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Doctoral Completion (ABD Completion)

If you’ve achieved All But Dissertation (ABD) status, Alverno offers you the support you need to complete your doctoral work. In as few as two years of study, you can be ready to add “EdD” to your list of accomplishments and advance your career.

Our Doctoral Completion program provides immediate access to an advisor and a structure for progressing your research and writing — all in a flexible and convenient format that blends online coursework with two weekend residencies in Milwaukee.

How the ABD program works

  • Alverno faculty will work with you to conduct a comprehensive prior learning assessment (PLA) that reviews your previous coursework, experience and scholarship. You may earn advanced standing of up to 30 credits through your PLA.
  • Upon enrollment in the program, you’ll be immediately matched with a faculty advisor. We choose our faculty members for their professional achievements, experience and commitment to student success.
  • Your advisor will guide you through seven planned dissertation courses so you make consistent progress on your project.
  • You’ll also complete nine credits of coursework for our Teaching and Learning in Higher Education concentration so you will graduate qualified to teach at the post-secondary level.

Most ABD completion students can finish their programs in six semesters, or about two calendar years.


Dissertation and research courses

EDD 800: Dissertation Advisory I

In this first dissertation course, you will identify a potential area for study, identify members of your dissertation committee, develop your initial research question and complete a draft literature review.

EDD 801: Principles of Responsive and Transformational Leadership

Explore the conceptual models, theories and frameworks that will empower you as an educator and leader. Analyze and define your professional practice by applying principles of responsive and transformational leadership.

EDD 802: Research in Educational Contexts

Define your areas of interest in relation to existing research by reading broadly and deeply from a variety of scholarly sources. Begin the framework for your literature review by developing a bibliography in APA format.

EDD 810: Dissertation Advisory II

Complete the introduction and literature review and begin development of the methodology section of your dissertation.

EDD 820: Dissertation Advisory III

Complete and defend your research proposal. Compile, receive feedback on, revise and submit your Institutional Review Board (IRB) documents.

EDD 830: Dissertation Advisory IV

Engage in data gathering and analysis and begin write-up of your dissertation.

EDD 840: Dissertation Defense and Dissemination

Defend your dissertation, receive feedback and make any needed revisions.

Teaching and Learning in Higher Education concentration courses

EDD 832: Higher Education Curriculum and Assessment

Demonstrate your ability to work effectively and collaboratively with key higher education stakeholders and faculty. Examine and evaluate curricula, explore strategies for board and trustee engagement and identify methods for effectively addressing student and faculty concerns and grievances.

EDD 838 Instructional Design: Fundamentals 

In this course, you will develop and apply deep understanding of theories and practices of instructional design and assessment-as-learning related to your discipline/content and contexts in higher education institutions.

EDD 839 Instruction for Different Populations 

Develop deep understandings of the lived experiences, cultural knowledge and prior learning of the students you will encounter in higher education contexts. Incorporate these understandings into engaging, inspiring and authentic learning experiences in your content area(s) and related academic programs.