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Ph. D. Creative Leadership Graduation Requirements

Students are advised throughout the dissertation process

The Ph.D. in Creative Leadership for Innovation and Change is awarded upon successful completion of coursework, qualifying examinations, written dissertation, dissertation presentation, and the following defense requirements:

The Capstone courses distributed throughout the Ph.D. program.  [Please note:  These courses will take the place of what might be “dissertation” credits in other Ph.D. programs.

Year 1

Capstone/Dissertation 1: First Semester:
Dissertation Milestone: Identify Possible Dissertation Topic, Potential Problem Statements, and Research Sources 

Capstone/Dissertation 2: Second Semester:
Dissertation Milestone: Start Literature Review and Select Proposed Dissertation Topic 

Capstone/Dissertation 3: Third Semester:
Dissertation Milestone: Complete Literature Review and Develop Problem Statement and Research Questions

Year 2

Capstone/Dissertation 4: Fourth Semester:
Dissertation Milestone: Complete Research Methodology 

Capstone/Dissertation 5: Fifth Semester:
Dissertation Milestone: Complete and Defend Dissertation Proposal 

Capstone/Dissertation 6: Sixth Semester:
Dissertation Milestone: Collect and Analyze Data and Draft Findings

Year 3

Capstone/Dissertation 7: Seventh Semester:
Dissertation Milestone: Finalize Conclusions and Recommendations; Complete and Defend Dissertation 

Capstone/Dissertation 8: Eighth Summer
Dissertation Milestone: Complete and Defend Capstone/Dissertation and Graduation 

Capstone/Dissertation 9: Ninth Summer
Dissertation Milestone: Attend to edits and submit the final document

Each student will be required to complete a two-phase Qualifying Examination.  Each phase will occur at the end of the first and second capstone course.

Qualifying Examination Phase I (Written, generally semester 3; summer session year 1)

In order to sit for the Qualifying Examination Phase I, the student must have completed the first four core curriculum foundations courses and one research methods course.

The Qualifying Examination Phase I will be written and evaluated by faculty from the first four core curriculum foundations course and will be completed in person during the applicable residency period.  The student must successfully pass the Qualifying Examination Phase I in order to continue in the program. This will constitute satisfactory progress toward the Ph.D.

Qualifying Examination Phase II (Oral, generally semester 6; summer session year 2)

In order to sit for the Qualifying Examination Phase II, the student must have completed all six core curriculum courses, two research methods courses, and two courses from the specialty Track, and have passed the Qualifying Examination

Phase I.

The Qualifying Examination Phase II will be the delivery and evaluative review of:

  • Two related article manuscripts in the case of the Three Article Dissertation option; or
  • A research dissertation proposal, including the problem statement, the literature review, and research methods statement in the case of the Traditional Dissertation option.

The Qualifying Examination Phase II will occur at the end of the second Capstone course in the appropriate residency period. The student, in consultation with the advisor, will form a three-member dissertation committee.  This committee will evaluate Qualifying Examination Phase II.

Ph.D. Candidacy is determined by the faculty member committee evaluation and is certified by the Ph.D. Program Director and Provost of the University. Students who are not successful in the Qualifying Examination Phase II at the first administration or, who are required to complete additional requirements, must satisfy this requirement successfully within one calendar year after the unsuccessful attempt receipt of evaluation, provided that the decision made at the time of the allows for another opportunity. Failure to meet these conditions will result in withdrawal from the program.

Successful completion of the Qualifying Examination Phase II signifies advancement to candidacy for the Ph.D.

Dissertation: Traditional or Three-Article Option

Prior to or during Capstone I, the student and advisor will decide on the option for the dissertation: Traditional or Three Article option

Traditional Dissertation

The traditional dissertation will be approximately five chapters.

  • Chapter 1:             Introduction
  • Chapter 2:             Literature Review
  • Chapter 3:             Methods
  • Chapter 4:             Results
  • Chapter 5:             Discussion, Analysis, and Conclusion
  • References
  • Appendices

Three Article Dissertation Option

Three related articles submitted for journal publication will comprise this option.  The articles will form a cohesive body of work, and be woven together into a dissertation using an introductory chapter, and a conclusion/synthesis chapter, to create a dissertation of approximately five chapters in length. 

At least two of the articles should be based on data-driven research.  Articles should not have extensive overlap, to be determined and approved by the dissertation committee.

All articles included in this option must be submitted to approve journals prior to the dissertation defense.   

The dissertation committee will approve journals selected for submission should an article be rejected by a journal prior to the defense, the dissertation committee must approve the revisions and re-submission. 

All articles included must be work completed when the student is enrolled in the Ph.D. program.  Students must secure permission from the journal for the inclusion of the articles in the dissertation. At the discretion of the dissertation committee, articles may be accepted for inclusion as a dissertation chapter should there be delays in publication.

Format for Three-Article Dissertation

  • Chapter 0:             Abstract that includes a synthesis of the articles.
  • Chapter 1:             Introduction
  • including a statement of the problem/question(s); theoretical foundations; the importance of the work; a general overview of the literature (each article will contain its own literature review); research questions; overview of the research methods.
  • Chapter 2:             Article 1
  • Chapter 3:             Article 2
  • Chapter 4:             Article 3
  • Chapter 5:             Conclusion and Discussion
  • Summary of the major results and findings; discuss related questions or future work or gaps; discuss the linkages of the articles so that they are seen as a body of work in a particular area.
  • References
  • Appendices

Dissertation Defense

Full copies of the dissertation will be sent electronically to the dissertation committee for questions and comments.  The advisor will schedule the dissertation defense when it is evident that the student has satisfactorily completed the work and has addressed all questions from the dissertation committee.

The defense will be open and can be held either in person during a residency session, or electronically utilizing technology that allows for the synchronous participation of the dissertation committee and candidate.  Others from the UVI community will be invited to the defense through a public posting and invitation.

After the presentation by the candidate, and questions, the dissertation committee will determine whether or not the defense was successful.  After the defense, additional changes, as suggested by the committee, may be made to the manuscript. The committee must each sign off on the dissertation manuscript.

Residency Sessions

Each semester (Fall, Spring, Summer) a one-week Campus Residency is scheduled where students will physically assemble as a cohort at either one of the UVI campuses or another designated meeting site.

The purpose of on-campus residency occurring each semester is to ensure quality instruction and program continuity, facilitate student progress toward degree completion, provide additional in-person activities and events, and sustain student cohort integrity and maintenance. Students will be expected to attend a battery of program workshops, advising meetings, cohort meetings, research colloquia, and other program events during the residency week.

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