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Becoming Doctoral at Colloquia

picture of woman at colloquia


n. pl. col·lo·qui·ums or col·lo·qui·a
From Latin colloquy, conversation.

  1. An informal meeting for the exchange of views.
  2. An academic seminar on a broad field of study.
photo of PhD candidates standing by Check-In sign

You have chosen Capella University for your doctoral degree because you want a rigorous yet achievable program, one that matches your drive to excel.

To help you realize your dream, ignite your passion, and stay focused, our PhD program includes a residential colloquia, a face-to-face program component that allows you to connect with other learners, faculty, and support staff from around the world.

During each of three program phases, you come together with hundreds of other PhD learners to immerse yourself in academic conversation, network, build upon the PhD competencies, and gain the support you need to complete your degree.

photo of Susan Bacyk

“What's important about colloquium? It takes you into a physical environment. You connect with faculty and other learners in this very intense collaboration. It's so helpful.”

Susan Bazyk, PhD
Human Services
Class of 2005

Associate Professor
Cleveland State University
Cleveland, Ohio

We believe the benefits of colloquia are so essential to completing your PhD that we require participation.

As a Capella University doctoral learner, you will attend three colloquia during your PhD program. Colloquia are offered several times each year at conference hotels throughout the United States.

picture of woman checking in to colloquiapicture of a group listening to a speakerpicture of two woman at colloquia

You will live for nearly a week among an engaging community of scholars—participating in workshops and gaining exposure to diverse perspectives that will challenge and expand your thinking.

photo of Saundra Braxton

“The exposure to new learning and ideas was just phenomenal. You know, I came home with a new lease on life.”

Saundra Braxton, PhD
Class of 2006

Program Controller
General Motors
Detroit, Michigan

woman taking a picture of her three friends

At each colloquium, you'll find a full complement of Capella support services. You can meet with faculty in a number of settings, discuss your development with a career center counselor, submit papers for review by writing center faculty, or get tips from research librarians and software skills specialists.

Throughout each week, there are also opportunities to socialize and connect informally with other learners. Participants have told us that networking is the most valuable aspect of the colloquia experience, and many continue their relationships well beyond graduation.

photo of Tawna Dunn

“When I came to Track One, I felt like an outsider. But almost immediately, I started meeting people from my courses and people from Georgia. It didn't take long to feel like I belonged here.”

Tawna Dunn, PhD
Class of 2007

Claims Processor
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Columbus, Georgia

The strength of our colloquia is due, in part, to how they are structured… sequentially, to help you build upon the four key competencies needed to perform at a doctoral level. Each track is timed to coincide with milestones in your PhD program. For example, Track 1 colloquium occurs early, so that you can plan and sequence your doctoral program and become oriented to Capella processes and resources. In the second track, you dig deeper into your discipline, and the third prepares you for your comprehensive examination and dissertation.

Throughout each track, you will build upon four doctoral competencies:

Doctoral Competencies

  • Become a scholar-practitioner
  • Become a critical thinker
  • Become a researcher
  • Become a professional communicator

For example, with research:

So that by the time you graduate, you're ready to contribute new scholarly ideas in your field.

All of us at Capella want you to reach the goal you seek. And we know the journey can be a challenge. That's why we have developed the colloquia program, to give you the guidance and support you need to accomplish your dream.

photo of Carol Young

“I started my PhD program just a few months after running my first marathon. To me, colloquia were like water stations in a race—a time to get refreshed and refocused on the finish line.”

Carol Young, PhD
Class of 2005

Neonatal Nurse
Memorial Herman Healthcare System
Houston, Texas

Select any of the Track buttons in the left navigation to learn more.

You can also use the main menu to learn more about the doctoral competencies or get answers to frequently asked questions.