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Strategies to Grow and Expand a Nonprofit Business

Dissertation Rubric


The purpose of using rubrics for dissertation courses is to support the doctoral candidate’s commitment to continuous improvement during the process of developing their work. The doctoral candidate must strive for excellence and achieve their goals as a trained scholar with high levels of academic and professional research and writing skills. As they embark on the final stage of their doctoral program, referring to rubrics along with the template as often as they can will help them meet the goals.  See the following FAQs regarding rubrics and the assessment process.

FAQs about Dissertation Rubrics

Why is using rubrics helpful?

Rubrics include criteria quality indicators that describe the basic expectations for the content of the research proposal and each chapter. In short, rubrics will be used as a tool to help make the expectations clearer and transparent. The doctoral candidate may use rubrics to continue making progress toward improving the quality of their research proposal and each chapter. The doctoral candidate’s performance and contents of the research proposal presentation defense will also be assessed upon completion of the presentation defense session. 

Rubrics are not intended for grading doctoral candidate’s dissertation, however, the university encourages and promotes the highest level of academic excellence by meeting the expectations as guided in rubrics.  Additionally, rubrics should provide clear structure for the dissertation Committee to assess the doctoral candidate’s work thus far.  Rubrics will also help to avoid ambiguity, misinterpretation, and/or potentially biased opinions of reviewers.

Should the doctoral candidate consider all criteria when working on their dissertation development?

Some of the criteria listed within each rubric may not be relevant or applicable to the doctoral candidate’s particular study and/or research.  Thus, the doctoral candidate should consult with their dissertation Committee for additional guidance and more details as to criteria relevance. 

Where can the doctoral candidate and the dissertation Committee find rubrics?

A copy of the rubric contents for the research proposal, research proposal presentation defense, and all chapters are included in this document for the doctoral candidate’s use. The dissertation Committee will use rubric sheets (MS Excel) embedded in the faculty preparation (Faculty Only) page within the LMS.  The contents of rubrics in this document and rubric sheets that the dissertation Committee will use to assess the doctoral candidate’s submissions are the same.

The dissertation Chair, dissertation Committee members, and the doctoral candidate are expected to review and be aware of the criteria in rubrics for the research proposal, research proposal presentation defense, and all chapters. 

What is the assessment process? 

The dissertation Committee members will use a summary sheet, which will automatically generate the total scores and is located in the last tab of each rubric file, to write comments. It is especially important for the dissertation Committee to provide a short and specific explanation if they find any of the attributes from the doctoral candidate’s dissertation as deficient or not evident. 

How will all the assessments from the dissertation Committee be compiled?

After the assessment and providing written comments, the dissertation Committee members will send the summary sheet to the dissertation Chair. All the feedback provided throughout the modules, except Module 1 and Module 6, in the dissertation course is to flow through the dissertation Chair.  It is the dissertation Chair’s responsibility to both process and summarize the feedback using the Dissertation Assessment Form

What is the Dissertation Quality Assessment Form?

The Dissertation Quality Assessment Form is the compilation of the average scores of the overall assessment and summary of written comments. It will be provided to the doctoral candidate via the LMS and the dissertation Committee members will be able to view the compiled and summarized feedback by accessing the LMS. The completed Dissertation Quality Assessment Form will also be used to record the doctoral candidate’s completion of the applicable module and notify the Doctoral Studies Coordinator that the doctoral candidate has completed the module.  The Dissertation Quality Assessment Form is available in the faculty preparation (Faculty Only) page in the LMS. The doctoral candidate must consult with the dissertation Chair if they have any questions or need clarification on the feedback within the form.

Rubric Criteria List for Assessing Dissertation 

To the doctoral candidate: 

You must also refer to the template in addition to rubrics for additional information and correct order of the sub-section as per the template. Please also refer to the suggested Headings in the template and according to the most recent APA formatting style when working on your dissertation. Each criterion may combine more than one subtitles from the dissertation template. 

To the Dissertation Committee

Please select one checkbox; Evident, Not Evident, or Not Applicable, for each checkbox in the rubric. If criteria quality indicators are evident in the doctoral candidate’s work but there is still room for improvement based on your expertise and expectations, please consider providing written comments in the Summary of Feedback sheet in the rubric (dissertation Committee members). The dissertation Chair should summarize all the written comments to provide to the students when they upload the Dissertation Quality Assessment Form.  If there are more than three criteria quality indicators not being evident or the total achievement percentage is lower than 83%, please consider scheduling a virtual Class Meeting session to share the concerns and discuss what needs to be improved.   


Chapter 4 (10)

Data Collection and Analysis


Criteria Quality Indicators Evident Not Evident Not Applicable

1-1 Previews the content of the chapter; explains what readers can expect in this chapter and grabs readers’ attention.

1-2 Provides the way in which it highlights what and how the results and/or findings of data analysis will be reported to answer the research questions and the hypotheses. 

1-3 Informs how the results of data analysis will be used or transcribed.


Participants- Population Sample Description; Research Method and Design; Methodology Approach



2-1 Uses a table, chart, and/or graph to show important results. 

2-2 Includes the explanation or description of the statistical analysis, such as mean values, standard deviations, etc. 

2-3 Includes examples to illustrate the data and additional points. 

2-4 Uses illustrative quotes by strictly following the representation guidelines as agreed upon in the informed consent materials.


3-1 Includes the text to reference the appendix for the results that may involve complex details.

3-2 Selects proper and applicable ways to report raw data for individual participants and presentation of such reports meets high scholarly standards.


Data Collection Instruments; Data Analysis; Quantitative Analysis; Qualitative Analysis; Mixed-Methodology Analysis; Explanations of tests and approach applied to answer research questions



Includes answers to the following questions:

4-1 Do(es) the finding(s) from data analysis connect to and or address research questions and hypotheses? 

4-2 Are limitations/delimitations of the study and analysis of data identified?

4-3 Is/are the finding(s) supported by evidence?


Includes answers to the following questions:

5-1 Are the results easily accessible for the readers?   

5-2 Are the results compiled in an organized manner? 

5-3 Are the results presented in a structured and logical manner?


Includes answers to the following questions:

6-1 Do(es) the result(s) consider framework (conceptual and/or theoretical) that guided the study?

6-2 Do(es) the result(s) imply the magnitude and statistically significance of the study? 

6-3 Do(es) the result(s) consider cross-validation and explain how the information might be generalized to an independent data set? (If application)


Includes answers to the following questions:

7-1 Are the consistency of the results considered and reflected? 

7-2 How are the results of the multiple measures of a construct validated or translated? 

7-3 How are the results of the similar constructs validated?


Includes answers to the following questions:

8-1 Do(es) the result(s) address potential implications for broader impacts and intellectual merits that implies the contributions to academic, non-academic, and scientific fields? 



Outcome of Analysis Findings; Analysis Summation



9-1 Provides background of the design and methodology.

9-2 Provides outcome of findings from analysis.

9-3 The transition from Chapter 3 and to Chapter 4 are composed in a consistent and organized manner.

Stylistic Awareness

10-1 All arguments are written in coherent and convincing manner supported by credible, relevant, and substantive evidence.

10-2 Organizational structures (i.e. introduction, headings for core areas, transition between the paragraphs, and conclusion) are purposeful, effective, and skillful. 

10-3 Uses conventions of the academic writing style (grammar, punctuation, spelling) are at the level expected for publication; consistently uses an effective academic voice and scholarly tone.)

10-4 Adheres to APA style in text citations, references, and conventions to reduce bias in language.





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