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Dissertation Completion Project for All-But-Dissertation Students

The Dissertation Completion Project (DCP) for any All-But-Dissertation (ABD) students at Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice (FCESCJ) is designed for students who started a doctor of education program at universities or colleges other than Nova Southeastern University and did not complete their dissertation. This includes students who are at the “All-But-Dissertation” phase or received doctoral candidacy at their prior institution. 

The DCP focuses on those students who have completed a substantial portion of their coursework and left their program in good academic and financial standing. The DCP is a highly structured program that provides students with intensive advising services to assist them through the complexities of the dissertation. Students interested in the DCP program will first need to complete an entrance survey and a transcript evaluation. Admitted students will be required to complete a minimum of 27 credits in the current 54-credit Doctor of Education program plus five credits of Dissertation Cohort Services at the Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice (FCESCJ).

Upon entry into the DCP, students are matched with a team of academic professionals who all have extensive experience working with ABD students. This team includes: (a) an academic advisor, (b) a DCP faculty mentor, and (c) a dissertation committee consisting of a Dissertation Chair and a member. Students will be entered in virtual cohorts.

General Eligibility Criteria

  • Be a Doctor of Education student or in a closely related degree field
  • Initial term of enrollment, no more than fourteen (14) years prior to the date of application to the DCP.
  • All required courses for degree completed with an earned minimum cumulative grade
    point average (CGPA) of 3.0 on a four (4) point scale (3.0/4.0).
  • Timed out of program/dismissed for time (i.e., not dismissed for academic/other reasons)
  • Not currently enrolled.
  • Good academic and financial standing with NSU.

How To Apply

  1. Complete the DCP-ABD Prequalification Survey
  2. Email the following to
    • Unofficial Transcript
    • Curriculum Vita

All three items must be received before the applicant can be reviewed by the faculty committee (prequalification survey, unofficial transcript, CV).

Next Steps

If the applicant passes the prequalification review, a doctoral advisor will contact the student to guide him or her through the official University’s application process. At that point, the student will be asked to submit an official transcript from his or her previous institution. 

  1. Official university graduate transcripts from an accredited U.S. institution that includes a minimum of 27 credits of doctoral credits taken in the field of education or related field.
  2. Completed Curriculum Vita.
  3. Completion of the DCP-ABD Prequalification Survey.

For complete information regarding the dissertation, review the Applied Dissertation Manual for the DCP-ABD program.

Additional Information

Questions regarding the DCP-ABD can be directed to

Are you an NSU Student? For more information about the DCP for NSU students, click here.

Each student will be part of a virtual cohort. This cohort will be considered the student's DCP home base. Cohorts utilize NSU's online-learning platform, Canvas. Within the DCP home base, students will have direct access to their faculty mentor and cohort colleagues. Within the DCP virtual cohort, students will have access to relevant support information and documents such as dissertation templates, IRB materials, and research-related lectures. Students are encouraged to network with other students in the cohort. Faculty mentors offer live sessions to the entire group as well as one-on-one consultation. This also includes the initial meeting between the faculty mentor and student to establish a learning agreement.

The DCP is a 5-semester initiative. The student must complete a minimum of 27 credits across the 5 semesters. This includes 9 credits of research courses, 6 credits of concentration courses, and 12 credits of dissertation benchmarks. In addition, each term the student will be required to register for their virtual cohort (DCP 9500) at one credit each. Students who go beyond five terms will incur continuing dissertation fees (ADS 8091 Applied Dissertation Services).

Cohort (up to 5 Credits)

DCP 9500 – Dissertation Cohort Services (1 credit)

Research Courses (9 Credits)

RES 9300 – Methods of Inquiry (3 credits)

RES 8911 – Research Methods: Quantitative, Qualitative and Mixed Methods (3 credits)

RES 8921 – Data Analysis for Qualitative and Quantitative Methods (3 credits)

Concentration Courses (6 Credits)

EDD 8200: Leadership, Communication, and Technology (3 credits)

ORGL 8730: Virtual and Global Leadership (3 credits)

Dissertation Benchmarks (12 Credits)

DISR 8966: Prospectus (3 credits)

DISR 8967: Prospectus II (3 credits)

DISR 8968: Proposal w/ IRB (3 credits)

DISR 8969: Final AD (3 credits)

FCESCJ students who earned the doctoral degree typically investigated problems connected with the workplace; thus, the final products have been applied in nature. Other than that distinction, FCESCJ applied dissertations are similar to dissertations found at other universities. The general outline includes a typical 5-chapter format and includes Chapter 1: Introduction, Chapter 2: Literature Review, Chapter 3: Methodology, Chapter 4: Results, and Chapter 5: Discussion.

For complete information regarding the dissertation, review the Applied Dissertation Manual for the DCP-ABD program.

  1. Official university graduate transcripts from an accredited U.S. institution that includes a minimum of 27 credits of doctoral credits taken in the field of education or related field.
  2. Completed Curriculum Vita.
  3. Completion of the Dissertation Completion Project (DCP) Entrance Survey that details the applicant’s dissertation status.

Admission to the Doctor of Education Dissertation Completion Project is determined by the faculty evaluation of each applicant. Enrollment is limited with cohorts selected two times a year, in August and January.

There is a non-refundable admission application fee of $50 for each application submitted.

Official final transcripts are required from all regionally accredited institutions of higher education attended, including community colleges, bachelor’s, and graduate programs. This must include an official transcript from a regionally accredited institution indicating a conferred Master’s degree with a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 3.0.

Submit all documents and supplemental information, e.g., test scores, transcripts, etc. to:

Nova Southeastern University

Enrollment Processing Services

3301 College Avenue

P.O. Box 299000

Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33329-9905

Note: All documents submitted in support of the admission application become property of the university and will not be returned to the applicant/student.

A maximum of 27 semester hours of graduate credit will be accepted to the DCP if:

  • An official transcript containing the courses under consideration for transfer is received by the FCESCJ Office of Student Affairs.
  • Credits will be reviewed for timeliness and relevance to the student’s field of study.
  • The credits must be earned at a regionally accredited university.
  • The credits do not apply to a prior degree.
  • The grade earned for each course was a B or better. A grade of P (Pass) or other such grade are not accepted as equivalent to a B or better unless it can be officially verified as such.
  • The credits were earned at a doctoral level.
  • Credits accepted for transfer into the DCP will be posted to the NSU transcript as elective credit.

Educator Certification / Licensure Requirements

The DCP-ABD does not lead to certification or licensure. The requirements for educator certification/licensure differ from state to state. Applicants should contact the specific state department of education for requirements and current information regarding teacher certification/licensure.

Transfer of Credit Information

A course description from the catalog of the institution and/or a course syllabus may be required for review. Final decisions are made by the Department Chair, and written confirmation of acceptance or denial will be conveyed by an academic advisor. Credits accepted for transfer by FCESCJ will not be factored into the student’s overall grade point average. Credits accepted for transfer will be applied solely to meet program/degree requirements.

FCE Student Handbook

The Abraham S. Fischler College of Education and School of Criminal Justice (FCESCJ) Catalog and Student Handbook is the governing document for all program-related information and FCESCJ policies/procedures.  Students are bound by the NSU Student Handbook and should be familiar with its contents. If there is any conflict between the information contained on program websites and that contained in this document and/or its addenda, the information in this document and/or its addenda prevail."  

Questions regarding the DCP-ABD can be directed to

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