Last Updated 2016-06-10
Educational Leadership EdD
Together, the Graduate Student Handbook
and your graduate program handbook should serve as your main guide throughout your graduate career. The Graduate Student Handbook includes university information, policies, requirements and guidance for all graduate students. Your program handbook describes the details about graduate study and requirements in your specific program. While both of these handbooks are wonderful resources, know that you are always welcome to talk with faculty and staff in your program and in the Graduate College.
The central activities and missions of a university rest upon the fundamental assumption that all members of the university community conduct themselves in accordance with a strict adherence to academic and scholarly integrity. As a graduate student and member of the university community, you are expected to display the highest standards of academic and personal integrity.
Here are some resources to help you better understand your responsibilities:
IntroductionThe EdD in Educational Leadership - Higher Education track requires 63 credit hours minimum beyond the master's degree.
CurriculumStudents pursuing the Higher
Education track in the Educational Leadership EdD program are typically
employed in two- or four-year colleges or universities. Their programs of
study require them to complete a minimum of 36 credit hours of specified core
and specialization courses plus two elective courses. Students must also
complete 12 credit hours in research methods and 15 credit hours of
dissertation. The 63 minimum credit hours is required beyond the master's
degree, with an emphasis related to the study of higher education as a field
of inquiry. Details about the administration of this program can be found in
Core—18 Credit Hours
- EDH 6046 Diversity in
Higher Education (3 credit hours)
- EDH 7040 Research on the College
Student (3 credit hours)
- EDH 7401 Higher Education and Public Policy
(3 credit hours)
- EDH 7631 Managing Change, Conflict and Stability in
Higher Education (3 credit hours)
- EDH 7934 Higher Education
Literature, Research and Professional Writing Seminar (3 credit hours)
- EDH 7665 Higher Education Leadership (3 credit hours)
Specialization—12 Credit Hours
- EDH 7405 Legal Issues in Higher
Education (3 credit hours)
- EDH 7066 Higher Education:
Philosophical/Historical Perspectives (3 credit hours)
- EDH 7508 Finance in Higher Education (3 credit hours)
- EDH 7636 Organizational Theory and Practices in Higher Education (3 credit hours)
Research Methods—12 Credit
Students take these three required research courses:
- EDF 6401 Statistics for Educational Data (3 credit hours)
- EDF 7403 Quantitative Foundations of Educational Research (3 credit
- EDF 7475 Qualitative Research in Education (3 credit
Choose a fourth research course from among those listed
- EDF 7463 Analysis of Survey, Record and Other Qualitative
Data (3 credit hours)
- EDF 6464 Mixed Methods for Evaluation in
Educational Settings (3 credit hours)
- EDF 7405 Quantitative Methods
II (3 credit hours)
- EDF 7406 Multivariate Statistics in Education (3
- EDF 7410 Application of Nonparametric and Categorical
Data Analysis in Education (3 credit hours)
- EDF 7415 Latent Variable
Modeling in Education (3 credit hours)
- EDF 7473 Ethnography in
Educational Settings (3 credit hours)
- EDF 7474 Multilevel Data
Analysis in Education (3 credit hours)
- EDF 7479 Applications of
Technology in Qualitative Research: Data, Organization and Analysis (3 credit
- EDF 7488 Monte Carlo Simulation Research in Education (3
Elective Courses—6 Credit Hours
only two courses from the list below.
- EDH 6047 Theories of College
Student Development (3 credit hours)
- EDH 6105 Retention Strategies in
Colleges and Universities (3 credit hours)
- EDH 7366 Assessment
Practices in Higher Education (3 credit hours)
- EDH 7409 Legal
Issues in Higher Education II (3 credit hours)
- EDH 7638 Advanced Seminar in Higher Education (3 credit hours, may be repeated one time)
- EDH 7208 International Perspectives of Higher Education (3 credit
- EDH 7207 Curriculum, Instruction and Distance Learning in
Higher Education (3 credit hours)
Examination—0 Credit Hours (Required for Advancement to Candidacy
Candidacy examinations will be scheduled near
the tenth week of the fall and spring semesters; summer exams will be
scheduled for the sixth week of the term. The exams are:
- Part 1.
Written examination: Higher education (five hours)
- Part 2. Written
examination: Area of specialization (three hours)
- Part 3. Oral
examination (one hour)
Evidence of the following are required to
be eligible to complete the doctoral comprehensive examination in the
Educational Leadership EdD program, Higher Education track:
- Currently enrolled in the university during the semester any
comprehensive examination is taken.
- Submission of an approved program
of study (overall GPA 3.0 or greater on all graduate work).
- Completion of most course work. (Students may only take exams when only
2-3 semesters of course work remain. This statement does not refer to
- In consultation with program faculty, the
dissertation advisory committee is formed, paperwork filed, and approved.
(Committee consists of four members: a minimum of three approved CEDHP
graduate faculty and one approved graduate faculty scholar or CEDHP
- Submission of an approved doctoral comprehensive
examination application by the stated deadline.
- Fulfill any program
deadlines for submitting comprehensive examination content-related materials
(topics, questions, etc.) to the program coordinator by the stated deadline.
(See program website for details: education.ucf.edu/highered/)
Candidacy is the stage of doctoral studies when students
focus exclusively on planning, researching and writing their proposal and
dissertation. To enter candidacy for the Educational Leadership EdD program,
Higher Education track, students must have an overall 3.0 GPA on all graduate
work included in the planned program and pass all required examinations. In
addition, evidence of the following are required to be admitted to candidacy
and enroll in dissertation hours at least one week before the first day of
classes for which the student wishes to enroll in dissertation hours:
- Submission of an approved program of study.
completion of all course work, except for dissertation hours.
- Successful completion of all parts of the candidacy examination.
- In consultation with program faculty, the dissertation advisory committee
is formed, paperwork filed, and approved. (Committee consists of four
members: a minimum of three approved CEDHP graduate faculty and one approved
graduate faculty scholar or CEDHP faculty.)
students enter Candidacy, they must enroll in a minimum of three dissertation
hours (EDH 7980) every semester (including summers), until they graduate from
Dissertation—15 Credit Hours
dissertation hours is not permitted until the student is admitted to
- EDH 7980 Dissertation Research (15 credit hours
Doctoral students must work with their doctoral
adviser/major professor to prepare a proposal and present and defend the
proposal to the dissertation committee. Once the proposal is completed and
approval is secured from the UCF Institutional Review Board (IRB), students
conduct research and submit and defend the final research dissertation to
their dissertation committee.
Required Documentation During
All items listed are necessary to fulfill the
requirements to graduate.
- Application to Defend Dissertation
- Dissertation Proposal Approval
- Application for IRB
Approval of Research
- Defense Dissertation Announcement
- Dissertation Approval
- Application to Graduate
necessary requirements of the College of Graduate Studies for graduation
Timeline for Completion
Guide for Planning Advance Degree Activities
The following statements suggest the usual
sequence of the major activities required to complete advanced graduate degrees
in Higher Education. It is recommended that students follow this sequence as
they progress through the program. Please note that to move to the next
step in the progress, usually there is required paperwork which needs to be
completed and filed.
- Review and follow the recommended sequence of study for
the program, based on whether you are a full time or a part time student. These
documents are published in the program website at the following links.
- Develop your Plan of Study with your academic advisor.
The plan should be developed early in the program, usually during the
first or second semester of course work. This plan must be officially
filed, through administrative channels, with the College of Education
Graduate Studies Office. Any subsequent changes in the plan are made on a
- Identify a major professor and dissertation committee.
- Complete all course work needed to successfully write
the comprehensive doctoral examinations.
- Notify your advisor of your intent to take the comprehensive
doctoral examinations the semester prior to the examination, as well as complete
and file the application and any other required forms by the stated
deadlines. (File form/s.)
- Successfully pass the Doctoral Degree Candidacy
Examinations. (File form/s.)
- Develop, present, and defend your dissertation
proposal. (File form/s.)
- Apply for and gain approval from the Institutional
Review Board (IRB) to conduct your research. (Online application process.)
- Complete your dissertation research.
- Defend your dissertation
research. (File form/s.)
Introduction of Candidacy Examinations
Note that you will hear the Doctoral Candidacy Examinations referred to by several names
including, but not limited to, Comprehensive Exams, “Comps”, Qualifying Exams,
“Quals”, etc. Why are there so many different names used? In the past, and
continuing today, various universities have used different names to refer to
this examination process during the doctoral preparation journey. In our
programs, these names are used synonymously.
Goals of the Doctoral examinations are
expressed in the following desired outcomes:
- The examinations are
one of the means by which the Higher Education faculty determines that the
student is prepared for candidacy for the Doctoral degree.
- The examinations
provide the student and advisor evidence of weaknesses and strengths in the
student's work. From the evidence provided, program adjustments may be made.
- The examinations
provide students an opportunity to synthesize ideas and facts which, prior to
this, have been related to specific courses.
Eligibility for Examinations
The Doctoral Candidacy Examinations include
three parts in our program: Higher Education Core, Specialization and Orals. These
Exams are taken when all requirements have been successfully met.
- Successfully complete all
required core and specialization courses as listed in your official Plan of Study with a GPA of 3.0 or
- Students must have completed all, or the
vast majority, of their course work prior to taking the Exams. (Students may
only take exams when only 2-3 semesters of course work remain. This
statement does not refer to dissertation hours.)
- Students who have incomplete grades in
pertinent course work should not apply to take Exams
- Discuss your readiness to take the
Doctoral Comprehensive Exams with your academic advisor. Your advisor determines that you have
adequately prepared for the Exams.
- With the assistance of your Major
Professor, identify a Dissertation Committee, complete, all members
sign/initial, and submit the Dissertation
Committee (and Candidacy) Form.
- Complete and submit the Doctoral
Comprehensive Examination Application to take the
Doctoral Comprehensive Exam by the stated Deadline for the semester
you plan to take the exams. The application must be approved by Your Major Professor,
the Doctoral coordinator, and the College Graduate Coordinator.
any program deadlines for submitting comprehensive examination
content-related materials (topics, questions, etc.) to the program
coordinator by the stated deadline. (See program website for
- Study for the exams using the program
guide and program specific assistance to focus your efforts.
- Take the exams on the specified date/s and
follow the instructions provided by and discussed with your program
- Once you have successfully passed both Part
1 and 2 of the Comprehensive Exams, your Major Professor will schedule
your Part 3, Orals Examination.
Dates of Examinations
The dates of the examinations will be
established one year in advance by the College. Candidacy examinations will be
scheduled near the tenth week of the fall and spring semesters, and summer
exams will be scheduled for the sixth week of the term. Students must be
enrolled in the university during the semester an examination is taken. Test
dates are posted in the College of Education Graduate Studies Office and the
Educational Leadership Office. Doctoral examinations are typically scheduled
within a one-week period as follows: Monday- Higher Education Core Examination
and Tuesday- Specialization Examination. Students sit for the respective
examinations when they and their advisors feel they are prepared to do so.
Preparation for Examinations
The program coordinator assumes responsibility
in the preparation of the Educational Leadership core examination by soliciting
exam questions and convening the faculty who will be involved in preparing and
evaluating the examination. Examination questions will be solicited by the
program coordinator from appropriate members of the faculty. The total
examination will be reviewed by those persons involved in preparing and
evaluating the examination before the test is administered.
Organization and Content of the Examinations
The Higher Education Core Examination is focused on the five courses comprising the
Higher Education Core. It is a five-hour examination typically administered on
Monday of the scheduled examination week. In Part 1, students are expected to
demonstrate a comprehensive and integrated core of theoretical and practical
knowledge in each of the core areas.
The Specialization Examination is a three-hour examination prepared by the
advisor and usually administered to students on Tuesday of the scheduled examination
week. This examination poses questions for students that call on them to
demonstrate their ability to write in area(s) of specialization. Part 2
requires that students integrate content from various courses as well as
requiring them to relate the area of concentration and/or specialization to
other aspects of the students’ preparation (course work and experiential base).
Students are expected to demonstrate an in-depth body of concentrated knowledge
that reflects unique preparation.
The Oral Examination is a one-hour in-person verbal examination of
the candidate and includes a minimum of two higher education faculty. It is
scheduled within a few weeks of learning you have passed the second part of
your Part 1 and 2 of the Examinations and is scheduled at a mutually convenient
time for all who need to participate. This examination provides opportunities
for the student to articulate and answer questions about their knowledge of the
coursework and planned research. This session requires that students integrate
content from various courses as well as requiring them to relate the area of
concentration and/or specialization to other aspects of the students’
preparation (course work and experiential base). Students are expected to
demonstrate their ability of the student to verbally represent and respond to
questions regarding the content of the higher education and research.
The Research and Statistics Examination (NOT AN EXAM, instead it is competency
certification) This college requirement is completed as part of the research
and statistics sequence of courses. Students are required to demonstrate and
apply their knowledge and skill in the area of research and statistics. (See Research
Competency Certification form.)
Reading the Examinations
Responses to each question on the Higher
Education core examination will be evaluated by professors who are
particularly knowledgeable in the area. Additionally, each specialization
examination will be read by the student’s advisor. Readers will be assigned by
the program coordinator. Should there be marked variability between the
evaluations of a question, additional evaluators may be assigned to read the
Scoring the Examinations
Students are assigned numbers and remain
anonymous during the scoring process. All examination questions are scored
using a five-point scale with three (3) being the minimum passing score. If the
faculty assigned readers disagree as to whether the question has been passed or
failed, another reader will be assigned. Answers to examination questions will
be evaluated using the following criteria:
- Demonstrate significant
knowledge of relevant scholarship.
- Demonstrate clear and
significant knowledge of research methods and design.
- Demonstrates the
ability to vitally connect theory, research and practice.
ability to synthesize the literature and best practices.
of organization of argument sequences.
- Demonstrates a clarity and
conciseness of expression in writing
Grading the Examinations
The final decision as to the student’s passing
or failing the doctoral examination is reached in a faculty meeting attended by
those persons involved in preparing and evaluating the examination. The
student’s name and all scores for each student will be available to Educational
Leadership faculty members prior to the final decision on each student.
If the student fails the doctoral examination,
the entire examination will be rewritten no sooner than the next test administration.
The student may retake the entire examination only two times.
To enter candidacy for the Educational
Leadership EdD program, students must have an overall 3.0 GPA on all graduate
work included in the planned program and pass all required examinations. In
addition, the following are required to be admitted to candidacy and enroll in
- Submittal of an
approved Plan of Study.
- Completion of all
course work, except for dissertation hours.
- The dissertation
advisory committee is formed, consisting of approved graduate faculty and
graduate faculty scholars.
- Successful completion
of the candidacy examination.
Note: In addition to
passing the exam and obtaining committee approval, students must have the
candidacy and dissertation advisory committee documentation received and
processed by the College of Graduate Studies prior to the first day of classes
for the term in order to enroll in dissertation hours (EDH 7980) for that
University Dissertation Requirements
The College of Graduate Studies Thesis and Dissertation page contains information on the university’s requirements for dissertation formatting, format review, defenses, final submission, and more. A step-by-step completion guide is also available at Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation.
All university deadlines are listed in the Academic Calendar. Your program or college may have other earlier deadlines; please check with your program and college staff for additional deadlines.
The following requirements must be met by dissertation students in their final term:
- Submit a properly formatted file for initial format review by the format review deadline
- Submit the Thesis and Dissertation Release Option form well before the defense
- Defend by the defense deadline
- Receive format approval (if not granted upon initial review)
- Submit signed approval form by final submission deadline
- Submit final dissertation document by final submission deadline
Students must format their dissertation according to the standards outlined at Formatting the ETD. Formatting questions or issues can be submitted to the Format Help page in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. Format reviews and final submission must be completed in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. The Dissertation Approval Form is also available in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site.
The College of Graduate Studies offers several thesis and dissertation Workshops each term. Students are highly encouraged to attend these workshops early in the dissertation process to fully understand the above policies and procedures.
The College of Graduate Studies thesis and dissertation office is best reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Research for and defense of the dissertation are the culminating points in one's program of Doctoral studies. The dissertation is a phase where many Doctoral candidates find the most academic satisfaction; it is an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skill accrued during course work, seminars, lectures, and smaller-scale research activities. It is also a time when some individuals stumble and flounder, for it is one of the first occasions in academic work where little formal structure exists.
The dissertation process has often been shrouded in mystery for some individuals. There is no good reason for this mystique. The research process can be one of the more rewarding aspects of one's journey through advanced graduate studies. The product of the Doctoral student's work can enhance the knowledge base about the fields of education in general and Educational Leadership in particular and be a valuable contribution to the literature. To these ends, this document will assist the student through the following purposes:
- To provide an overview of the dissertation process
- To outline the components and steps associated with the dissertation prospectus and proposal
- To discuss the various sections of the dissertation
- To clarify the university requirements associated with the dissertation
- To present the procedures for committee review of the document(s) and the defense process
One caveat is offered before proceeding: One of the most critical decisions a Doctoral student can make is the selection of an advisor. Many hours will be devoted to finding a research topic and defining, focusing, and refining that topic. Many hours will also be spent in dialogue and review of the research. The collaboration between Doctoral candidate and advisor requires that both parties be willing and able to work together.
While most of the content of this document is common to all situations, the counsel of one's advisor will generally supersede other recommendations. Ultimately, the advisor must have confidence that a researchable topic has been identified and that the candidate has the ability, motivation, and endurance to complete the work. The candidate must have confidence that he or she is receiving appropriate systematic, and timely counsel from the advisor.
The suggestions and guidelines presented herein may not be appropriate for all dissertations and research settings. In the final analysis, the directions and specifications of the advisor and dissertation committee, consistent with UCF policies and guidelines, are the final words.
Overview of the Dissertation Process
Specific steps and approaches to research for the dissertation will vary somewhat with preferences of different faculty advisors, but there are certain steps and requirements that should be adhered to in the process. Given below are the essential steps that are generally followed by all Higher Education Doctoral students. Close consultation with the academic advisor is critical to an efficient progression toward completion of the Doctoral degree.
Research for the dissertation formally commences after one has completed all courses in an approved Plan of Study and has passed all Candidacy Examinations. Presumably, the student has been involved in the study of a topic of interest that may lead to his or her original research. Let’s review some major points leading to entrance to Candidacy
- Complete all coursework listed in your Program of Study including EDH 7934.
- In consultation with your advisor or major professor, form a dissertation research committee.
- Prior to comprehensive exams, file the following two forms: Application to Take Comprehensive Examsform and Doctoral Committee Candidacy form(Check the Initial Committee Formation box on this form)
- Upon satisfactory completion of comprehensive exams, all coursework, EDH 7934 and completion of requisite forms, you may apply to Candidacy by completing and filing the Doctoral Committee Candidacy form (Check the Candidacy box on this form)
Once you have been
admitted to Candidacy (Congratulations, by the way!), every semester (including
summers) you must enroll in a minimum of 3 credit hours of Dissertation hours
Early in your first semester of candidacy, meet with your major professor about your topic, committee members, timeline, and his/her special procedures, preferences, and expectations.
- During the course, EDH 7934, you developed a very preliminary draft of your dissertation proposal (in consultation with your advisor or major professor). Bring this document to your first meeting with your major professor and provide a verbal summary of your current purpose, research questions, research method, and timeline.
- Begin preparation of the next version of your draft of your proposal (always in consultation with your advisor). Hopefully, you have been preparing a database of related research and literature throughout your Program of Study and are prepared to commence your own original research.
Obtain a copy of the of the current Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association and download the UCF Thesis and Dissertation Manual; these manuals should be used in conjunction to format your dissertation.
- Work with your major professor to develop a complete Dissertation approval, which he/she approves. Next, submit it to your dissertation research committee, and based on their preliminary approval, schedule a Proposal Defense meeting. Be sure to allow at least two weeks for the committee members to review the proposal. At least two weeks prior to this session, you must also complete and submit Application to Defend Proposal form.
- In coordination with your major professor, schedule and hold the proposal meeting with all committee members present. In general, if the proposal is accepted by the committee, the required Dissertation Proposal Approval form is signed this meeting.
- If the proposal is accepted with revisions (there usually are always revisions!), develop the revised proposal that reflects all substantive and content changes as well as editorial, grammatical, syntactical, format, and other revisions in order to move to the next step.
Please note: The proposal is typically developed and defended during the first semester of dissertation registration. If the proposal is not developed and defended during the first semester of EDH 7980 registration, the student may anticipate re-registering for another semester of three credit hours of Dissertation (EDH 7980).
- Submit the Final Proposal
along with the Dissertation Proposal
Approval form to your committee (for their reference), the College of
Education Graduate Studies Office, and Higher Education Doctoral Coordinator.
- Complete, and submit
the Institutional Review Board (IRB) online application in order to gain
approval prior to commencing your study.
- Commence your research study,
implementing the Data Collection and Analysis for the dissertation. A minimum total
of 15 semester hours of EDH 7980 Dissertation is required during your
dissertation experience. Continuous registration (including summer) of a
minimum of 3 credit hours is required by the university during this stage of
- As chapters of the
dissertation are written, they should be submitted to your major professor for
review before they are transmitted to committee members.
- As you approach
completion of the dissertation, review the university deadlines for defense and
make an appointment to meet with the UCF dissertation editor. NOTE: UCF
Deadlines must be observed unless prior approval is obtained.
- In your final
semester, follow the steps outlined on the Completing
Your Thesis or Dissertation.
Dissertation Prospectus (Optional)
The dissertation prospectus is a brief
presentation of the research to be undertaken by the Doctoral student. While it
may be a succinct document, it is a draft research plan. Therefore, it should
be developed only after a thorough review of the related literature and
conceptualization of the problem and purpose of the study. The prospectus
should contain a brief summary of literature and research that frames the study,
statement of the problem, research questions and/or hypotheses, and an overview
of the research design. The dissertation prospectus is typically 3-6 pages in
length (plus references.
The dissertation proposal is a thorough and
complete presentation of the research to be performed by the Doctoral student.
It is a reasonably complete research plan offered for consideration by your
dissertation committee. Given below are the general steps associated with
proposal development. It is assumed that a proposal has been developed and has
received favorable review by your advisor and committee.
The accepted style for the dissertation and related documents (prospectus and proposal) follows the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. The documents, however, must also conform to the UCF Thesis and Dissertation Manual which will override some APA requirements.
Doctoral students are expected to maintain
continuous registration while engaged in research for the dissertation. A
minimum of 15 semester hours of dissertation credit EDH 7980 must be accrued
prior to graduation. The minimum number of credits per semester is 3. Once the minimum
total number of dissertation credits has been reached, students may register for 1 credit hour
minimum for EDH 7980.Candidates should also be mindful of the degree time
limits as specified in the UCF Graduate Catalog.
For general dissertation information, timeline for term of graduation, frequently asked questions, and most common errors to avoid, please visit the Graduate Studies website on Thesis and Dissertation and the Graduate Catalog.
UCF has three fundamental responsibilities with regard to graduate student research. They are to (1) support an academic environment that stimulates the spirit of inquiry, (2) develop the intellectual property stemming from research, and (3) disseminate the intellectual property to the general public. Students are responsible for being informed of rules, regulations and policies pertaining to research. Below are some general policies and resources.
Research Policies and Ethics Information: UCF's Office of Research & Commercialization ensures the UCF community complies with local, state and federal regulations that relate to research. For polices including required Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval when conducting research involving human subjects (e.g. surveys), animal research, conflict of interest and general responsible conduct of research, please see the website: www.research.ucf.edu > Compliance.
UCF's Patent and Invention Policy: In most cases, UCF owns the intellectual property developed using university resources. The graduate student as inventor will according to this policy share in the proceeds of the invention. Please see the current UCF Graduate Catalog for details: www.graduatecatalog.ucf.edu >Policies>General Graduate Policies.
For more information regarding research in the education discipline, including research institutes, project and grants as well as the Center for Educational Research and Development (CERD) visit the Research and Centers webpage on the College of Education website.
Graduate education is an important investment for both the student and the community. Graduate education enables students to enter new career fields with more choices as to their work assignments. It provides enrichment and a deeper understanding of a chosen field. Educated employees improve the quality of life in the State of Florida. The cost of this investment is very reasonable. A student's basic expenses at the university will be for tuition, course-related fees, textbooks, other instructional supplies, room and board, and miscellaneous items.
Graduate Student Support Opportunities
Graduate students may receive financial assistance in the form of fellowships, assistantships, or loans. UCF graduate students may be employed by their department as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, Graduate Research Assistant, or Graduate Assistant. All applicants are considered for Graduate Fellowships when their application to the graduate program is complete. Some fellowships are awarded before the final application deadline. It can be noted that deadlines include the date of December 20 for best consideration for fellowships. Students may find more information about these opportunities at the following websites:
College of Graduate Studies
www.graduate.ucf.edu > Funding for Graduate School
Student Financial Assistance Office
For students interested in applying for loans or externally funded need-based awards and to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is available January 1 each year.
Financial Aid Information
Non-degree-seeking students are not eligible for financial aid.
Students with qualifying assistantships or university-wide fellowships will receive financial packages that include an assistantship or fellowship stipend, tuition remission, and health insurance. Qualifying fellowships are accompanied by tuition waivers. Qualifying assistantships include single appointments of at least .50 FTE (20 hrs/week) or two appointments of at least .25 FTE (10 hrs/week). Tuition remission is in the form of either tuition waivers or tuition payments that cover in-state (resident) tuition. Non-resident students with financial packages are not charged out-of-state tuition or the non-resident financial aid fee.
For additional information about funding for graduate school, please visit the Funding for Graduate School section of the College of Graduate Studies website.
As part of a program's professional development plan for students, full-time graduate students may be offered the opportunity to gain experience as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (or Associate or Grader; GTA), Graduate Research Assistant (or Associate; GRA), or Graduate Assistant. Please visit the Financial Information section in the Graduate Catalog for more information.
Graduate students who will be supported on assistantships must see their program coordinator to see that their assistantship agreement is filled out. This should be done before fees are paid; for continuing students, this should be done before the new semester begins. Paychecks are delayed when these arrangements are not made prior to the beginning of the semester.
Mandatory training requirements must be met for a student to be hired in the position of Graduate Teaching Associate, Assistant or Grader. The training, offered by UCF’s Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, covers course design, learning theories, ethics, and other topics relevant to preparing GTAs for their responsibilities. See www.students.graduate.ucf.edu/GTA_Training_Requirements.
Students who are non-native speakers of English and do not have a degree from a U.S. institution must pass the SPEAK test before they will be permitted to teach as Graduate Teaching Associates (position code 9183) or Graduate Teaching Assistants (position code 9184). The SPEAK test is not required for students who will be appointed as a Graduate Teaching Grader (position code 9187). Additional information including how to register for the test can be accessed through the GTA Information section of the College of Graduate Studies student website.
The University awards more than $2 million in fellowships each year. Some fellowships are selected based on academic merit; others are available only to minority applicants or those who can demonstrate financial need. A number of fellowships are selected by college nominations; however, others require a fellowship application. Refer to the description of each fellowship’s requirements for more information.
Fellowship information is available from several sources. Program and graduate coordinators and other interested faculty may be contacted for specific opportunities related to their fields of study. Published fellowship deadlines are approximate and subject to change. A listing of fellowship opportunities and application materials offered by the University to graduate students is available on the Graduate Studies website.
Books, such as the Graduate Scholarship Directory listing fellowship opportunities, are available at the Reserve Desk of the Library for students to review.
International students receiving fellowships may be subject to up to 14 percent withholding on their fellowship checks. International students must obtain either a Social Security Number (SSN) or an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN). Further information on this issue can be obtained from International Affairs and Global Strategies.
Graduate Student Associations
A listing of all organizations for students in the education discipline is available on the Clubs and Organizations webpage on the College of Education website. For additional information on professional societies and affiliated journals visit the Societies, Organizations and Journals webpage.
The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is UCF's graduate organization committed to enrich graduate students' personal, educational and professional experience. To learn more or get involved, please visit www.gsa.ucf.edu. For individual department or graduate program organizations, please see program advisor.
Instructional Strategies and Resources
The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning provides classes and programs designed to assist graduate students with the educational issues they face in the classroom as teaching assistant or as instructors. These resources include assistance in course design and syllabi development, learning theories, and the use of different technologies in the classroom or on the internet. Further information on these resources is available at www.fctl.ucf.edu.
Pathways to Success Workshops
Coordinated by the College of Graduate Studies, the Pathways to Success program offers free development opportunities for graduate students including workshops in Academic Integrity, Graduate Grantsmanship, Graduate Teaching, Personal Development, Professional Development, and Research. For more information and how to register, please visit www.students.graduate.ucf.edu/pathways/.
Graduate Research Forum
The Research Forum will feature poster displays representing UCF’s diverse colleges and disciplines.
The Research Forum is an opportunity for students to showcase their research and creative projects and to receive valuable feedback from faculty judges. Awards for best poster presentation in each category will be given and all participants will receive recognition.
The College of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Student Association invite all UCF students, community, and employers to attend the Graduate Research Forum. For more information, contact email@example.com.
Graduate Excellence Awards
Each year, the College of Graduate Studies offers graduate students who strive for academic and professional excellence the opportunity to be recognized for their work. The award categories include the following:
Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant – This award is for students who provide teaching support and assistance under the direction of a lead teacher. This award focuses on the extent and quality of the assistance provided by the student to the lead instructor and the students in the class. (Not intended for students who are instructor of record)
Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching – This award is for students who serve as instructors of record and have independent classroom responsibilities. The focus of this award is on the quality of the student’s teaching and the academic contributions of those activities.
Award for the Outstanding Master’s Thesis – It recognizes graduate students for excellence in the master's thesis. The focus of this award is on the quality and contribution of the student's thesis research. Excellence of the master's thesis may be demonstrated by evidence such as, but not limited to: publications in refereed journals, awards and recognitions from professional organizations, and praise from faculty members and other colleagues in the field.
Award for the Outstanding Dissertation – It recognizes doctoral students for excellence in the dissertation. The focus of this award is on the quality and contribution of the student's dissertation. Excellence of the dissertation may be demonstrated by evidence such as, but not limited to: publications in refereed journals, awards and recognitions from professional organizations, and praise from faculty members and other colleagues in the field.
For the nomination process and eligibility criteria, see www.graduate.ucf.edu/GradAwards.
For information about the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) thesis and dissertation awards, see their website: www.csgs.org > Awards.
For grant-proposal writing resources: uwc.ucf.edu/gradwriting.php
For professional development opportunities available to students in education disciplines visit the Office of Clinical Experiences webpage on the College of Education website. For additional information on professional societies and affiliated journals visit the Societies, Organizations and Journals webpage.
The UCF School and Community Partnership is a network of universities, schools, community agencies and national professional organizations working in partnership to create high quality professional development and significant school renewal to improve teaching and learning for PreK-20 students. For information on professional development opportunities available through this partnership program, including a listing of professional development school participants, visit the UCF School and Community Partnership webpage.
UCF’s Career Services department offers a wide range of programs and services designed to assist graduate students. These services include evaluation and exploration of career goals, preparation for the job search and job search resources. To learn more, visit their website at www.career.ucf.edu.
The Educational Leadership Ed.D. prepares graduates for leadership positions in the higher education setting.
An excellent national resource is Education Week's Top School Jobs website, which offers professional development support, career tips and expert advice, and a database of job postings relevant to students in this discipline.
Higher Ed Jobs is another resource for job listings for administrative, faculty and executive positions with community colleges and four year institutions in the United States.
The Chronicle of Higher Education's Jobs website includes a listing of positions available at institutions of higher education in the United States including faculty and research positions, as well as administrative and executive jobs.
- College of Graduate Studies Forms
A listing of forms and files for the College of Graduate Studies.
- Graduate Petition Form
When unusual situations arise, petitions for exceptions to policy may be requested by the student. Depending on the type of appeal, the student should contact his/her program adviser to begin the petition process.
- Traveling Scholar Form
If a student would like to take advantage of special resources available on another campus but not available on the home campus; for example, special course offerings, research opportunities, unique laboratories and library collections, this form must be completed and approved.