Exam-Dissertation Sequence

Innovative Ideas, Transformational Practices

We hope in this sequence of milestones we can make the examination and dissertation process a more social and intellectually stimulating experience.

The Exam-Dissertation Sequence (EDS) involves a series of seminars and incremental and cumulative milestones to help you complete your qualifying examinations and build towards your research proposal, and ultimately, your final dissertation.

Triple Dip: These milestones serve three purposes – but each at their appropriate time:

  1. Earn credit towards your degree
  2. Prepare for and achieve your qualifying (2) and preliminary (1) examinations
  3. Adapt these milestones to become a part of your dissertation manuscript

While we ask you to identify a tentative research question at the start of the EDS, this is solely to help you identify your general field. You select your official research question during Chapter 3.

While we ask you to focus on one step at a time, the EDS Overview and 5-Chapters Model job aid demonstrates how your manuscript will come together.

Submit a cumulative work each time – meaning, include the latest version of what you have submitted previously so that we can see your evolving manuscript.

Key Features of the Exam-Dissertation Sequence

Key features of the approach we take in this six-course sequence are:

  • Systemic Peer-to-Peer Learning: Semi-formally in online discussions (restricted), and formally in peer reviewed projects, section by section as the draft of the dissertation evolves, and observing presentations.
  • Flexible Pacing: While you register for a specific term, you complete the milestones and examinations at your own pace.
  • Advisor Support: Weekly synchronous advising sessions with the program instructors and peers. Individual advising sessions are available upon request.
  • Incremental and Iterative Review Cycles: Scaffolded steps and multiple review cycles enable you to celebrate your success throughout your journey.
EDS Materials

EDS Getting Started Tip

Complete the EDS Getting Started checklist and watch the EDS Onboarding video and attend the EDS Onboarding Office Hours at least one semester before you plan to begin the exam-dissertation sequence. Do not wait until you are ready to register. View the Happening Now page for the upcoming onboarding dates.