Hi there. You probably have a lot of questions about what it is like to be a member of the DPLS program. We have compiled a list of questions we hope will help you acclimate you nicely. In addition to the items below, more factoids and other information may be found on our blog. We have compiled this list by topic in this order:

Candidacy (1-5)
Dissertation (6-10)
DPLS Program (11-17)
Gonzaga Resources (18-21)
Spokane Living (22-23)
Technology Issues (24-26)
Miscellaneous (27-39)

1 . What is candidacy?^

Advancement to candidacy is a critical point in the doctoral program. When a student is advanced to candidacy, it means s/he is a candidate for the Ph.D., which signifies the Doctoral Faculty's confidence in the student's ability to successfully complete the program, including the dissertation. Candidacy is designed to reaffirm the appropriateness of the program relative to the needs and abilities of the student.

More information about the Candidacy Process may be found here.

2 . How do I achieve candidacy?^

Submission of the candidacy paper based on an approved topic must be made before enrolling in 23 or more credits in the Doctoral Program and after successful completion of the core courses: Leadership Theory (DPLS 700), Organizational Theory (DPLS 701), Policy and Global Systems (DPLS 703), and Principles of Research (DPLS 720).

The student must be advanced to candidacy before enrolling in more than 28 credits or the student can expect to be blocked from taking classes until candidacy is completed. The following is the general steps one can expect in the candidacy process:

  1. The student first reaches general agreement with the pre-candidacy advisor that the student has met the general requirements above.
  2. The student submits to their advisor the Request to Begin Candidacy Process form along with a short statement, aka the "Candidacy Paper Synopsis."
  3. The student will receive a Candidacy Topic Approval memo/letter with the Candidacy Paper Synopsis showing changes made by the advisor attached.
  4. Upon receipt of the Candidacy Topic Approval, the student has up to 60 days to write and submit the paper.
  5. The student can submit the paper up to three times. After each submission, the student can expect to receive feedback within 15 working days excluding faculty down-time. Note: It is the responsibility of the student to contact the advisor and to follow-up weekly thereafter.
  6. If the paper fails to pass review, the student will receive revision requirements from their pre-candidacy advisor.
  7. The student has up to 60 days to revise and resubmit the paper after the first and second review.
  8. If the paper fails to pass on the second review, a third reader will be appointed by the DPLS faculty prior to the final third review.
  9. The student's advisor notifies the Program Coordinator that the paper has been accepted, and the student submits a final copy, with all changes and edits, to the Program Coordinator.
  10. The final version is submitted to the journal specified on the "Candidacy Paper Synopsis" and a copy of the submission letter and response is turned in to the DPLS office. NOTE: While the paper does not have to be accepted for publication, the process of receiving feedback from a journal helps to prepare for the experience of working with the dissertation committee in the dissertation writing phase.
  11. A Candidacy Approval Letter will finalize the Candidacy Process.
The candidacy paper rubric may be found here. More information about the Candidacy Process may be found here.

3 . What is a candidacy paper?^

The process for advancing to candidacy involves researching, writing, and submitting an original, high quality theoretical/conceptual paper no more than 20 pages long (including references, but not including the title page or abstract.) The candidacy paper must pass the review of at least two program faculty members. At this point, the candidacy paper is then submitted to an academic journal for publication. The candidacy paper rubric may be found here.

More information about the Candidacy Process may be found here.

4 . Where may I find sample candidacy papers?^

The DPLS program has found that providing samples of candidacy papers tends to limit students. No need to worry though - your advisor will discuss the mechanics of the paper with you.

5 . I have achieved my candidacy. Now what?^

For more information about the dissertation process, click here.

6 . When do I need to know my dissertation topic?^

To have the most learning success as a student, we recommend that students have a general idea about their dissertation topic, but not a too specific one. The wonderful thing about this program is that students become exposed to all kinds of scholarship. Students who know exactly what they will be writing their dissertation from the moment they walk in the door will probably get frustrated! Furthermore, we recommend that students write every paper and assignment on the topic they think they want to study. This way, they can truly get a feel for whether or not that topic is their passion.

7 . What is ProSem and when can I begin my dissertation?^

One of the unique features of this program is that students make their defense after writing the first three chapters of the dissertation. Essentially, we like to send the students out to do their dissertation research with a blessing. This way, students do not get all the way to the end only to get a surprise that they need to revise some part of their research.

DPLS 730 Proposal Seminar is the class all students must take to write the first three chapters of their dissertation. All students conduct their proposal defense at the end of this class. Furthermore, we recommend that all students take DPLS 728 Scholarship & Dissertation Framework before they take DPLS 730, even though DPLS 728 is not a required course. Students in DPLS 728 begin writing their literatures review, which prepares students for DPLS 730.

In order to register for DPLS 730, students must provide their advisor with evidence that they have completed a portion of their first three chapters (which is begun in DPLS 728). Advisors must request that a student be registered into DPLS 730, and the faculty person teaching DPLS 730 must approve it.

Hence, we recommend that students plan early, speak with their advisor, and take DPLS 728 if feasible.

More information about the dissertation courses may be found here.

8 . What kinds of dissertations have students completed in the past?^

Dissertation titles may be found in this Google doc, and full dissertation papers may be found at the Foley Library here.

9 . How do I choose a dissertation chair?^

You just pick which professor is suited for you. In other words, just ask someone you want to work with. Please note that sometimes a particular faculty's workload is too heavy to accept the offer.

10 . What is the IRB?^

As students prepare for their proposal defense, they will need to apply for IRB approval and obtain an IRB certificate through the NIH. Professors in the DPLS 723 Qualitative Methods tend to lead you through this process. For more information about the Gonzaga IRB, as well as required documents, please click here.

11 . How many years will it take to complete the program?^

The length of the program lies in the hands of each individual student. Some students go full-time, taking 2-4 classes in a semester, while other students take one class at a time or are summers-only students. To see a few suggested program tracks, please click here.

12 . How many students are allowed to graduate per academic year?^

Due to accreditation rules, the DPLS program may graduate a maximum of 19 students per year. More information may be found here.

13 . Which courses do I have to take?^

This course planning guide form will provide you with the criteria.

For an entire list of courses that the DPLS provides at one time or another, click here.

If we may, we have a few suggestions for your course schedule:

  • Take the core courses asap. These are DPLS 700, 701, 703 and 720. Not only do these courses provide the basis for your education, but they are required to begin your candidacy paper. But you must begin your candidacy paper before you complete/enroll credits.
  • Use as many individually directed study credits as allowed while writing the dissertation (which occurs after taking Proposal Seminar DPLS 730).

But it is up to you really - do what fits your schedule and stamina!

More coursework information may be found here.

14 . How much is tuition?^

For more information on tuition, books, etc., click here.

15 . Does DPLS have any special focus areas?^

The doctoral program does not have any formal emphasis of research, but we can tell you what faculty members tend to focus on in their own research. These areas of focus include: servant-leadership, rapid assessment, leading in complexity, and feminine leadership. More information about each faculty member may be found here.

16 . Who or what is DPLS affiliated with?^

DPLS is affiliated with the International Journal of Servant Leadership and the International Leadership Association.

17 . What is the faculty advising process like?^

The student is assigned a pre-candidacy advisor on admission to the program. This advisor will aid the student to attain candidacy. Once candidacy status has been reached, the student will choose a dissertation faculty advisor (also known as a dissertation chairperson) who will work with the candidate to complete their requirements for graduation. Faculty members serve as a mentor to students, providing them encouragement and support along the journey to graduation. Faculty members are ready to support and guide students, but it is the responsibility of each student to seek the level and frequency of guidance desired.

18 . What are the grading policies?^

The DPLS abides by Gonzaga's grading policies. In addition, each instructor will have his or her own grading guidelines, although the instructors will generally by the rubrics found here.

19 . What may be the most important thing you could do as a student?^

Get to know the nice librarians and staff at Foley Library. Really.

20 . Where do you I get my student ID?^

Click here to get more information about obtaining a ZagCard.

21 . How do I pay my tuition bill?^

The Office of Student Accounts will happily take your money. Via payment plans, too.

22 . Do I have to live in Spokane while enrolled in the program?^

About half of the students in the DPLS program live in Spokane and half live elsewhere. While most students tend to travel from the Western half of the United States, we have students travel all the way from Italy and Hawaii.

23 . I plan to travel to Spokane for my classes. Where do I stay? Where do I eat?^

During the regular school year, there are no on-campus living arrangements for doctoral students, but there are a few, affordable arrangements through Gonzaga-affiliated organizations. More information about that housing can be located here.

Hotels within walking distance of the Tilford Building
Red Lion River Inn
Oxford Suites
Holiday Inn Express

Going a bit further into downtown Spokane

Davenport Hotel
Red Lion at the Park
Doubletree Hotel

Taco Time
Sonic Drive-In
Jack & Dan's
Jimmy John's
Pita Pit
C.I. Shenanigan's

Grocery Stores
Main Market

24 . How do I register for courses?^

Register for courses on ZagWeb. Please note that when students take a semester off and then try to register for classes in a subsequent semester, Marnie Broughton has to "quick admit" them. Students must contact Marnie Broughton (broughton@gonzaga.edu) prior to the semester in which they intend to register. Students must be quick-admitted before they will be able to register for classes. This applies to all students, including summers-only students.

25 . I am having trouble signing on to wifi, Blackboard, Zagweb or Zagmail.^

The Information Technology team will be your cyber friend throughout the entire program. If you could memorize any number, the Help Desk's number just might be it: 509-313-5550. The team will reset your password; they will get you out of Blackboard issues; and they will be there when you just need someone to listen as you talk yourself out of a jam. They also provide technology training on applications, such as PowerPoint, Excel, and Skype.

26 . What are the URLs for Blackboard, ZagMail, and ZagWeb?^

Blackboard: learn.gonzaga.edu
ZagMail: zagmail.gonzaga.edu
ZagWeb: zagweb.gonzaga.edu

27 . Are you on Facebook?^

We are! Here are a list of social media sites we are members of, plus other ways to interact with us and Gonzaga on the whole:
Facebook - DPLS Program
Facebook - Journal Club
You Tube
Graduate Morning Mail
GU Newsletter

28 . Can I transfer in my credits received in another doctoral program?^

More information about transferring credits can be found here.

29 . May I audit a course?^

You must be a registered Gonzaga University graduate student in order to audit a DPLS course, and registration in the course is required. No credit hours are earned and audited courses do not apply toward a degree. The "AU" grade is not an option for instructors. Students must register for this grade mode no later than the Registrar's drop/add date. Anyone who audits a course must have the permission of the instructor and will be expected to do all the required work.

30 . What is an individually directed study, why would I complete one, and how many may I complete?^

An individually directed study is a course of study that a student individually completes with the approval of his or her chair/advisor. This individually directed study may consist of 1-3 credits. Students often hold off on completing their individually directed study credits until they have reached the dissertation. (We highly recommend this!) No more than 12 credits in a student's entire course of study can be a combination of individually directed study credits and doctoral level credits transferred in from another university. (Transfer credits are subject to review and approval by the Doctoral Faculty.) Students who wish to complete an individually directed study must complete an application form, which can be found here.

31 . How do I publish?^

To be honest, publishing is easier than you may think. There are thousands and thousands of journals out there, each of which have their own submission guidelines. The Foley Library website has a pretty extensive list of journal titles. Many students make it a habit of submitting their course papers to journals. And sure, there is a risk of being rejected, but remember that everyone gets rejected at some point - even professors - you won't know until you try.

32 . How do I create a poster presentation?^

The following are links to ideas about how to create a poster presentation:

You may also want to have your poster printed and mounted at a store like FedEx Office. Members of the GU community may also check with Faculty Services for their printing needs.

33 . What and when is the course in Italy?^

DPLS students have the opportunity to take one or two classes in Italy. They are:

  1. Renaissance Leadership for the 21st Century, Florence, Italy (typically the first two weeks of June)
  2. Renaissance Rhetoric, Florence, Italy (typically the first two weeks of June)
Both Florence courses can be taken for doctoral credit electives AND are designed to be taken together or individually. For more information about the classes and about how to apply, click here or contact Shannon Zaranski: zaranski@gu.gonzaga.edu.

34 . Where may I park on campus?^

For more information on parking, click here.

35 . Where may I work out?^

Great question. All that reading and sitting in front of a computer is not helping our bodies. The Rudolf Fitness Center is located on the southeast side of campus west of the McCarthey Athletic Center (basketball arena), south of the Foley Library, and north of the Centennial Trail. There are also many gyms in the area. Current and former students report that they are members of the Spokane YMCA, Oz Fitness, U-District PT, Lila Yoga, and Yarrow Yoga.

36 . How do I get tickets to men’s basketball games?^

Fortunately, you do not have to pitch a tent to get tickets to men's basketball games. All it takes is standing in a line on a Sunday morning. Find the explicit instructions here. For all other sporting events, students may just show up the game the day of and enter the game for free. Remember to bring your student ID card.

37 . How do I get cheap business cards?^

The Gonzaga Alumni Mentor Program (GAMP) provides 100 business cards for $5. To order, follow the instructions here. GAMP also provides career development, networking, job shadows, informational interviews, and many other services for all Zag alumni both in Spokane and all over the world. ZagTrax is Gonzaga's job board. Alumni and students may also meet with career counselors by scheduling an appointment.

38 . Where do I buy books?^

All books are located at the Zag Shop, which is located in the retail space in the parking lot structure on Hamilton, or online at many retailers. Students report frequenting the following sites: Bookfinder.com, Amazon, Powell's, Abe Books, and Half.com.

39 . How can I get in touch with other graduate events?^

The Graduate Student Council works hard to bring you free or cheap social events, resources, and other services to meet the needs of graduate students.