One of the hallmarks of the CSAA-D program is the structure of our doctoral research requirements. Each student creates and conducts two original studies to fulfill the program’s requirements. Part of what makes our program unique is students pursuing studies related to their passions and areas of interest. While their advisor and committee members support the student in the process, it is the student who designs, conducts and completes studies that have meaning for them. Structuring the process this way allows students to practice scholarship guided by the questions they most want to answer.

Publishable Paper
Prior to taking preliminary exams, students conduct an empirical study with the goal of a paper worthy of publication. Students select a committee of three that includes CSAA faculty members and student affairs practitioners. This committee supports the student from prospectus to the final defense of the complete study encapsulated in the paper.

The dissertation presents an opportunity for the student to delve deeper into their area of interest. CSAA-D students conduct original research, generating new and innovative scholarship for the field. Similar to the publishable paper, this process requires a committee of faculty (some of whom are also practitioners) who serve as the support team. Typically, full-time students allow one year to complete their dissertation process.

To give you a better sense of what this research process looks like in action, we are showcasing current doctoral students who are at different places on the road to research. Each day this week, one of our students will share their personal road to research. We hope that you’ll visit the blog each day to learn more about the process and also about our wonderful students.

merrilydunn Dr. Merrily Dunn, Associate Professor (Ph.D., The Ohio State University) & Coordinator of the College Student Affairs Administration Doctoral Program. Research interests include college student identity development, gender issues, poverty.


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