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Dissertation Boot Camp

In August 2016, we held our first ever physical, intensive doctoral dissertation boot camp for doctoral candidates in the dissertation sequence at our Service Center in Scottsdale, Arizona. While we are proud to deliver our programs online without the requirement to travel, we recognized the value in face-to-face interactions.

NCU Dissertation Boot Camp consists of two and a half days of intense, critical thinking training, development of successful, doctoral acumen, support for research study alignment and feasibility, modeling the use of research methods, and providing students the tools necessary to complete their dissertation. NCU faculty work alongside students individually and in cohorts to help answer questions, explain program and dissertation processes and expectations, and help students gain the confidence and drive necessary to complete their doctoral journey. We paid special attention to building on the foundation students already had, with a goal in mind to leave the boot camp with the skills and knowledge necessary to complete a timely, scholarly, and publishable dissertation study. Sessions are led by experienced NCU Faculty. Students are able to develop cohort relationships with their peers and interact in both formal and informal sessions with faculty and students.

Event Schedule

Las Vegas Dissertation Boot Camp 2021
Las Vegas, NV
February 7th-9th, 2021

Indianapolis Dissertation Boot Camp 2021
Indianapolis, IN
May 30th-June 1st, 2021

New Orleans Dissertation Boot Camp 2021
New Orleans, LA
Late July/Early August 2021
Coming soon!

Charlotte Dissertation Boot Camp 2021
Charlotte, NC
November 7th-9th, 2021
Coming soon!

* Frequency of boot camp events will be based on student interest levels. Please be sure to express interest in attending early so we can add additional events to our schedule!


All current NCU students in an NCU doctoral program.


Fees for the boot camps include exclusive access to current NCU dissertation chair faculty from each school or department, one-to-one sessions with NCU dissertation chair faculty, event supplies, dissertation resource guides, most meals and depending on the location the hotel arrangements.

Fees are calculated based on the number of participants, the time of year, and location. If you are interested in participating in a boot camp please send an email to for more information.

At this time students are not able to use Title IV Financial Aid to cover the cost of attendance. However we have had employers cover the participation fee as a part of a professional development program. If you think your employer would be interested in covering the cost and would like a personal message from your School Dean recommending you to attend a boot camp, please email

Frequently Asked Questions
We understand that distance based learning is essential for working professionals, but sometimes you just need that face-to-face interaction to help get you over the obstacles on your doctoral journey. Our mission is to engage diverse, global doctoral students in dissertation retreats with key faculty to support the needs of working professionals from around the world by providing a structured, intense, learning environment supporting student success for timely completion of dissertation study. By providing an optional face-to-face experience with faculty and peers with a specific focus on dissertation components, strategies, techniques, research and writing we offer students an alternative method to gain information you need to better understand the dissertation sequence.
We cater each boot camp to include sessions that are most relevant to the students who are attending. Weeks before the boot camp you will complete a survey that will let us know exactly the areas you need to focus on and we then take that feedback and build our sessions accordingly.

Generally the session topics are as follows:

  • COMPS, Prospective or Portfolio Prep
  • Managing distractions – getting re-motivated
  • Library, ASC & Available Resources
  • How to Avoid Common Pitfalls
  • Writing for your Dissertation
  • Dissertation Roadmap
  • Research methods alignment
  • Bringing the dissertation chapters together
  • Purpose, Problem Statement, and research questions/hypotheses
  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter 3
  • Chapter 4
  • Chapter 5
  • IRB Application/Process
  • Research techniques – Quantitative
  • Research techniques – Qualitative
  • Defending your Dissertation
  • Publishing Strategies
No, this is a completely optional event for you to participate in if you are interested.
No, this is not considered as a part of the semester credit hours you receive in your courses for your program.

You do not need to attend a boot camp to complete a scholarly, publishable, or timely dissertation study. This event is not for everyone. If you are looking to connect with your peers and get some face time with faculty this is your chance!

Yes! We have Dissertation Boot Camp Ambassadors available for you to speak to.

If you are a prospective student or would just like to speak one on one with a former boot camper you can email us at and ask to speak to a Boot Camp Ambassador. We will connect you with a student who is closely aligned with your program and study if possible.

Student Testimonials

The boot camp was quite inspiring and I felt like I turned the corner after it ended. I can certainly say I am no longer unsure of any aspect of my dissertation and even more convinced of my success. The boot camp introduced me to many of my colleagues; many of whom are now friends. Personally, I'd like to thank NCU, the presenters and the organizers of this boot camp for satisfying a most critical need.
- Current Student, PhD Business Administration, Business and Technology Management, August 2016 Boot Camp

Words cannot describe how grateful I am for the time I spent at NCUs first dissertation boot camp. If I had this opportunity during my first dissertation course, I would have taken it. I can only describe the experience as taking each puzzle piece from my core classes and putting it together to see the bigger picture. The people I have met were insightful and inspirational. Since I have been back home, I am more motivated with a clear picture of the road ahead. NCU is consistently looking for ways to improve our experience and I am excited for what else they have in stored.
- Current student, PhD in Education, E-Learning, August 2016 Boot Camp

I really enjoyed my boot camp experience. It was well worth the time and money. I loved getting to know the professors, staff, and other students. There was a lot of good information, and one-on-one help. I really appreciated the time and meals that the faculty and staff shared with us after class, as well as how much they seem to care about us as people. They were very encouraging and helpful.
- Current Student, PhD Education, International Education, January 2017 International Boot Camp

My cynical expectation of the Boot Camp was a large conference hall with a single presenter droning on over PowerPoint slides. I expected to be an inactive participant, and hope to steal a few minutes of a professor's time to discuss my topic, and assumed I would be the only one in the room with my type of questions. However, the entire Boot Camp team exceeded every expectation both in terms of being approachable, keeping the groups small, and encouraging participation by being so approachable and welcoming. We all had questions, and we all felt comfortable asking them. I am on my third online degree program from three different institutions, and the NCU team is by far the most relatable and approachable group of educators I have seen. I cannot overemphasize the value of this course, whether in the pre-dissertation or mid-dissertation part of your program.
- Current Student, DBA Human Resource Management, November 2018 Boot Camp