Program Information

  1. Course Requirements
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  3. Comprehensives Experience
  4. Guidelines for the comprehensive experience:
    Candidates are eligible to commence the comprehensive experience after the completion of 75% of required coursework including MATH 825 and at least one of MATH 820 and MATH 821.

    The comprehensive experience includes a written portion and a presentation.

    1. Written portion:
      1. Review of the research literature.
      2. Candidates prepare an extensive review of the literature related to a specific topic in mathematics education that focuses on current and relevant literature and connects theory to research and past research to current research. Candidates should choose a topic related to their potential dissertation topic. The review of the literature should include a broad perspective on the topic by describing different strands of research and providing comparative analysis. Although the work prepared for the literature review may become the basis of the candidate’s dissertation, the qualifying experience should focus on the literature and should be distinguished from the proposal stage, where the candidate presents his/her research questions. Candidates are encouraged to conclude their literature review by highlighting gaps in the extant literature and using the literature to propose future directions of research in the area.  The literature review should be about 30 pages in length and must follow current APA guidelines. The literature review should explicitly address the following overarching questions:

        1. How has the theory underlying your topic evolved through the history of mathematics education? What are the seminal works?
        2. What are areas for further study?
      3. Integrative essay
      4. The purpose of the integrative essay is to enable students to demonstrate their theoretical and practical understandings of the core competencies of the Ed.D. in Mathematics Education.  Through the integrative essay, candidates consider the wide body of literature related to mathematics education and demonstrates an understanding of the literature in a cogent way.  Candidates are given two written prompts chosen by the program director.  Candidates have three weeks to prepare responses to the two prompts.  Each response should be 8 pages (single spaced) in length.  The integrative essay is sent to each member of the committee two weeks prior to the anticipated presentation date.

    2. Presentation
    3. Candidates present their literature review (Part A of their written work) at a departmental seminar.  The audience for the seminar will include faculty, undergraduate and graduate students and others from outside MSU who may be interested in applying to the doctoral program. The candidate presents his/her literature review for 30 minutes, followed by questions from the audience for an additional 15 minutes.  Because this part of the comprehensive experience is intended to emulate conference presentations and because it is important to be able to present material in a succinct way, these time limits will be strictly enforced.  Following the seminar, the committee remains to ask the candidate questions related to the integrative essay and any additional questions in regard to the literature review or the presentation. The candidate is not allowed any materials besides copies of the literature review and two integrative essays. After up to one hour of discussions, the candidate leaves the room and the committee members meet to discuss the presentation and the responses to questions about the integrative essay.

      The quality of the qualifying experience will be assessed with regard to understanding of the field, clarity of writing, ability to communicate effectively during the presentation, and ability to answer questions.  Candidates are encouraged to take courses concurrent with their work on the qualifying experience but may not begin work on the dissertation proposal until the qualifying experience requirements have been fulfilled.

      • Timeline:
        1. Candidate prepares literature review in consultation with advisor and committee members.
        2. Candidate sends literature review to entire committee for initial approval. Each member of the committee has two weeks to review the literature review and consult with one another to decide if the candidate has approval to move forward to the presentation stage. The committee advisor will notify the candidate of the committee’s approval of the literature review.
        3. Once the candidate receives initial approval from the committee, he/she notifies the program director for written prompts for the integrative essay.
        4. Candidate has three weeks to complete integrative essay.
        5. Candidate submits the integrative essay to his/her entire committee.  Each member of the committee has two weeks to review the integrative essay and will consult with one another to decide if the candidate has approval to move forward to the presentation stage. The committee advisor will notify the candidate of the committee’s approval of the integrative essays.
        6. A presentation date is set, no earlier than two weeks upon submission of integrative essay.
        7. Candidate gives presentation, as described above.
        8. Committee members pass or fail the candidate, notifying them immediately of the decision.  If the candidate passes, he/she can begin the dissertation process.  The approval of dissertation committee form should be completed at this point.  If the candidate fails the comprehensive experience, he/she may attempt it one additional time.

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  5. Dissertation
  6. Practice-based dissertation:
    This option is suitable for candidates who wish to become leaders in their profession. The dissertation focuses on the development of knowledge related to topics such as curricula, policy, and professional development. For example, under this option, candidates might choose to write a theme-based curriculum, write a policy manual for his/her school district, or create a professional development program. All work must be original and based on current research. To this end, candidates must justify the development of their work through a literature review. Though the development of the module, curriculum unit, policy manual, or program is the main focus of the dissertation under this option, candidates must include a process of formative and summative assessment on their work. This may take on the form of a pilot study, feedback from colleagues obtained through interviews, or some other small-scale review system. The dissertation under this option would inform professionals such as policy makers, classroom teachers, and administrators through publications in practitioner journals, classroom resource books, and conference proceedings. Additionally, candidates are strongly encouraged to present their findings at state, regional, and national conferences.
    Research-based dissertation:
    This option is recommended for all candidates intending to pursue a career in higher education. The dissertation under this option focuses on the development and execution of a sound research project grounded in the literature. The candidate works closely with the committee members to identify research questions and methods and to analyze results. The research may involve the collection of quantitative or qualitative data, or may employ mixed-methods. Dissertations written under this option should be publishable in research mathematics education journals. Additionally, candidates are strongly encouraged to present their findings at state, regional, and national conferences.

    View previous students' dissertations

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Course Projection

Fall 2014 - Summer 2015 | Fall 2015- Summer 2016

 Fall 2014Spring 2015Summer 2015
EDFD Requirement EDFD 804    
Math Requirement MATH 825 MATH 814  
Math Elective MATH 821 MATH 744  
Research MATH 825    
EDFD 820 - W EDFD 820 - W EDFD 820 - W
EDFD 821 - W EDFD 821 - W  
EDFD 822 - Th EDFD 822 - Th  
EDFD 823 - Th EDFD 823 - Th  
 Fall 2015Spring 2016Summer 2016
EDFD Requirement EDFD 801    
Math Requirement MATH 816 MATH 811  
Math Elective MATH 740 MATH 744  
EDFD 820 - W EDFD 820 - W  
EDFD 821 - W EDFD 821 - W  
EDFD 822 - Th EDFD 822 - Th   
EDFD 823 - Th EDFD 823 - Th  

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Program Progress

  • Complete 75% of coursework including:
  • MATH 825
  • At least one from Quantitative Methods or Qualitative Methods
  • If not enrolling in coursework, sign up for continuous matriculation
Comprehensive Experience
  • Seek comprehensive experience chair and committee members
  • Complete coursework - run a model audit to make sure that you're not missing any classes
  • If you are not taking courses while working on your comprehensives, enroll in MATH 920
  • Submit "Qualifying Assessment Result" form and "Notification of Admission to Doctoral Candidacy" form
  • Begin IRB application - attend workshop and complete tutorial prior to applying
Dissertation Proposal
  • Seek dissertation chair and committee members
  • Submit "Approval of Dissertation Committee" form
  • Complete and defend proposal
  • Submit "Dissertation Proposal Approval" form
  • Enroll in MATH 900 (Dissertation Advisement) for 12 credits
  • Enroll in MATH 901 (Dissertation Extension) as necessary
  • Complete final audit through registrar's office the semester prior to anticipated graduation
  • Submit "Application for Dissertaton Defense Date" form no later than November 1 for January graduation or March 1 for May graduation.
  • Defend dissertation and submit "Report of Dissertation Defense" form to graduate school
  • Submit final copy of dissertation for formatting to the graduate school
  • Once approval received from The Graduate School, submit dissertation electronically