL 32514-5750

2. Graduate Admission Test Scores:

Official test results from a nationally standardized graduate admission test are required for all applicants unless the department allows admission test score waivers. Admission test score waivers apply to applicants who meet the department’s waiver criteria. Review your eligibility for an admission test score waiver. The waiver is applied once the applicant has been admitted into the program. 

The University of West Florida accepts the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), the Miller Analogies Test (MAT), and the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). Applicants should contact the Graduate Program Director for which he/she applied to inquire as to which test is acceptable for that program.

It is recommended that the graduate admission test be taken no later than April for the fall semester, August for the spring semester, or January for the summer semester. The test scores are considered official only when they are sent directly to the Graduate School from the testing agency. Examinee copies are not considered official. Applicants to the Ed.D. program should take the GRE or MAT one year prior to desired admission. The GRE, GMAT, and MAT are offered several times a year at numerous testing centers in the U.S. and abroad. Advanced registration is required. Registration forms, as well as detailed information on the availability and character of the examinations, may be obtained from the UWF Testing Center.

3. Official College Transcripts:

Students who received their degree from UWF or attended UWF do not need to provide UWF transcripts. 

Applicants must submit one official transcript from each college and university attended to the Graduate School. Transcripts are considered official when they are sent from a college or university directly to the Graduate School and bear an official seal and signature. Transcripts bearing the statement "Issued to Student," faxed transcripts, or transcripts submitted by the applicants are not considered official. Original documents or signed, officially certified photocopies of original documents may be submitted by the student only when institutions outside the U.S. will not send academic records to other institutions. The verifying signature preferably should be that of an officer of the institution attended. All academic records that are not in English must be accompanied by certified English translations.

Official college transcripts should be mailed to the following address:

University of West Florida
Graduate Admissions
11000 University Pkwy., Bldg 11
Pensacola, FL 32514-5750

The UWF Graduate School is unable to accept electronic, secure transcripts directly from other institutions unless it is a Florida institution that uses the FASTER transcript system. When requesting transcripts from your current or previous institution, please be sure to specify that you need a hard-copy transcript sent to the UWF address stated above.

Program Admission Requirements

1. Official transcripts from all attended institutions.

2. A Master’s degree earned from a regionally accredited institution or an equivalent international university with a 3.50 GPA. Graduate GPA below 3.50 requires competitive GRE or GMAT or MAT test scores that are not more than 5 years old.
(Institutional Code: 5490) GRE -; MAT -; GMAT -

3. Resume: A resume should accompany your application to the Doctoral Program in Curriculum and Instruction. It helps the admissions committee to learn more about who you are, the skill-set you bring to the program and worthwhile experiences that can assist in a holistic evaluation of your application.

4. Three professional references: Two of whom should be able to speak to your academic work, writing skills and suitability for rigorous doctoral academic work. (Professional Reference Form)

5. Letter of Intent: Please ensure that you submit written answers to the following 3 questions as part of your letter of intent.

a) What personal and professional goals do you hope to meet through earning a doctorate, and why do you think the UWF Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction is a good fit for your goals?

b) What special knowledge, skills, and experiences would you bring to the chosen specialization and how are these aligned with the mission of the doctoral program in Curriculum and Instruction as a whole. If you have had experiences that may have affected your academic performance, please provide explanatory context in your letter of intent.

c) Be careful to clearly articulate how your skill set and experiences align with goals of the selected specialization, and show how these will impact your career trajectory.

*Your responses to the three questions should not be less than six double spaced pages, 12 fonts size Times New Roman.

For further questions, contact the Ed.D. Program Office, Lucrecia McCorvey (Administrative Specialist) at (850) 474-2768 or email


First Review—Office of Admissions

The Graduate Admissions office administers the application, admission, and readmission process for all degree-seeking and non-degree seeking graduate students, domestic or international. The information in this website will help guide you through the graduate application process. For further assistance, please contact the Ed.D. Program Office at 850.474.2768. Visit the UWF Graduate School website for information on how to apply. 

When you submit your application, it is reviewed first by the Office of Graduate Admissions to ensure that you have met all the requirements for application (fully completed application form, official GRE score if required, official transcripts, and payment of processing fee). The Graduate Admissions office will complete a Graduate Applicant Data Sheet and send it to the Ed.D. Program Office. Your application, GRE scores, supplemental documents, and transcripts will be added to your electronic file.

Second Review—The College of Education and Professional Studies

The Ed.D. Program Office creates an electronic application package and sends it to the Coordinator of the doctoral specialization you selected on your admission application. The Coordinator and admission review committee for the department will review your application package, taking into consideration your GRE, MAT (if applicable); your transcripts, which should document your having earned a master's degree; your letter of intent, which should be completed according to the letter of intent guidelines; your resume; and your references. The Coordinator and the faculty in the specialization then recommends acceptance or denial on the Graduate Applicant Data Sheet and forwards it to the Chair of the department for approval. The Department Chair approves or denies the recommendation from the Coordinator, signs the Graduate Applicant Data Sheet, and forwards it to the Director of Doctoral Studies, and then to the Dean of the College of Education and Professional.

The Director of Doctoral Studies reviews the recommended admission decisions from the Coordinator and Department Chair and forwards the Graduate Applicant Data Sheet to the Dean of the College of Education and Professional Studies. The Dean reviews the admission decisions, taking into consideration the recommendations of the Coordinator of the specialization, the Department Chairperson, and the Director of Doctoral Studies, and makes the final decision regarding acceptance or denial for the college. The signed Graduate Applicant Data Sheet is returned to the Office of Graduate Admissions.

Final Processing —Office of Admissions

When the Office of Graduate Admissions receives the signed Graduate Applicant Data Sheet from the Dean, they mark your application "Cleared" or "Denied" and send you an email to inform you of the University's decision. You will also receive a letter from the Director of Doctoral Studies to provide you with more details on your admission decision. After you have been cleared you need to accept your offer of admission by going to MyUWF and selecting “Application Status” and follow the instructions.

The application and acceptance process can take from three to six weeks or more, depending on several factors. You can speed the process by ensuring that your application package to the University is complete and accurate.

Plagiarism/Originality Checking

All documents submitted to the Doctoral Support and Quality Assurance Center will be analyzed for plagiarism using the iThenticate software program. Refer to the  for additional information.

As Argonauts, we act with integrity. We do not lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those who do.

The University of West Florida is dedicated to the highest principles and standards of academic integrity. An academic violation by a student can negatively impact a class, program and/or college in ways that are unique to each discipline. Therefore, the University believes that the severity of an academic infraction is best evaluated by the faculty of the institution. The University seeks to offer students an opportunity to respond to allegations of academic misconduct before a decision is rendered. This regulation seeks to provide faculty and students with a fair process for addressing allegations of academic misconduct.

Academic integrity is closely related to professional ethics and requires that students honestly acknowledge their use of the ideas, words, and written work produced by any other individual, institution or source. Failure to acknowledge properly the use of another's intellectual output constitutes a form of academic misconduct.

This is a complete version of the UWF Academic Misconduct Code.

Doctoral Coursework

Doctoral students are required to complete 63 semester hours (sh) of coursework, including 27 sh in the professional core and 18 sh in their selected specialization. The remaining 18 sh are reserved for the dissertation requirement.

full-time load of coursework is 6 sh per semester, which is generally 2 courses. Because of the rigor of doctoral courses full time enrollment within the UWF Ed. D. Program is defined to be six-hours per semester. Students will be unable to enroll in more than six-hours per semester. If for any extenuating circumstances a student wishes to take more than the full time load of six credits, permission must be obtained through an official application. The application should address the following:

  1. GPA must be higher than 3.75
  2. The application by the student should state and explain the extenuating circumstances dictating the need to take extra credits.
  3. The student must submit an updated graduation plan, recommended by the academic advisor and the specialization coordinator indicating how the additional course will be accommodated in the rotation of courses and its impact on the student’s pathway to graduation. 
  4. The application should be routed through, signed and dated by the following for approval: Specialization Coordinator, Department Chair, Director of Doctoral Studies, and CEPS Dean
Comprehensive Exam

The Comprehensive Exam is a milestone integrative experience for a doctoral student’s graduate education. The intent is to allow the student to demonstrate the ability to think critically at the higher levels of learning and present the results in written and oral fashion. The purpose of the comprehensive examination includes the following considerations:  (a) demonstrate synthesis across ideas, content areas, and courses; (b) demonstrate specialization of knowledge within a particular domain; (c) demonstrate in-depth competency within program areas; (c) integrate content from program courses with professional/experiential knowledge; and (d) support initial work efforts toward the dissertation. Students who successfully complete the written and oral components of the exam are admitted to Advanced Standing phase in their doctoral journey. 

See below for details:

Comprehensive Exam Procedures

Comprehensive Exam Request Form



The rationale for the pre-proposal document is to provide a process of standardizing the expectations and outcomes for all students. The document is designed to assist students to formulate their ideas in ways that are directly related to critical aspects of the proposal. In that regard the Pre-proposal document is designed with embedded question that address issues relating to the introductory, literature review and methodology chapters of the dissertation. Critical components of Institutional Review Board requirements have also been embed in the document. Additionally, it enables students’ to gauge the expectations of the entire committee. It is important to note that the committee Chair or Co-chair as well as the Methodologist should have substantial input into the direction of the study on the Pre-proposal document before it is sent out to other committee members. Further, the document helps all committee members to have a bird's eye view of what students intend to do so that they can provide feedback and direction before they move too far along the process. The Pre-proposal meeting allows that to happen and affords all members an early intervention opportunity if need be. 

Policy and Procedure

The Ed.D. Policy Group in its meeting on February 24, 2016 unanimously voted to adopt a Pre-proposal phase in the doctoral journey of students at UWF. The pre-proposal meeting shall be organized for all students in-between passing comprehensive examinations in Doctoral seminar II and defending the proposal in Doctoral Seminar III. Since the Doctoral Seminar III shall be organized in the second half of the semester following Doctoral Seminar II, the pre-proposal meeting shall be organized in the first half of this semester. The student shall be required to register 3 credit hours of dissertation for this phase. The pre-proposal meeting shall be scheduled for a maximum of two hours. After moving to Advanced Standing the student shall constitute the Doctoral and Dissertation Committee (DDC). The DDC can be the same as the DCEC of a variation of it.

The following shall characterize the pre-proposal meeting:  

a) The pre-proposal meeting shall have all members of the Doctoral and Dissertation committee present,

b) The pre-proposal meeting shall essentially provide comprehensive feedback and input to guide the student in writing the proposal and therefore no grade is awarded at this meeting,

c) The student shall complete the “Pre-proposal Document” This document is designed to be a guiding document for chairs and students to serve the purpose of providing committee members with sufficient roadmap about what the student intends to do and at the same time allow students to respond to ethical issues related to the study, 

d) All committee members shall participate in the pre-proposal meeting and shall be afforded the opportunity to receive the completed   document to read from the student no later than two weeks before the face to face scheduled pre-proposal session, 

e) No student shall progress to the  proposal stage without participating in the pre-proposal session,

f) No student shall be allowed to register for the last 9 hours of dissertation credits without participating in the Pre-proposal meeting, 

g) A sign off sheet shall be signed by all DDC members with a summary of their feedback. A copy of the form shall be given to the student and another copy sent to the Ed.D. Program Office to be placed in the file of the student. 

The Pre-proposal Document can be found in the Dissertation Toolbox.


For the purposes of the Ed. D. program at UWF, a proposal shall essentially be the first three chapters of the dissertation with chapters one and three written in future tense. Details are provided in the Dissertation Toolbox

In order to find structural guidelines, please go to the Dissertation Toolbox and scroll down until you see Structure for Proposal in Quantitative Methodology. Navigate to the appropriate area that will meet your proposal needs. 


Doctoral candidates demonstrate their ability to integrate and apply the knowledge and skills developed through formal course work and independent study by designing, implementing, and reporting the results of an intensive study or project related to educational practices and policies. The dissertation process, which consists of reviewing literature relevant to the research area of interest, writing a proposal, conducting the study, and reporting the results, may take from 1 to 2 years.

Dissertation Course Registration Procedure

  1. Students must submit a request to take dissertation hours for the upcoming semester. The request must be submitted to the Academic Mentor by the 10th week of the semester prior to the desired registration semester. 
  2. The Academic Mentor will submit to the Ed.D. Program Office a completed list of their dissertation students and include the students’ names, identification numbers (970…), and the number of dissertation hours each student is approved to register for.
  3. The Ed.D. Program Office will request that the Registrar create dissertation sections for each Academic Mentor.
  4. Once the sections are created, the Ed.D. Program Office will assign registration overrides to each student and inform each student, by email, of the course and section number for which they should register.
  5. Students register.

Upon completion of all doctoral requirements, the end of the journey comes: GRADUATION! This final step will admit you to a very select group: only 1.2% of the U.S. population has attained a doctoral degree (statistic from 2005 census).

For graduation checklist and processes, see links below:

Graduation Checklist

Graduation Processes


Attending Graduation

Regalia Information