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UCF - Graduate Program Handbooks 2017-2018

Program Info

Last Updated 2014-02-25

Curriculum and Instruction 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:


The EdD in Education consists of three distinct program areas, all with emphasis on professional practice: core, concentration, and dissertation in practice. The program requires 24 credit hours of core courses, 18 credit hours within the chosen concentration area, and 12 credit hours of dissertation in practice including proposal, defense, and final submission.


The Doctor of Education (EdD) program is a professional practice doctorate. It is problem-based and designed for practitioners who aspire to positions of influence through their engagement in the development of others. The program builds that expertise from a core of courses in learning, development and motivation; data, accountability and leadership; organizational contexts and the use of research to drive decision-making. Students will work with a team of faculty and field advisers who will support their specialization area. This program is intended for professionals who are interested in teaching in a college, university, or community college, or leading program improvement in a school or school district, higher education, social service agencies, military or business settings. 

The EdD in Curriculum and Instruction consists of three distinct program areas, all with emphasis on professional practice: core, concentration, and capstone. The program requires 21 credit hours of core courses, 15 credit hours within the chosen concentration area and 18 credit hours of dissertation in practice, including proposal, defense, and final submission of a dissertation in practice.


Required Courses—54 Credit Hours

Core—21 Credit Hours

The Core courses include 12 credit hours covering what all graduates of a professional practice doctoral program should know and be able to do and 9 credit hours of research continuum designed to identify, analyze and evaluate complex problems of practice.

  • EDP 7517 Facilitating Learning, Development and Motivation (3 credit hours)
  • EDF 7457 Data, Assessment and Accountability (3 credit hours)
  • EDA 7101 Organizational Theory in Education (3 credit hours)
  • EDF 7494 Identifying Complex Problems of Practice (3 credit hours)
  • EDF 7478 Analysis of Data for Complex Problems of Practice (3 credit hours)
  • EDF 7468 Evaluation of Complex Problems of Practice (3 credit hours)
  • EDG 7985 Proposing and Implementing Data-Driven Decisions (3 credit hours)

Concentration—15 Credit Hours

The concentration is comprised of 12 credit hours of specialization courses and 3 credit hours of "Laboratory of Practice." 

Students must select an area of concentration.  The concentration courses are designed to enhance the student's professional practice by extending the knowledge base earned through the master's degree and work experience.  Concentration areas are subject to the discretion of the College based on course and faculty availability. Applicants are advised to contact the Program Director regarding concentrations. 

Students must complete one 3-credit-hour "Laboratory of Practice" experience. The Laboratory of Practice is a field-based experience. This is not a "work for credit" experience; rather, it places the student in a professional setting for the purpose of gaining practical leadership experience. Students may also enroll in an internship designated by the concentration area as an alternative to the Laboratory of Practice.

  • EDG 7947 Laboratory of Practice (3 credit hours; may be repeated for a total of 6 credit hours)  Examples of concentration areas are provided below; however, these are only examples and do not represent specific requirements.

Students should be aware that not every concentration course is offered every semester and concessions will need to be considered based on the availability of coursework, faculty, course prerequisites, and other institutional factors.

Example I: Curriculum and Instruction

The Curriculum and Instruction option provides students with a broad understanding of the factors affecting education and approaches to addressing systemic problems. For example, a student interested in curriculum design and development and contemporary instructional practice may select the following specialization to include:

  • EDG 7692 Issues in Curriculum (3 credit hours)
  • EDG 7221 Advanced Curriculum Theory (3 credit hours)
  • EDF 7232 Analysis of Learning Theories in Instruction (3 credit hours)
  • EDG 7325 Models of Teaching and Instructional Theory (3 credit hours)
Example II: Instructional Design and Technology
  • EME 6055 Current Trends in Instructional Technology (3 credit hours)
  • EME 6507 Multimedia for Education and Training (3 credit hours)
  • EME 6417 Interactive Online and Virtual Teaching Environment (3 credit hours)
  • EME 6458 Virtual Teaching and Digital Education (3 credit hours)

Program Milestones

Program milestones are observable demonstrations of competency administered in place of comprehensive exams. Milestones are designed to monitor student progress and clear the student for continuation to the next program level.

  • Milestone 1 - Gap Analysis
  • Milestone 2 - Problem of Practice Exhibition
  • Milestone 3 - Capstone Project Proposal and Proposal Defense

To enter EDG 7987: Dissertation in Practice for the EdD, students must have an overall 3.0 GPA on all graduate work in the program and successfully complete the three required program milestones. 

Dissertation in Practice—18 Credit Hours

  • EDG 7987 Dissertation in Practice (18 credit hours minimum; repeatable for credit)

The dissertation in practice is the culmination of coursework and field experience as it relates to complex problems of education practice. The dissertation is the final demonstration of competency in the Curriculum and Instruction EdD.  It is a rigorous academic project and is expected to demonstrate the skills and knowledge the student has acquired throughout the program as applied in an authentic professional environment. The dissertation is completed in partnership with the student, university faculty, and the student's mentor/client. It may be a group or team project.

The dissertation in practice is presented in a thorough and comprehensive written report. It must be appropriately formatted according to APA 6th edition citation guidelines. The student must present findings to both university faculty and the student's client. The dissertation in practice will be evaluated on the thoroughness, applicability and appropriateness of the work. The project also includes an oral defense and presentation of the student's program portfolio.

Timeline for Completion

Year One 

  • EDP 7517 Facilitating, Learning, Development and Motivation
  • EDF 7457 Data, Assessment and Accountability
  • EDA 7101 Organizational Theory in Education
  • EDF 7494 Identifying Complex Problems of Practice
  • Concentration
  • EDG 7947 Laboratory of Practice
  • Milestone 1 Case Study

Year Two 

  • EDA 7196 Leadership in Learning Organizations
  • EDF 7478 Analysis of Data for Complex Problems of Practice
  • Concentration
  • EDF 7468 Evaluation of Complex Problems of Practice
  • Milestone 2 Problem of Practice Exhibition

  • Concentration
  • EDG 7947 Laboratory of Practice

Year Three

  • Concentration
  • EDF 7985 Proposing and Implementing Data-Driven Decisions
  • Milestone 3 Proposal for Dissertation in Practice
  • EDG 7987 Dissertation in Practice
  • EDG 7987 Dissertation in Practice    

Graduation: Total 54 Credit Hours

Examination Requirements


To enter candidacy for the EdD, students must have an overall 3.0 GPA on all graduate work included in the planned program and pass the required Milestones.

Dissertation Requirements

University Dissertation Requirements

The Dissertation in Practice must follow UCF's dissertation deadlines and procedures for formatting, review, and submission.

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


Students are required to complete a portfolio comprised of required documents, activities, and forms which will be presented during their final semester in the program.

Graduate Research

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.

Institutional Review Board Proposal (IRB)

All dissertations that use research involving human subjects, including surveys, must obtain approval from an independent board, the Institutional Review Board (IRB), prior to starting the research. Graduate students and the faculty who supervise dissertations must complete an approved IRB training course before their study can be approved, so this needs to start well in advance of the research start date. It is imperative that proper procedures are followed when using human subjects in research projects. In addition, should the nature of the research or the faculty supervision change since the IRB approval was obtained, then either an “addendum” must be approved for minor changes or a new IRB approval must be sought for significant changes. Failure to obtain this prior approval could jeopardize receipt of the student's degree. Depending on the degree of personal identifying information involved, research utilizing secondary data, i.e. databases, may also require IRB review and approval. When in doubt, be sure to contact IRB staff members in advance of when you plan to begin your research project.

Human subject is defined as:A living individual about whom an investigator conducting research obtains 1) data through intervention or interaction with the individual, or 2) identifiable private information.

Intervention includes both physical procedures by which data are gathered or manipulations of the subject or the subject's environment that are performed for research purposes. Interaction includes communications or interpersonal contact between investigator (or other key study personnel approved by the IRB) and subject.

Private information includes information about behavior that occurs in a context in which the individual can reasonably expect that no observation or recording is taking place, and information which has been provided for specific purposes by an individual and which the individual can reasonably expect will not be made public.

Please visit the UCF research website at  > Compliance > UCF IRB Webpage for more information.

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: > Policies > General Graduate Policies.

Financial Support

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 Support Opportunities

Graduate students may receive financial assistance in the form of fellowships, assistantships, or loans.  Students may inquire about these opportunities from their graduate program office or at the following offices:

College of Graduate Studies

(MH 230) — 407-823-2766; e-mail:; website:

Student Financial Assistance Office

(MH 120) — 407-823-2827; website:

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.

Graduate Student Associations

For a listing of organizations for students in the education discipline visit the Clubs and Organizations webpage  on the College of Education website .

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 For individual department or graduate program organizations, please see the program director.

Professional Development

A graduate student’s professional development goes beyond completing coursework, passing exams, conducting research for a thesis or dissertation, and meeting degree requirements. Professional development also involves developing the academic and non-academic skills needed to become successful in the field of choice.

UCF has a plethora of opportunities for professional development for you to take advantage of:

Preparing Tomorrow's Faculty Program

The Karen L. Smith Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning invites current and aspiring Graduate Teaching Assistants to enroll in their Preparing Tomorrow's Faculty Program. Students will receive group and individualized instruction by Faculty Center staff and experienced UCF professors, as well as textbooks and materials. GTAs will attend a 12 week, non-credit program. Interested graduate students should register online and follow the instructions. More information can be reached by visiting

Career Learning

This office assists UCF students plan their careers; enhance learning through co-op, internships, and service-learning opportunities; and obtain employment.

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  

Graduate Research Forum

The Graduate 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 in each category are given and all participants receive recognition.

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 to recognize excellence by Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) who are not instructors of record, but 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.

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 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 recognition from professional organizations, and praise from faculty members and other colleagues in the field.

For the nomination process and eligibility criteria, see


Students should take opportunities to present a poster or a topic of research at a conference. To obtain financial support to present at a conference (other than through your program) or to engage in comparable creative activity at a professional meeting, visit the Graduate Travel Fellowship section at

For information about the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) thesis and dissertation awards, see their website: > Awards.

For grant-proposal writing resources:

For additional support for the education discipline visit the Societies, Organizations and Journals webpage  on the College of Education website.

Job Search

The Education EdD prepares graduates for leadership positions in the K-12 environment, as well as in other organizational learning settings.  Such positions may be in the areas of human resources, social services, educational training, and curriculum development.  This program also prepares graduates for positions of leadership within 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.

For students interested in positions with a school district in the Metro-Orlando area, please visit the links provided for each school district's employment services 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


  • College of Graduate Studies Forms and Files
    This web link provides 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.


Plagiarism is the act of taking someone else’s work and presenting it as your own. Any ideas, data, text, media or materials taken from another source (either written or verbal) must be fully acknowledged.a) A student must not adopt or reproduce ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another person without acknowledgment.b) A student must give credit to the originality of others whenever:

  1. Directly quoting another person's actual words, whether oral or written;
  2. Using another person's ideas, opinions, or theories;
  3. Paraphrasing the words, ideas, opinions, or theories of others, whether oral or written;
  4. Borrowing facts, statistics, or illustrative material; or
  5. Offering materials assembled or collected by others in the form of projects or collections without acknowledgment.

When using the ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another, students must give credit to the original source at the location or place in the document where that source's material is found as well as provide bibliographic information at the end of the document. When students are verbally discussing the ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another, they must give credit to the original source at the time they speak about that source. In this manner, students must make clear (so there is no doubt) within their written or verbal materials, which parts are gained from other sources, and which are their own original ideas, theories, formulas, graphics, and pictures.The Office of Student Conduct has a set of criteria that determines if students are in violation of plagiarism. This set of criteria may be set to a higher standard in graduate programs. Therefore, a student may not be found in violation of plagiarism by the Office of Student Conduct, but a professor or program requiring higher standards of attribution and citation may find a student in violation of plagiarism and administer program level sanctions. The standard in doctoral programs should be the highest as students earning these degrees are expected to be experts in their fields and producing independent work that contributes knowledge to their discipline.

Example of Material that has been appropriately cited:

Paraphrased Material

Source: Osborne, Richard, ed. How to Grow Annuals. 2nd ed. Menlo Park: Lane, 1974. Print. Page 24: As a recent authority has pointed out, for a dependable long-blooming swatch of soft blue in your garden, ageratum is a fine choice. From early summer until frost, ageratum is continuously covered with clustered heads of fine, silky, fringed flowers in dusty shades of lavender-blue, lavender-pink or white. The popular dwarf varieties grow in mounds six to twelve inches high and twelve inches across; they make fine container plants. Larger types grow up to three feet tall. Ageratum makes an excellent edging.

Use and Adaptation of the Material:

You can depend on ageratum if you want some soft blue in your garden. It blooms through the summer and the flowers, soft, small, and fringed, come in various shades of lavender. The small varieties which grow in mounds are very popular, especially when planted in containers. There are also larger varieties. Ageratum is good as a border plant (Osborne 24).


The writer has done a good job of paraphrasing what could be considered common knowledge (available in a number of sources), but because the structure and progression of detail is someone else’s, the writer has acknowledged the source. This the writer can do at the end of the paragraph since he or she has not used the author’s words.

The above example was provided by Northwestern University.

Northwestern University, Sept. 2016. “Academic Integrity: A Basic Guide.” Accessed 20 September 2017.

For more information about Academic Honesty, Click here.

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