Professional Doctorate Research Seminar

Professional Doctorate Research Seminar

The success of any doctoral capstone is built on a solid foundation of research. That’s why we designed the professional doctorate 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 capstone topic, methodology, literature review, and research plan to move steadily toward your goals.

Each Professional Doctorate Research Seminar has Three Steps:

In the courseroom, your instructor will lead you through a set of rigorous activities, assignments, and assessments designed to help you develop a first draft of your doctoral capstone research plan.

Next, you’ll attend a residency and engage in an intensive, iterative process with faculty and peers to further develop your 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.

Seminar Competencies

As you advance through the professional doctorate research seminar tracks, 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 design.


Apply critical-thinking skills to integrate ideas and concepts from previous research—guide and support new research methods and designs.


Pose questions aligned to a problem, study existing literature, propose research methodology, analyze data, and apply ethics and academic integrity to research.

Scholarly Communication

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


In your program, you’ll complete two professional doctorate research seminars to ensure you’ll begin working on your doctoral capstone early and continuously throughout your program.

What you'll learn—and when

Professional doctorate research seminar 1 During seminar, you’ll identify a research problem and topic, and draft research questions. You’ll also complete doctoral capstone milestone 1 (topic approval). Following the weekend residency, you’ll complete a final assessment that demonstrates seminar 1 learning outcomes. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.
Professional doctorate research seminar 2 During seminar, you’ll apply skills to deepen your understanding of your doctoral capstone topic and craft a full research plan. You’ll also complete doctoral capstone milestone 2 (doctoral capstone research plan). Following the weekend residency, you’ll complete a final assessment that demonstrates seminar 2 learning outcomes. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

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?

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