Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies All But Dissertation (ABD)

Did you get to your dissertation and then have to put your Ph.D. on hold? Union Institute & University’s ABD or “All But Dissertation” program is perfect for you. This new program provides an opportunity for students who have completed all requirements for a Ph.D. at another institution, except their doctoral dissertation. Union Institute & University welcomes all applicants who have achieved this stature in their graduate education and whose work aligns with one of our areas of concentration. Now is the perfect time to finish earning your doctorate.

12

Total credits

$800

Cost per credit hour

JAN 5

Next Start Date

Did you get to your dissertation and then have to put your Ph.D. on hold? Union Institute & University’s ABD or “All But Dissertation” program is perfect for you. This new program provides an opportunity for students who have completed all requirements for a Ph.D. at another institution, except their doctoral dissertation. Union Institute & University welcomes all applicants who have achieved this stature in their graduate education and whose work aligns with one of our areas of concentration. Now is the perfect time to finish earning your doctorate.

FINISHING YOUR PH.D.

A number of factors may have inhibited your program completion - quite apart from intellectual potential. There are only a few programs in the country designed to streamline completion of the Ph.D. program for those who have made it to the dissertation stage.

  • 9-12 credit hour program
  • Full & part-time options
  • *Hybrid program
  • January & July start dates
  • Complete your degree in as little as 3 years

*100% online classes with a one-week residency in Cincinnati at the start of each term.

The successful ABD student will take two advanced courses in their area of concentration - the dissertation literature review and the dissertation proposal. Both are offered in sequential semesters after which students undertake the dissertation, thus enabling completion in as little as two years.

PhD concentrations

Union's Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies focuses on four different concentrations described below.

  • About the Concentration in Educational Studies

    Union’s Educational Studies (EDST) concentration is designed to prepare individuals to address the leading education issues through an integrative, holistic, and critical lens. Union’s strength is demonstrated by close collaboration with diverse disciplines engaged in today’s complex problems. The program stands in support of emergent activist scholars by reflecting voices of the global majority (including, but not limited to Black, Brown, Indigenous, Women, Gender fluid, LGBTQIA+, and neurocognitive diversity).

  • About the Concentration in Ethical & Creative Leadership

    Union’s Ethical & Creative Leadership (ECL) concentration is unique in addressing all forms of leadership, stressing values and their application, cultivating one’s creative power and imagination, and connecting leadership philosophies to practical leadership experiences. ECL offers leaders an intellectual grasp of the makings of effective leadership in a diverse multicultural world, equips them with practical strategies and tools for various leadership roles and prepares them to tackle social justice challenges in their institutions and communities.

  • About the Concentration in Humanities & Culture

    Union’s concentration in Humanities & Culture (HMC) allows you to study the human condition, explore creative ways to advance social justice and acknowledge differences among individuals and social groups. HMC draws on a variety of humanities fields – social and political philosophy, history, religious studies, literature, and aesthetics – that relate to social justice and cultural differences.

  • About the Concentration in Public Policy & Social Change

    Union’s Public Policy & Social Change (PPS) concentration prepares students to critically re-examine the principles and values that undergird the public policy process. PPS challenges students to critically interrogate governmental policies through the lens of ethical leadership, creative problem-solving, social justice, diversity, and global interdependence. Students develop multifaceted expertise through courses such as policy processes, policy analysis, conflict resolution, community development, democratic theory, human rights, and global studies.

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS

Applicants must provide:

  1. All graduate transcripts from accredited institutions, showing award of the master’s degree and subsequent training.

  2. Documentation of doctoral program completion except for the dissertation by the Registrar or a faculty member affiliated with the prior program.

  3. Two letters of recommendation, including one reference from someone who holds a Ph.D. (Starting with our January 2022 term, we will require three letters of recommendation).

  4. A Statement of Purpose which describes the intended dissertation topic, identifies the preferred concentration (HMS, PPS, ECL, or EDST), outlines the circumstances which led to the interruption in doctoral training, and discusses the applicant’s currency in research topics related to the planned dissertation.

  5. Formal course descriptions for all prior training that supports the selected concentration must also be submitted. If the prior program requires a Comprehensive Exam for doctoral students, that step must have been successfully completed prior to making an application to the Union doctoral program.

Applicants should consult the catalog for the area of concentration requirements. Students whose primary doctoral training is in the biological or physical sciences cannot be considered. Students with credits earned outside the U.S. should have their course work reviewed by AICE or NACES.

Admissions Review Process

The application is reviewed by the Admissions Committee. If materials are deemed appropriate for the next step, the applicant will be interviewed by a member of the Admissions Committee or their designee. If admission is recommended, the course history will be reviewed in light of particular concentration requirements. The admission letter will stipulate which of Union's courses must be completed. Admission may be provisional (to be reassessed after one year), or without condition. Initial review will occur within 48 hours of receipt. 

PROGRAM COMPLETION

Ordinarily, the successful “ABD” applicant will take 850 and 860 courses in their area of concentration in sequential semesters, then undertake the dissertation, thus enabling completion in four semesters. If core learning areas are deemed insufficient in the particular concentration, additional courses may be required. The applicant who has completed a recent dissertation proposal may petition the Dean to waive the 850-course requirement and begin with 860. Students must attend at least one residency, nominate a dissertation Chair who agrees to serve in that role, form a dissertation committee, pass the proposal defense, conduct the dissertation, and pass the dissertation defense. Academic progress is a condition of subsequent term registration.

Dissertation Information and Examples

The program supports a variety of formats for doctoral dissertations, including theoretical, historical, and interpretive research, social action research projects, empirical research using qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods, and creative dissertations. Below are some examples from each concentration

Education Justice & Equity:

  • Hopson, J. (2021). Texas A&M university system website analysis: Disability and diversity 
  • Madry, T. S. (2020). Mentoring: A Leadership Tool for Black Greek Fraternities.
  • Maples, G.L. (2019). Surviving the Invisible Wounds of War: As Told by the Unseen Heroes.
  • Bolton, D. (2018). Motivating African American Male Readers Through Mentorship.

Ethical & Creative Leadership:

  • Crudup, Larry Terrell (2021). Walk Together Children: Black Congregational Leadership-as-Social Ethic.
  • Worthen, Merritt (2020). Showing Faith through Work(s): Examining how Christian-Based Businesses are Practicing Faith in a Materialistic Society.
  • Bradbury, Douglas S. (2019). Quantum Reconciliation: A Framework for Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Inescapable Mutuality.
  • Washington, Michael A. (2019). Prince Hall Masonic Order Leader and Leadership Development.

Humanities & Culture:

  • François, Emery (2021). The Beauty and the Strife: A Memoir of Haiti and Her Legacy in the United States.
  • White, Tamara (2020). Visually Representing Diabetes Management for Incarcerated Women in California: A Creative Dissertation.
  • Reinstatler, Michelle L. (2019). Becoming Legend: Constructing Paranormal Experience and Cultural Performance in Ghost-Hunting Reality TV shows and Recreational Ghost Hunting.
  • Johnson, Jr., James L.  (2018). Sympathy for the Devil: Thawing the Ego and Fostering Empathy through a Theory of Lacanian Reader-response.

Public Policy & Social Change:

  • Lewis, Jacinda (2020).  Exploring sex offenders’ experiences through the lens of social justice.
  • Nauta, Carmen (2019). Understanding the challenges to lactation initiation and duration among low-income WIC participants in the South Bronx: A phenomenological study
  • Rojas, Gina Augon (2018). Navigating Contested Terrain: A Critical Case Study of Guam’s Chamorro Land Trust Residential Land Lease Program.

FINANCIAL AID

All resources available to students who begin the Ph.D. program at Union will be available to “ABD” students unless the length of enrollment at the university is a criterion for a particular scholarship.

Funding Your Future

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