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Doctoral Journey

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

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 EdD/EdS 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 EdD/EdS Program Office. Your application, GRE scores, supplemental documents, and transcripts will be added to your electronic file.

Second Review - The School of Education

The EdD/EdS 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 Dean of the School of Education.

The Dean reviews the admission decisions, taking into consideration the recommendations of the Coordinator of the specialization and the Department Chairperson 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 a letter to inform you of the University's decision. After you have been cleared you must accept your offer of admission by going to MyUWF, selecting “Application Status” and following 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.

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

A 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 School of Education Dean.


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 questions that address issues relating to the introductory, literature review and methodology chapters of the dissertation. Critical components of Institutional Review Board requirements are also embedded 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 prior to passing the comprehensive examination and defending the proposal. The pre-proposal meeting shall be scheduled for a maximum of two hours. 

The following shall characterize the pre-proposal meeting:  

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

b) The pre-proposal meeting shall essentially provide comprehensive feedback and input to guide the student in preparing for the comprehensive examination and writing the proposal; 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 meeting, 

e) No student shall progress to the comprehensive examination stage or the proposal stage without participating in the pre-proposal meeting,

f) 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 EdD Program Office to be placed in the file of the student. 

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

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. 

More information can be found in the EdD Student Resources Canvas site.

For the purposes of the EdD 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 EdD Student Resources Canvas site

Structural guidelines can also be found in the EdD Student Resources Canvas site.

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