Program Requirements

Doctoral Candidates are expected to attend and complete ED6911 and ED 6912 (Doctoral Seminar I and Doctoral Seminar II) at UNB's Fredericton Campus; and therefore, to be "in residence" for a minimum of two terms. The term "in residence" means that the student is expected to be physically present at the University of New Brunswick (Fredericton) for at least three days per week and to be registered as a full-time student.

Admitted Candidates will participate fully in planning a program of studies to enhance their individual growth and address their professional needs, and to meet the requirements of the degree. Specific activities will be determined through collaboration initially between the Candidate and his or her Supervisor and subsequently with the Candidate's Supervising Committee. This plan normally will be determined during the first term of the Candidate's enrolment in the program. The plan can be re-negotiated at any time at the request of either the Candidate or the Supervisor.

Candidates and Supervisors should be familiar with the regulations of the UNB's School of Graduate Studies Guide for Students Writing a Thesis, Report or Dissertation.

The Candidate will:

1. Participate in ED6911 and ED6912, Doctoral Seminar I and Doctoral Seminar II.

Doctoral students are required to attend regularly and to participate fully in all activities.

These seminar courses will include the presentation, discussion and exploration of current issues in education by knowledgeable faculty members or other persons. Discussion will focus on published knowledge, professional and personal practical knowledge, current research, practical applications and future trends.

The issues to be addressed will be determined through consultation between candidates and the course convenors.

The semester will also include the presentation by participants and subsequent discussion of their developing research ideas and dissertation proposal and/or proposals for submission to funding agencies.

2. Develop theoretical expertise in a specific content area or several related areas within the field of Education.

The student will develop theoretical expertise in a specific content area or several related areas within the field of Education.

The student, in consultation with his/her supervisor, will outline specific activities through which such expertise will be developed. The student will be expected to engage in regular discussions with the supervisor over the duration of these activities. Relevant activities could include:

* Completing specific courses
* Participating in selected workshops, conferences, institutes, etc.
* Completing independent reading and library/database research.

3. Write a comprehensive examination (3 Questions):

The purpose of this examination is to demonstrate that the student has the broad substantive and methodological background necessary for completing a dissertation in his/her field and to establish his/her areas of scholarly expertise.

Each student is required to complete a comprehensive examination in three areas. The comprehensive examination questions allow students to build their knowledge within specific areas related to their research. The specific fields for examination will be established by the Supervisory committee in consultation with the student and will normally consist of two topics related to the student's area of study and one related to the research methodology to be used in the dissertation.

The student normally begins the comprehensive examination after most course work, as well as the required reading in the areas covered by the questions has been done. Normally, the comprehensive examination will be completed before the student formally presents his/her thesis proposal and begins extensive work on the dissertation.

Procedures for Comprehensive Exams

1.    As early as possible in the student's program, the Supervisory Committee determines an examiner for each comprehensive exam question. It is strongly recommended that at least one examiner be from outside the Supervisory committee.

2.    The Supervisor, the student, and the comprehensive examiner meet to consult on appropriate area of inquiry on the exam.

3.    The examiner develops the comprehensive question and submits it to the student with a copy to the Supervisor. At this time, the Supervisor notifies the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies that the question has been given to the student and a copy of the question is placed in the student's file.

4.    The student submits the completed answer to the examiner with a copy to the Supervisor.

5.    The examiner returns his or her evaluation of the exam with appropriate feedback to the Supervisor within one month. The examiner's feedback includes a statement of the results of the exam (pass or fail). The Supervisor assures the evaluation is placed in the student's file.

6.    The Supervisor meets with the student to discuss the results of the exam.

The comprehensive exam will take the following format:

* One conference style presentation. This will consist of a paper of 15-20 manuscript pages along with a presentation of 20-30 minutes, followed by a question period of no more than one hour. The presentation will be announced to the faculty a minimum of two weeks prior to taking place and will be public.
* One written paper of approximately 30 manuscript pages.
* One where the format is open to be decided upon by the Supervisory committee in consultation with the student. Formats might include: oral presentations with questions; written papers; online presentations; traditional examination format; or various combinations of the above.

The timeframe for completion of the comprehensive examination for all PhD students will be no longer than three consecutive academic terms. All students will be expected to complete their comprehensive examination no later than seven (7) terms after the original date of entry to the program.

Each student, in consultation with his/her Supervisor, will decide on the term to begin the comprehensive exam and in that term will register for the course ED6999, Education Comprehensive Examination.

Early in the term, the Supervisory Committee will make clear to the student in writing: the exam questions; the format for responding to each question; the criteria by which each question will be assessed, and a timeframe for completion of each question. A copy of this outline will be forwarded to the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and placed in the student's file. All responses are to be completed no later than the end of the university examination period of the third consecutive term.

All members of the Supervisory Committee and the examiner(s) may see and discuss each answer and each will be graded on a pass/fail basis. The final determination as to the acceptability of a particular response will lie with the designated examiner for each question. Following completion of the examination, the Supervisor will write a memo to the student with a copy to the Associate Dean outlining the decision of the examiners. This record should be signed by each of the examiners and will be placed in the student's file.

Failure to provide an adequate response to any question will result in the following:

If the Candidate fails one question, he or she may respond to a new question. If the Candidate fails this new question, a decision about whether he or she will be required to withdraw from this program will be made by the Supervisory Committee in consultation with the Associate Dean and the Dean of Graduate Studies.

If the Candidate fails two questions, a decision about whether he or she will be allowed to respond to new questions or will be required to withdraw from the program will be made by the Supervisory Committee, the Associate Dean and the Dean of Graduate Studies. If the Candidate fails one or both of the two new questions, he or she will be required to withdraw from the program.

If the Candidate fails all three questions, he or she will be required to withdraw from the program.

4. Write and Defend a Dissertation

a. Present the dissertation proposal to the Faculty of Education

When the Candidates Supervisory committee has been established, and the members have agreed, in principle, to accept the dissertation proposal, the Candidate will make a formal presentation of the proposal. All faculty members and graduate students will be invited to attend and will have an opportunity to pose questions to the Candidate. This will then be presented to the Faculty of Education Graduate Academic Unit for approval. For detailed procedures see the Faculty of Education's PhD Dissertation Policy.

b. Submit the Proposal for Ethics Approval

Once the research proposal has been presented publically and approved by the Faculty of Education, the Candidate will complete the required ethics forms and submit these to the Faculty Ethics Committee. Once approved by the Faculty Ethics Committee, the application will be forwarded to the University Research Ethics Board (REB) for approval. No research involving humans may proceed without approval of the REB.

c. Complete the proposed research, write and then defend the dissertation

These activities will be conducted under the regular supervision of the Candidate's Supervisor and Supervisory committee. The written document and its examination and the oral defense of the dissertation will be managed according to the policies established by the School of Graduate Studies.

The Examining Committee for the final oral examination consists of:

1.    An external examiner from outside of UNB;
2.    The Supervisor(s)
3.    Another person from the home GAU
4.    A person from another UNB GAU
5.    One other person from either the home or another GAU

For detailed procedures see the Faculty of Education's PhD Dissertation Policy 

5. Participate in other activities

The Candidate's program of studies will include additional activities to be planned in collaboration with his/her Supervisor and to be set out in a Learning Contract which will be filed with the Associate Dean, Graduate Programs, Faculty of Education.

Normally, the Candidate will participate in activities roughly equivalent in total time commitment to two graduate term courses (i.e., 10 hours per week over two terms or 260 hours). These activities should relate to at least two of the following three categories:

a. The development of professional competence in disseminating knowledge to others (e.g., the teaching role of the professorate). Related activities could include: participating in and/or contributing to the UNB Certificate of University Teaching Institute teaching course(s) at the undergraduate level.

* Assisting faculty member in teaching course(s) at the graduate level
* Preparing information knowledge resource materials
* Publishing written work

b. The development of professional competence in conducting research and/or development projects and activities ( e.g., the research role of the professorate). Related activities could include: participating in research or development activities other than the Candidate's own current research project.

* Writing up research reports
* Preparing development-related materials
* Preparing and submitting written work for peer review
* Publishing written work
* Making presentations at scholarly conferences

c. The development of professional competence and leadership roles within the educational community (e.g., the service role of the professorate).

Related activities could include: making presentations at professional conferences, workshops, institutes, etc., participating on committees actively engaged in professional activities, professional development, and the like.

* Participating in university or faculty committees
* Conducting in-service training activities for teachers and/or other educators
* Working (voluntarily) on the planning and implementation of conferences, institutes, and the like
* Working (voluntarily) with not-for-profit education associations and groups