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UCF - Graduate Program Handbooks 2017-2018

Program Info

Last Updated 2016-06-10
Educational Leadership EdD

Higher Education

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 Educational Leadership - Higher Education track requires 63 credit hours minimum beyond the master's degree.


Students 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 the Higher Education Handbook.

Required Courses—36 Credit Hours

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 Hours

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 hours)
  • EDF 7475 Qualitative Research in Education (3 credit hours)

Choose a fourth research course from among those listed below.

  • 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 credit hours)
  • 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 hours)
  • EDF 7488 Monte Carlo Simulation Research in Education (3 credit hours)

Elective Courses—6 Credit Hours

Choose 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 hours)
  • EDH 7207 Curriculum, Instruction and Distance Learning in Higher Education (3 credit hours)

Candidacy Examination—0 Credit Hours (Required for Advancement to Candidacy [Dissertation hours])

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 dissertation hours.)
  • 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.)
  • 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:


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.
  • Successful 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.)

NOTE: Once students enter Candidacy, they must enroll in a minimum of three dissertation hours (EDH 7980) every semester (including summers), until they graduate from the program.

Dissertation—15 Credit Hours

Registration for dissertation hours is not permitted until the student is admitted to Candidacy.

  • EDH 7980 Dissertation Research (15 credit hours minimum)

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 Dissertation Stage:

All items listed are necessary to fulfill the requirements to graduate.

  • Application to Defend Dissertation Proposal
  • Dissertation Proposal Approval
  • Application for IRB Approval of Research
  • Defense  Dissertation Announcement 
  • Dissertation Approval
  • Application to Graduate
  • All 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.

  1. 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.
  1. 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 waiver form.
  2. Identify a major professor and dissertation committee. (File form/s.)
  3. Complete all course work needed to successfully write the comprehensive doctoral examinations.
  4. 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.) 
  5. Successfully pass the Doctoral Degree Candidacy Examinations. (File form/s.)
  6. Develop, present, and defend your dissertation proposal. (File form/s.)
  7. Apply for and gain approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) to conduct your research. (Online application process.)
  8. Complete your dissertation research. 
  9. Defend your dissertation research. (File form/s.)

Examination Requirements

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 greater.
      • 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.
    • 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:
    • 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 advisor.
    • 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 student’s response.  

    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:  

    1. Demonstrate significant knowledge of relevant scholarship.  
    2. Demonstrate clear and critical thinking.  
    3. Demonstrate significant knowledge of research methods and design.  
    4. Demonstrates the ability to vitally connect theory, research and practice. 
    5. Demonstrates the ability to synthesize the literature and best practices. 
    6. Demonstrates clarity of organization of argument sequences. 
    7. 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 dissertation hours:   

    • 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 term. 


    Dissertation Requirements

    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


    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:

    1. To provide an overview of the dissertation process
    2. To outline the components and steps associated with the dissertation prospectus and proposal
    3. To discuss the various sections of the dissertation
    4. To clarify the university requirements associated with the dissertation
    5. 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

    1. 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. 

    2.  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

      1. Complete all coursework listed in your Program of Study including EDH 7934.
      2. In consultation with your advisor or major professor, form a dissertation research committee.
      3. 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)  
      4. 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)
    3.  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 (EDH 7980). 

    4. 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.

      1. 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.
      2. 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.
      3. 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. 

    5. 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. 

    6. 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. 

    7. 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).

    8. 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. 

    9. Complete, and submit the Institutional Review Board (IRB) online application in order to gain approval prior to commencing your study.

    10. 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 your program.

    11. As chapters of the dissertation are written, they should be submitted to your major professor for review before they are transmitted to committee members. 

    12. 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. 

    13. 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. 

    Dissertation Proposal

    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. 

    Dissertation Style 

    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.  

    Dissertation Registration

    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. 

    Dissertation Procedures 

    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

    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.

    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: > 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: >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.

    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 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 > 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.

    Graduate Financials

    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

    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 For individual department or graduate program organizations, please see program advisor. 

    Professional Development

    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

    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 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  

    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  


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

    For grant-proposal writing resources:

    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.

    Job Search

    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

    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. 


    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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