This chapter introduces the idea of qualitative research as well as discusses when to use qualitative research. Qualitative research has unique relevance to applied fields such as education due to its ability to address issues that are part of complex social contexts. The applicability of qualitative research to dissertations produced in professional doctorate in education programs (EdD degree programs) is presented. Attention is given to the ways in which students’ professional experiences can and should bolster the dissertation process. The chapter concludes by providing an overview of the dissertation format and structure in addition to outlining ideas and strategies for selecting a dissertation topic.