10. Understand Why You Are Becoming a Doctoral Student. When entering the Ed.D.
program, clearly understand why you have chosen to pursue a doctorate and remember your
reasons. Also, think about the types of experiences you would like to have as a doctoral
student. Determine what needs to happen during your doctoral program for you to
successfully accomplish your professional goals.
9. Do Not Fear Statistics. Take statistics early in your doctoral program and begin to use the information.
Consider taking more than the two required statistics courses. The statistics courses will
help you develop your methodology and results sections of your dissertation.
8. Paperwork, Paperwork, Paperwork. There is no shortage of paperwork to submit in your
doctoral program. Be sure to know what forms must be completed, when they are due, and
to whom to submit them. Be patient with the paperwork process.
7. Prepare Early for Comprehensive Exams. Keep all of your textbooks and compile all of
your class materials (i.e. notes and handouts) from each course to be better prepared for
comprehensive exams. Your organization and thoroughness will prove to be invaluable.
6. Choose Your Dissertation Committee Wisely. Forming your dissertation committee will
be one of the most important decisions you ever make. Get to know the Ed.D. professors and other faculty
early in your program and familiarize yourself with their respective research interests.
5. You Are Not Alone. Insert yourself immediately into the community of fellow graduate
students and build a peer group. Your peer group will provide you with not only an
exchange of information, but also support and encouragement.
4. Begin Thinking About Your Research Interests. Start thinking about your internship possibilities and
dissertation topic early in the program.
Write as many papers about your chosen research area in your courses to help build your dissertation
literature review. Additionally, really learn the APA style. Read the manual and visit some of the many
APA resource websites.
3. Communicate with Your Advisor. Maintain constant communication with your advisor.
Meet with him or her as often as you can during each semester. Work closely with your
advisor to ensure that all doctoral requirements are met in a timely manner and to stay
informed of new information concerning forms, deadlines, and opportunities.
2. Hang in There and Do Not Give Up! Be sure to take care of yourself mentally,
emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Being a doctoral student can be very stressful and
overwhelming at times, especially when you are learning to balance your family, career, and
academic obligations. But know that you are not alone in this. You have a built-in support
system of peers and faculty to assist you in your journey.
And the #1 Survival Tip for Ed.D. Students is…
Know Michelle Smith Very Well! She is extremely knowledgeable about the program and is a