Dissertation Research Seminar

Dissertation Research Seminar

The success of any dissertation is built on a solid foundation of research. That’s why we designed the dissertation research seminars to help you gain momentum early in your program—building skills and confidence. The seminars give you the time and resources to focus on your dissertation topic, methodology, literature review, and research plan to move steadily toward your goals.

Each dissertation research seminar has three steps:

In your online courseroom, your instructor will lead you through a set of rigorous activities including modules, assignments, and assessment designed to help you develop the first draft of your dissertation research plan.

Next, you’ll attend an in-person residency and engage in an intensive, iterative process with faculty and peers to continue to develop your dissertation research plan.

Finally, you’ll spend the remainder of your 10-week course incorporating the feedback you receive in the final session of the residency to refine and submit your research plan.

Dissertation Research Seminar Competencies

As you advance through the dissertation research seminars, you will strive for mastery in each of these critical areas:

Scholar-Practitioner Development

Identify and cultivate the skills required to professionally implement your research


Apply advanced critical-thinking skills to synthesize ideas and concepts from previous research, as well as guide and support new research methods and designs.


Develop questions that align with the research problem you’ve identified, study existing literature, propose research methodology, analyze data, and apply ethics and academic integrity to your research.

Scholarly Communication

Cultivate academic verbal and written skills necessary to advance scientific research.


In your PhD program, you’ll complete three dissertation research seminars to ensure you’ll begin working on your dissertation early and continuously throughout your program.

What you'll learn—and when

Planning for your residency

Residency Cost and Financing

Residency is included in the three-credit dissertation research seminar tuition and the tiered pricing of the program. Included are academic sessions, as well as continental breakfast, lunch, and snack breaks on each full day of the in-person residency. Additional costs include airfare, lodging, evening meals, and miscellaneous personal expenses.

Residency Location

Residencies are offered each year at alternating hotel conference centers throughout the U.S. To reduce travel costs, we choose locations based on the number of Capella students in the area. Past locations have included Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Orlando, and Arlington.

Although you are free to travel with friends and family, only students are able to attend sessions and meals. Childcare is not provided.

Ready for the next step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.