Doctor of Education in Agricultural Education

The Doctor of Education (EdD) degree is a professional degree designed to prepare a candidate for a position of leadership in the full range of educational settings, including public and private schools and colleges, business, government, industry and the military establishment. The program is designed for the practitioner; a graduate may be expected to fill instructional, supervisory and administrative positions in which educational services are to be rendered.

Although substantively different from the PhD degree in education, the EdD degree requires equivalent admission qualifications, standards of scholarship and breadth and depth of study. Because graduates of the program are expected to demonstrate a high level of professional skill and educational statesmanship, only those candidates who show a consistently high level of professional performance in their academic studies, in their role-related studies, in their internship experience, and in the completion of their records of study will be recommended for the degree. The EdD degree may be earned in agricultural education, educational administration, and curriculum and instruction. Details of the requirements are presented below.

Admission

An applicant must hold the master’s degree, provide an academic record acceptable to the department, and may be required to submit scores for the Graduate Record Examination. The requirement for years of professional experience in an educationally related setting varies by program. Please see program admissions information related to this prerequisite. He/she also must complete a written instrument which assesses the knowledge of the requirements and duties of the professional roles to which he/she aspire and demonstrates his/her ability to write with clarity, organization and correctness.

Program Requirements

Student’s Advisory Committee

After receiving admission to graduate studies and enrolling, the student will consult with the head of his or her major or administrative department (or chair of the intercollegiate faculty) concerning appointment of the chair of the advisory committee. The student’s advisory committee will consist of no fewer than four members of the graduate faculty representative of the student’s several fields of study and research, where the chair or co-chair must be from the student’s department (or intercollegiate faculty, if applicable), and at least one or more of the members must have an appointment to a department other than the student’s major department. The outside member for a student in an interdisciplinary degree program must be from a department different from the chair of the student’s committee.

The chair, in consultation with the student, will select the remainder of the advisory committee. Only graduate faculty members located on Texas A&M University campuses may serve as chair of a student’s advisory committee. Other Texas A&M University graduate faculty members located off-campus may serve as a member or co-chair (but not chair), with a member as the chair.

If the chair of a student’s advisory committee voluntarily leaves the University and the student is near completion of the degree and wants the chair to continue to serve in this role, the student is responsible for securing a current member of the University Graduate Faculty, from the student’s academic program and located near the Texas A&M University campus site, to serve as the co-chair of the committee. The Department Head or Chair of Intercollegiate faculty may request in writing to the Associate Provost for Graduate and Professional Studies that a faculty member who is on an approved leave of absence or has voluntarily separated from the university, be allowed to continue to serve in the role of chair of a student’s advisory committee without a co-chair for us to one year. The students should be near completion of the degree. Extensions beyond the one year period can be granted with additional approval of the Dean.

The committee members’ signatures on the degree plan indicate their willingness to accept the responsibility for guiding and directing the entire academic program of the student and for initiating all academic actions concerning the student. Although individual committee members may be replaced by petition for valid reasons, a committee cannot resign en masse. The chair of the committee, who usually has immediate supervision of the student’s research and dissertation or record of study, has the responsibility for calling all meetings of the committee. The duties of the committee include responsibility for the proposed degree plan, the research proposal, the preliminary examination, the dissertation or record of study and the final examination. In addition, the committee, as a group and as individual members, is responsible for counseling the student on academic matters and, in the case of academic deficiency, initiating recommendations to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Degree Plan

Each student’s proposed degree plan will be individually designed on the basis of the student’s career objectives and the competencies associated with the professional role to which the student aspires. It will contain a minimum of 64 semester hours, including the following components:

  1. At least 6 semester hours of proseminars stressing the foundation concepts with which every EdD student should be familiar;
  2. A set of courses selected to prepare the candidate for a specific professional role within a field of specialization;
  3. One or more courses that develop basic understanding of the procedures and applications of research;
  4. At least one supporting field of 12 or more semester hours or two supporting fields of 9 or more semester hours each;
  5. A professional internship of at least 6 semester hours related to the professional role to which the student aspires;
  6. A record of study involving at least 12 semester hours of credit.

No changes can be made to the degree plan once the student’s Request for Final Examination or Request for Final Examination Exemption is approved by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

The degree plan must be filed with the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies prior to the deadline imposed by the student’s college, and no later than 90 days prior to the preliminary examination.

Transfer of Credit

Courses for which transfer credits are sought must have been completed with a grade of B or greater and must be approved by the student’s advisory committee and the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. These courses must not have been used previously for another degree. Except for officially approved joint degree programs with other Texas A&M University System institutions, credit for theses or dissertation research or the equivalent is not transferable. Credit for “internship” coursework in any form is not transferable. Courses taken in residence at an accredited U.S. institution or approved international institution with a final grade of B or greater will be considered for transfer credit if, at the time the courses were completed, the courses would be accepted for credit toward a similar degree for a student in degree-seeking status at the host institution. Credit for coursework taken by extension is not transferable coursework in which no formal grades are given or in which grades other than letter grades (A or B) are earned (for example, CR, P, S, U, H, etc.) is not accepted for transfer credit. Credit for coursework submitted for transfer from any college or university must be shown in semester credit hours, or equated to semester credit hours.

Courses used toward a degree at another institution may not be applied for graduate credit. If the course to be transferred was taken prior to the conferral of a degree at the transfer institution, a letter from the registrar at that institution stating that the course was not applied for credit toward the degree must be submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Grades for courses completed at other institutions are not included in computing the GPR. An official transcript from the university at which transfer courses are taken must be sent directly to the Office of Admissions.

Examinations

Preliminary Examination

The student’s major department  and his or her advisory committee may require qualifying, cumulative or other types of examinations at any time deemed desirable. These examinations are entirely at the discretion of the department and the student’s advisory committee.

The preliminary examination is required. The preliminary examination for a doctoral student shall be given no earlier than a date at which the student is within 6 credit hours of completion of the formal coursework on the degree plan (i.e., all coursework on the degree plan except 681, 684, 690, 691, 5V98, 5V99 and 692 courses). The student is strongly encouraged to complete the Preliminary Examination no later than the end of the semester following the completion of the formal coursework on the degree plan. The Office of Graduate and Professional Studies must receive the results of the preliminary examination at least 14 weeks prior to the final examination date. The examination shall be oral and written unless otherwise recommended by the student’s advisory committee and approved by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. The written part of the examination will cover all fields of study included in the student’s degree plan. Each member of the advisory committee is responsible for administering a written examination in his or her particular field, unless he or she chooses to waive participation in this part of the examination. Two or more members of the advisory committee may give a joint written examination. One or more members may require a student to take a departmental or intercollegiate faculty examination to supplement or replace a written examination. Each written examination must be completed and reported as satisfactory to the chair of the advisory committee before the oral portion of the examination may be held. In case any written examination is reported unsatisfactory, the entire advisory committee must agree (1) to proceed with the oral portion of the preliminary examination, or (2) to adopt another course of action regarding the unsatisfactory written examination.

Prior to scheduling the preliminary examination with the other committee members, the committee chair will review the eligibility criteria with the student, using the Preliminary Examination Checklist to ensure the student is ready for the examination. The following list of eligibility requirements applies.

  • Student is registered at Texas A&M University for the semester or summer term during which any portion of the preliminary examination may fall. If the entire examination falls between semesters, then the student must be registered for the term immediately preceding the examination.
  • An approved degree plan was on file with the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies at least 90 days prior to the first written examination.
  • Student’s cumulative GPR is at least 3.000.
  • Student’s degree plan GPR is at least 3.000.
  • All English language proficiency requirements have been satisfied.
  • All committee members have scheduled or waived the written portion and agreed to attend the oral portion of the examination or have found a substitute. Only one substitution is allowed and it cannot be for the committee chair.
  • At the end of the semester in which the exam is given, there are no more than 6 hours of coursework remaining on the degree plan (except 681, 684, 690, 691, 5V98, 5V99 and 692). The head of the student’s department (or Chair of the Intercollegiate Faculty, if applicable) has the authority to approve a waiver of this criterion.
  • The time span from the first written examination to the oral is no more than three weeks. (In cases of department-wide written examinations, this criterion is not applicable.) The head of the student’s department (or chair of the intercollegiate faculty, if applicable) has the authority to approve a waiver of this criterion.

Once all requirements are met, departments or intercollegiate faculty may announce the schedule of the written and oral parts of the examination.

Credit for the preliminary examination is not transferable. If a departmental or intercollegiate faculty examination is used as part of the written portion of the preliminary examination, it must be the last examination offered prior to the date scheduled for the preliminary examination. In the schedule of the written portion, all members of the student’s advisory committee are to be included.

Through the preliminary examination, the student’s advisory committee should satisfy itself that the student has demonstrated the following qualifications:

  1. a mastery of the subject matter of all fields in the program;
  2. an adequate knowledge of the literature in these fields and an ability to carry out bibliographical research.

In case a student is required to take, as a part of the written portion of a preliminary examination, an examination administered by a department or intercollegiate faculty, the department or intercollegiate faculty must:

  1. offer the examination at least once every six months. The departmental or interdisciplinary degree program examination should be announced at least 30 days prior to the scheduled examination date.
  2. assume the responsibility for marking the examination satisfactory or unsatisfactory, or otherwise graded, and in the case of unsatisfactory, stating specifically the reasons for such a mark.
  3. forward the marked examination to the chair of the student’s advisory committee within one week after the examination.

The chair of the student’s advisory committee is responsible for making all written examinations available to the members of the advisory committee at or before the oral portion of the preliminary examination. A positive vote by all members of the graduate committee with at most one dissention is required to pass a student on his or her preliminary exam. A department or intercollegiate faculty can have a stricter requirement provided there is consistency within all degree programs within a department or an interdisciplinary degree program.

The chair of the advisory committee will promptly report the results of the Preliminary Examination to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies, using the Report of Doctoral Preliminary Examination form and the Preliminary Examination checklist. Both forms must have the appropriate signatures. These forms should be submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies within 10 working days of the scheduled preliminary examination.

The Report of the Preliminary Examination form must be submitted with original signatures of  the approved committee members. If an approved committee member substitution (1 only) has been made, his/her signature must also be included on the form submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. The original signature of the department head is also required on the form.

After passing the required oral and written preliminary examinations for the doctoral degree, the student must complete the final examination for the degree within four calendar years. Otherwise, the student will be required to repeat the preliminary examination. Upon approval of the student’s advisory committee, with no more than one member dissenting, and approval of the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies, a student who has failed the preliminary examination may be given one re-examination. Adequate time must be given to permit the student to address the inadequacies emerging from the first examination (normally six months). The student and the advisory committee should jointly negotiate a mutually acceptable date for this purpose.

A student must be registered at Texas A&M University for a minimum of one semester credit hour in the semester or summer term in which they will take any portion of the Preliminary Examination.

Final Examination/Dissertation Defense

The candidate for the doctoral degree must pass a final examination by deadline dates announced in the “Office of Graduate and Professional Studies Calendar” each semester or summer term. The doctoral student is allowed only one opportunity to take the final examination. No student may be given a final examination unless his or her current official cumulative and degree plan GPAs are 3.000 or better and he or she has been admitted to candidacy. No unabsolved grades of D, F, or U for any course can be listed on the degree plan. To absolve a deficient grade, a student must repeat the course and achieve a grade of C or better. A student must have completed all coursework on his or her degree plan with the exception of 691, 5V98, or 5V99 (research) or 692 (Professional Study) hours. The student must be registered for all remaining hours; no hours remain to be taken on the degree plan. The preliminary examination results must have been submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies 14 weeks prior to the date of the defense. The research proposal must have been submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies 25 working days prior to the date of the final examination/defense. Any changes to the degree plan must be approved by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies prior to the approval of the final examination. The request to hold and announce the final examination must be submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies a minimum of 10 working days in advance of the scheduled date. Examination/Defense results must be submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies within 10 working days of the scheduled examination/defense date. The Office of Graduate and Professional Studies must be notified in writing of any cancellations.

The student’s advisory committee will conduct this examination. The final examination is not to be administered until the record of study is available in substantially final form to the student’s advisory committee, and all concerned have had adequate time to review the document. Additionally, all English Language Proficiency requirements must be satisfied prior to scheduling the examination. Whereas the final examination may cover the broad field of the candidate’s training, it is presumed that the major portion of the time will be devoted to the dissertation and closely allied topics. Persons other than members of the graduate faculty may, with mutual consent of the candidate and the chair of the advisory committee, be invited to attend a final examination for an advanced degree. A positive vote by all members of the graduate committee with at most one dissension is required to pass a student on his or her exam. A department can have a stricter requirement provided there is consistency within all degree programs within a department. Upon completion of the questioning of the candidate, all visitors must excuse themselves from the proceedings.

The advisory committee will submit its recommendations on the appropriate Report of the Final Examination for Doctoral Candidates form to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies regarding acceptability of the candidate for the doctoral degree. A student must be registered in the University in the semester or summer term in which the final examination is taken.

The Report of the Final Examination Form must be submitted with original signatures of only the committee members approved by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. If an approved committee member substitution (1 only) has been made, his/her signature must be included on the form submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Record of Study

The EdD student will produce a major research document called a record of study. The research project may involve such topics as

  1. a field study on a problem of major proportions in time or extent;
  2. a curriculum development project validated through pilot and field testing; or
  3. action research on a curricular, instructional, supervisory or administrative problem based on empirical data.

The EdD student must have primary responsibility for the design and development of the research, and the record of study must be the sole and original work of the candidate.

Whatever the nature of the research project undertaken by the candidate, he or she will be required to prepare a record of study that explains and supports the activities undertaken in the project and supports its conclusions with adequate investigations, empirical data and a comprehensive bibliography. Procedures used in the student’s research will be described in sufficient detail for educators in other locations to apply or extend the procedures. All records of study should be characterized by accuracy of observation and measurements, thoroughness of analysis and synthesis, and accuracy and completeness of presentation.

Guidelines for the preparation of the record of study are available in the Thesis Manual which is available online at http://ogaps.tamu.edu. After successful defense and approval by the student’s advisory committee and the head of the student’s major department, a student must submit his/her record of study in electronic format as a single PDF file. The PDF file must be uploaded to the website http://ogaps.tamu.edu. Additionally, a signed approval form must be brought or mailed to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. Both the PDF file and the signed approval form are required by the deadline.

Deadline dates for submitting are announced each semester or summer term in the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies Calendar (see Time Limit statement). These dates also can be accessed via the website http://ogaps.tamu.edu.

Before a student can be “cleared” by Thesis and Dissertation Services, a processing fee must be paid through Student Business Services. This processing fee is for the thesis/dissertation services provided. After commencement, dissertations are digitally stored and made available through the Texas A&M Libraries.

A record of study that is deemed unacceptable by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies because of excessive corrections will be returned to the student’s department head. The manuscript must be resubmitted as a new document, and the entire review process must begin anew. All original submittal deadlines must be met during the resubmittal process to graduate.

Additional Requirements

Residence

The residence requirement for the EdD degree is 30 semester credit hours in resident study at Texas A&M University. Of these 30 semester hours, at least 18 must be taken as a full-time student. The residence requirement must be fulfilled within five consecutive calendar years. This requirement may be satisfied by a student who presents any combination of full-time study during summer sessions of at least five weeks duration and/or work as a full-time student during regular sessions which totals in the aggregate at least 18 semester hours, accomplished within a five-year period beginning with the first course proposed to apply to this requirement.

Students who are employed full-time while completing their degree may fulfill total residence requirements by completion of less-than-full time course loads each semester. In order to be considered for this, the student is required to submit a Petition for Waivers and Exceptions along with verification of his/her employment to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Continuous Registration

A student in a program leading to the EdD who has completed all coursework on his/her degree plan other than 692 (Professional Study) is required to be in continuous registration until all requirements for the degree have been completed. See Continuous Registration Requirements.

Internship or Practicum

Each EdD degree candidate will complete a university-directed internship in a professional employment setting with a minimum duration of 300 clock hours accrued at the rate of 10–40 hours per week. The internship will require of the student full participation and responsibility in experiences directly related to the student’s career specialization. Credit for the internship will not be given for a continuation of regular employment activities (e.g., continuing to serve as a junior college teacher or as an elementary school principal), but only for completing an entirely new work experience. The internship may be on a paid or unpaid basis, must be undertaken after the student has a degree plan on file, and must be supported by prior or concurrent coursework (usually toward the end of the degree program). Prior to its beginning, the internship must be approved in writing as to details by all members of the student’s doctoral committee. At the conclusion of the internship, a formal written summary of its nature and results must be approved by the student’s advisory committee.

Application for Degree

For information on applying for your degree, please visit the Graduation section.