Program of Study

A program of study is established and agreed to by the student and the degree program and specifies the course degree requirements. For a full-time graduate student, the program of study must be set before enrollment in the second semester. For a graduate student who is carrying a reduced (part-time load), the establishment of a program of study may be delayed up to enrollment for the ninth graduate credit hour.

  • A Program of Study form (either a SASS audit or written form) can be obtained from the graduate program coordinator or college graduate coordinator. This form should be prepared and signed by the adviser and student, and given to the graduate program coordinator to be placed in the student's permanent file.
  • It must comply with the most recent catalog.
  • The program of study, once established, cannot be altered solely because of a student's poor academic performance.

Students are responsible for reviewing their SASS audit each semester and working with the program coordinator in order to clarify questions and correct errors.

HEPS Courses

If you would like to find dates and times of courses being offered each semester as well as which professor is teaching, please see the following instructions:

  • Go to
  • Under Helpful Resources on the left bottom corner, click on Class Schedule Search (you do not need to log in to do this search).
  • Under Enter Search Criteria in the second box, choose the term you would like to search for (i.e. Fall 20XX).
  • Enter additional information you would like to search for:
    • For a specific course by number, enter the letter prefix in Course Subject (i.e. EDH); enter the number in the Course Number field.
    • For a specific course by description, enter part or all of the description in the Description field.
    • For a listing of all courses taught by a specific instructor, type the instructor’s last name in the Instructor Last Name field under Additional Search Criteria. You may choose “is exactly,” “begins with” or “contains” as search options for name.

Note: Course dates, times and instructor assigned are subject to change at any time.

Comprehensive Exams

All HEPS master’s and doctoral degree candidates are required to take a comprehensive exam. If you are Master’s degree candidate, you must pass the exam during the final semester of coursework and/or internship. If you are a Doctoral degree candidate, you must pass the exam in order to qualify to enroll for dissertation hours.

To take the comprehensive exam, you must:

Master's Students (one day only)

  • Successfully complete all required core and required specialization courses.
  • Register to take comprehensive exam by the stated deadline for each semester. See forms.
  • Take exam on specified date and following the instructions provided by and discussed with your advisor.

Doctoral Students (Part 1, 2, 3)

  • Successfully complete all required core and required specialization courses.
  • With the assistance of your Major Professor, identify a Dissertation Committee, complete and submit the Doctoral Committee/Candidacy Status Form. All members must sign/initial form.
  • Register to take comprehensive exam by the stated deadline for the semester you plan to take the exam. See forms.
  • Study for exam using program guide to focus your efforts.
  • Take exam on specified date(s) and follow the instructions provided by and discussed with your program advisor.

Dissertation Procedures


Candidacy is the stage of doctoral studies when students focus exclusively on planning, researching and writing their proposal and dissertation. In general, to enter candidacy for the PhD and EdD Higher Education tracks, students must have an overall 3.0 GPA or greater 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 the candidacy examination (Parts 1, 2, and 3)
  • Submission of completed and signed application to advance to candidacy
  • In consultation with program faculty, the dissertation advisory committee is formed, paperwork filed, and approved. (Committee consists of 4 members: minimum of 3 approved graduate faculty and 1 approved graduate faculty scholar or CCIE faculty)

NOTE: Once students enter Candidacy, they must enroll in a minimum of 3 dissertation credit hours (see below) every semester (including summers), until they graduate from the program.

Please review your EdD or PhD program catalog for possible additional requirements related to your degree.


The minimum number of dissertation credit hours required for your EdD or PhD degree is specified in your Program Catalog and Program of Study. 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, present and defend the proposal to the dissertation committee. Once the proposal is completed, and approval is secured from UCF's IRB, students conduct research and submit and defend the final research dissertation to their dissertation committee.

Required documentation during dissertation stage:

All items listed must be completed to fulfill the requirements to graduate.
See Student Forms

  • Application to Defend Dissertation Proposal
  • Dissertation Proposal Approval Form
  • Dissertation Announcement

All necessary requirements of the College of Graduate Studies for Graduation