Educational Leadership Department


Summer Semester, 1st year
  • In EDD 7010 Introduction to Doctoral Studies and Dissertation Research, author a prospectus detailing a potential dissertation project, including a description of the project purpose (aligned to Chapter 1), a brief review of literature (aligned to Chapter 2), and a proposed methodology (aligned to Chapter 3) and prepare an annotated bibliography.
Fall Semester, 1st year
  • In EDD 7030 Quantitative Research, prepare a survey using Qualtrics and analyze data using SPSS.
Spring Semester 1st year
  • In EDD 7060 Qualitative Research, prepare a mini-chapter 3 for a qualitative or mixed method study.
  • In 7070 Education Policy, Systemic Reform and Social Justice, or In 7370 Governance, Policy and Foundations of Community Colleges and Postsecondary of Education Practice describing problems of practice (aligned to Chapter 1), reviewing literature (aligned to Chapter 2), and describing policy and practice recommendations (aligned to Chapter 5).
Fall Semester 2nd year
  • In EDD 7110 or 7111, or 7330, complete and write up a pilot study for the dissertation, including an introduction (aligned to Chapter 1), a theoretical framework (aligned to Chapter 2), a research design (aligned to Chapter 3, and findings (aligned to Chapter 4).

Spring Semester 2nd year
  • Complete the qualifying examination consisting of a 25-30 page review of the literature to work toward Chapter 2 of your dissertation.

Spring Semester 2nd year
  • Upon receiving the results of the review of the qualifying exam, address recommendations, and when permission is provided to select your dissertation chair, ask one of the individuals from the doctoral council to serve as your dissertation chair.

Spring Semester 2nd year
  • Prepare Chapters 1-3 of the dissertation proposal, an IRB draft, and a 5-7 minute mock proposal presentation.
Summer Semester 2nd year
  • Work with your dissertation chair toward finalizing your proposal of Chapters 1-3.

  • Finalize the selection of your committee members and submit the committee member form with the address of the outside committee member.
Note: The dissertation chair may approve IRB submission prior to the proposal defense, although the usual process is to submit the IRB proposal after a successful proposal defense.
We recommend defending Chapters 1-3 in the spring, summer, or early in the fall semester to provide ample time for the data collection, analysis, and writing of Chapters 4 and 5.
In the summer term or early in the fall term, schedule your proposal defense when your dissertation chair has approved for you to do so.
Most often, the IRB proposal would be submitted following your proposal defense.
Summer Semester of the 2nd year or the Fall term of the 3rd year
  • Upon receiving IRB approval, begin your data collection and analysis processes.
  • Complete revisions of Chapters 1-3 as recommended by your committee.

Fall term or over the semester break
  • Complete your data analysis and a draft of Chapters 4 and 5.

Spring term of the 3rd year
  • In the spring term, finalize Chapters 1-5 and be sure that the dissertation is formatted per the handbook guidelines and as shown on the website under dissertations.

  • Work closely with your dissertation chair through this process. Some chairs prefer slight modifications in the headings for the chapters. Your chair will let you know whether they prefer that you follow the format in the handbook exactly or if there are slight modifications recommended in the headings that are used.

  • When your chair approves your dissertation for submission to the committee members, do so while being sure to provide 10 days for their review before your scheduled dissertation defense.

  • File for graduation. Order your regalia for commencement. The university has an agreement with the Josten’s company for ordering through Cal Poly Pomona. The regalia will have light blue velvet on the arms and down the front of the EdD robe.

  • Defend your dissertation prior to commencement in mid-May.

  • Finalize your corrections and provide to your dissertation chair for review.

  • Submit to an editor to check your references and provide a final edit.

  • Submit to your dissertation chair to approve all corrections.

  • Submit to the doctoral office for the departmental review.
Note: Doctoral dissertations are reviewed at the department level instead of the Library Review that is provided for master’s students. You do not need to set a date for a library review
  • Submit to your chair after corrections are made from the departmental review, if any corrections are needed.

  • Upload your dissertation for committee member signatures.

  • Upload your dissertation to Bronco Scholar and Proquest and celebrate your success!.

Doctoral dissertations are University records. As such, they must conform to a standardized "look and feel" in order to achieve consistency.

The University Library personnel will assist doctoral students in the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program in uploading dissertations to the Bronco Scholar repository at dates and times announced by the doctoral program director(s). Note that the dissertation chair must review the final submission to ensure that all corrections have been completed following the final dissertation defense before the document is provided to the “university reader” for the final review of the dissertation.  The doctoral program assigned “reader” must approve the final document for format before the dissertation can be uploaded. 


Paper used for the two library copies must be white, at least 25% cotton, 20 pound, 8.5" x11".  Paper for other additional copies may be of lower quality.  Suitable paper is available at the University bookstore and most office supply stores. 


Dissertations must be typed double-spaced on one side of the page. Font size must be no smaller than 10 points or larger than 12 points.

Standard typefaces of Times New Roman is required. When in doubt regarding type font, format, illustrations or non-printed materials, consult your dissertation chair before the final copy is prepared.

When making the final printout, the printer must be of letter quality with standard typefaces. Erasures and corrections are not acceptable. 


Margins on the top, right and bottom must be 1", and the left margin must be 1.5" (to have room for binding). [Exceptions: The Title Page and Signature Page should each have 2" margins at the top.] All material to be included (including appendices) must fit within the margins.  Double check with a ruler before submitting. Margins are measured from the edge of the text to the edge of the sheet.


Beginning with the first page of the main body of the text, pages are numbered consecutively with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.). All pages preceding the first page of the body are counted and numbered with lower case Roman numerals (ii, iii, iv, etc.). The title page is counted but the number is not printed on the page. Follow APA guidelines for the placement of the numbers.

Figures and Tables

All figures and tables must fall within the spaced margins, follow APA format, and use type size no smaller than 10 point Times New Roman.

Download the dissertation template (.docx).

  1. Cover sheet. The cover sheet is a blank page. 
  2. Title page [counted but no page number printed]. The title page templates show the required form and spacing.
  3. Signature page [page ii]. The Signature Page templates show the required form and spacing. The name of each member of the committee must be included with the department or discipline identification, and the chair is always listed first, as shown in the templates. Your name, on this page, should be consistent with how it appears on the title page. In the Date area, indicate the quarter and year submitted.
  4. Acknowledgments [page iii]. This page is completed after the final dissertation defense.
  5. Abstract [page iii or, iv.]. The abstract should be 150 words or less.
  6. Table of Contents (includes all parts listed in this Sequence of Parts section, with the exception of the title page) [each page counted and numbered]. NOTE: On the Table of Contents page template provided, two tab stops are already set for you. You may choose to use this template, but be sure to note that for a dissertation, all sub-headings are required to be listed in the Table of Contents. Press the first tab to insert ellipsis dots between the entry and the page number. If you press the second tab and type the page number, the page number will be right-aligned.
  7. List of Tables (if applicable) [each page counted and numbered]

  8. List of Figures (if applicable) [each page counted and numbered]. Use APA format.

  9. Dissertation Chapters [ page 1, 2, 3, etc.]. The APA style manual is to be followed.  It is the responsibility of the student's chair committee, and department reader to verify that the style manual is followed.  Style manuals are available at the university bookstore and in the University Library.

  10. References (or Works Cited or Bibliography) [each page counted and numbered]. COMPLETE CITATIONS ARE REQUIRED. Follow the style manual to construct your bibliography or list of references. Take special care to note the full citation information when referencing electronic or web resources.  It is the responsibility of the student's dissertation committee to verify that proper bibliographic forms are followed. 

  11. Appendices (if applicable) [each page counted and numbered consecutively]

Cal Poly Pomona Ed.D. in Educational Leadership dissertations are available through Cal Poly Pomona's Institutional Repository, Bronco Scholar. To access Educational Leadership Doctoral Program dissertations, click here.