The dissertation requirement can be considered the signature pedagogy in doctoral education. What little research exists on doctoral dissertations in social work suggests that there is room for improvement in dissertation quality. Models of dissertation advisement are reviewed. About half of the respondents had begun the dissertation process. Whereas satisfaction ratings by students were generally good, open-ended comments suggested there were problems in several areas. Although no survey items addressed comprehensive examinations, this program component was criticized in student comments. The availability and effectiveness of dissertation support was seen to be quite variable even within programs and was often lacking after course completion, when students felt they were “cut loose.”
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