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Carry out your capstone: Engage in research

Overview

Congratulations! You have made great progress in your capstone and are now nearing the time to carry out your capstone project. Below are a variety of resources to facilitate your work at this stage.

Collect your data

If you are seeking a source for your data, you’ll find helpful information on the Center for Research Quality’s website:

Analyze your data

Give yourself ample time to analyze your data. Generally, this process takes a longer commitment than what you’d originally expect. Here are some resources on analyzing your data:

Consider a Writing Workshop

If you’re seeking guidance on your writing, consider one of Walden’s writing workshops, offered within the Center for Academic Excellence, where you’ll receive writing-related guidance from writing faculty that is catered toward your scholarly interests and the general timeline of your doctoral work.

Doctoral Writing Workshop: Revising and Editing the Postproposal Sections

Ideal Students

Doctoral students who have a working draft of the postproposal sections (e.g., results, discussion, conclusion, recommendations) of their dissertation, project, or doctoral study but find themselves needing writing guidance and support. (NOTE: Students must already have an approved proposal to be eligible for this workshop.)

Learn about the Postproposal Workshop

Stay engaged with your support team

Remember that, even though your proposal was approved by your committee, you may need to revise it if your data collection and analysis reveals something new or unexpected.  Keep an open mind for that possibility, and stay flexible. Continue to revisit all the support services at Walden during this time so that your evolving study stays aligned and retains a logical narrative. Also, stay in touch with your committee throughout this time. It’s generally a good idea to hold regular meetings with your mentors as you collect and analyze your data so that they know how you’re doing.

Work with the University Research Reviewer (URR)

Once you have written your proposal, it will be reviewed by a University Research Reviewer (URR) to ensure that your work meets university requirements. See below:

Prepare yourself for Form & Style

As you work on your capstone proposal, you should prepare yourself for the feedback you will receive on your writing. You will receive this feedback from your instructors, your committee members, your chair, and your University Research Reviewer (URR). You’ll also have a full Form and Style review of your capstone before you defend your final study. Consult the following resources for guidance on your scholarly writing:

Prepare for the final defense

Once you’ve received your form and style review, you will work with your committee to incorporate the feedback and get your capstone polished for Walden University-and APA-related compliance. Once you and your committee members are confident that the capstone is finalized, it is time to schedule the final defense.  See below:

Looking ahead, this is a good time to think about submitting your graduation application, as it should be done at the term start in which you anticipate completing your capstone. The Student Success Advising website has the information you need to submit your graduation application.  

Submit capstone for publication

Once the CAO has approved your capstone study, the Registrar’s Office will verify completion of your degree requirements, and you will then receive instructions for publishing your capstone study in ProQuest/UMI, as well as in Walden’s open access repository, ScholarWorks.

Final steps

As you wrap things up, here are the final steps to follow:

  • Upon submission of your capstone to ProQuest/UMI, a cursory form and style check of your front matter will be conducted.  A satisfactory check will prompt notification to the Registrar’s Office to review your eligibility for degree conferral.   
  • Upon notification by the Office of Student Research Administration, the Registrar’s Office will review your academic records. You will receive an email from the Graduation Department indicating your degree conferral date once the Registrar’s Office ascertains that all graduation requirements have been met. 
  • You should have submitted your graduation application at the start of the term in which you anticipated receiving CAO approval. If you have received CAO approval but have not yet applied for graduation. please do so using the Graduation Application link in your myWalden portal.
  • Remember to let your faculty member know in your capstone course that you have graduated so you won’t be dropped for non-attendance.
  • During final processing and validation, you may receive a tuition statement for the term.  It is important to pay your bill to maintain a continuous enrollment status with the University.  The CAO’s date of approval will determine any potential for a tuition refund.  Consideration for a tuition refund will be determined by the Bursar’s Office after degree conferral eligibility has been confirmed, and will not be done prior to the degree conferral process.
  • You will need to complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates before your degree can be conferred. (You will receive instructions for completing this survey in the email informing you of CAO approval.) Once you complete the survey, your graduate school will receive an email confirming that you have completed the survey. 
  • Notification will be sent from the Bursar’s Office regarding any pending charges on your account.  Outstanding balances on your account will prohibit the issuance of your diploma and final transcript.

Graduate

You’ve made it! Remember – you should submit an application for graduation if you haven’t already done so, in order to notify the graduation team of your intent to graduate. Congratulations!

Degree conferral starts at the end of a term after final grades have been received for that term. The process can take about 2-4 weeks, after which you’ll be notified that your degree was conferred and that your diploma is being sent to you. It may take another 2-4 weeks for the diploma to reach you, depending on your location, once the degree has been conferred.

  • If you have a hold on your account your diploma will not be sent to you until you have cleared your hold.
  • If you wish to have a copy of your official transcript indicating degree conferral you will need to order one using the link on the Student Services tab of your myWalden portal.
  • Please remember that graduation and commencement are two distinct events. Applying for graduation ensures your degree is awarded. If you wish to attend the commencement ceremony you will have to register for that event separately. For more information about commencement (including the deadlines for degree conferral in order to attend the ceremony) please visit the Alumni Association's website.