Doctoral Degree Requirements
The requirements presented in this section are school-wide requirements that have been established in addition to the University-wide requirements detailed under general academic regulations. Students should review the general academic regulations section in addition to the specific school information detailed below.
Doctor of Education (EdD) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree programs are offered by the School of Education to provide advanced graduate study and professional specialization in education. Each recipient must show evidence of superior scholarship, mastery of a special field of knowledge, and ability to do significant and relevant research. In doctoral study in the School of Education, a distinction is made between the preparation of education professionals resulting in the EdD degree and the preparation of education professionals resulting in the PhD degree. While EdD and PhD degrees produce experts in critical inquiry, the School of Education distinguishes the degrees according to, among other factors, the focus of the area of inquiry, the type of knowledge advanced, and the career path chosen by the individual student.
PhD research focuses on the study of basic problems arising primarily from behavioral and social science theory with the goal of advancing such theory and knowledge. Individuals pursuing this degree often seek academic positions in universities or research institutes. EdD research focuses on the study of applied, practical problems with the goal of contributing to solutions. Careers for these individuals often center on professional positions as administrators, curriculum developers, or specialists in schools and clinical settings.
Doctoral degrees require a minimum of 90 credits in a degree program beyond the baccalaureate, distributed as follows: a minimum of 72 course credits (including transfer credits) and a minimum of 18 dissertation credits. Doctoral-level courses are numbered in the 3000 series, but courses numbered in the 2000 series may also be appropriate for doctoral study. Generally, courses numbered below 2000 do not meet the minimum requirements for doctoral study. Exceptions require the approval of the program or department. No lower-level undergraduate course (numbered 0001-0999) may be applied toward a doctoral degree.
Grade Point Average/Academic Probation
All students enrolled in doctoral degree programs are required to maintain a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.300. The cumulative GPA is based on all course work taken after enrollment in the appropriate doctoral program. A student is automatically placed on academic probation when the cumulative GPA after 9 credits or more, exclusive of transfer credits, falls below 3.300. Although the credits allowed for acceptable work completed elsewhere by students enrolled in the School of Education count toward the total number of credits required for the graduate degree, the grades earned in such courses are not included in GPA computations.
While on probation students are limited to registering only for courses in which a letter grade is given. To be removed from probation status, a student must achieve a 3.500 GPA in 6 credits or more. A student can only be placed on academic probation status once during their program of study. Students placed on academic probation status will receive notification in the form of a letter from the School of Education, and they will be recommended to seek guidance from their academic advisor.
Ordinarily, students are required to terminate graduate study after two terms on probation. A student who does not meet the GPA or credit requirements will be dismissed from the School of Education, unless serious extenuating circumstances exist. The request for continuation must include a recommendation made by the Department Chair (or designated faculty member) and the academic advisor, with the recommendation approved by the Dean of the school.
Leave of Absence
Under special conditions, graduate students may be granted one leave of absence. A maximum leave of two years may be granted to doctoral students. The length and rationale for the leave of absence must be stated in advance, recommended to the dean by the department, and approved by the dean. If approved, the time of the leave shall not count against the total time allowed for the degree being sought by the student. Readmission following an approved leave of absence is a formality.
Academic Integrity Policy
Students have the right to be treated by faculty in a fair and conscientious manner in accordance with the ethical standards generally recognized within the academic community (as well as those recognized within the profession). Students have the responsibility to be honest and to conduct themselves in an ethical manner while pursuing academic studies. Should a student be accused of a breach of academic integrity or have questions regarding faculty responsibilities, procedural safeguards including provisions of due process have been designed to protect student rights. These general procedures may be found in Guidelines on Academic Integrity: Student and Faculty Obligations and Hearing Procedures at www.provost.pitt.edu. The School of Education has its own academic integrity policies, posted on the School of Education website. Students are encouraged to review these school-specific guidelines as well.