Click here for Site Map
Jump to Main Content

More about the Doctorate in Educational Administration

The K-12 doctoral degree is earned through successful completion of coursework, qualifying exams and a doctoral thesis. Depending on full or part-time status most students earn the degree in 4-6 years. Each year's cohort enrolls a mix of full and part time students preparing for positions as school and district leaders, professors, researchers, policy analysts and consultants in the U.S. and in other home countries. Entering students are expected to possess knowledge equivalent to that represented in a masters degree in educational administration or a related field. Students from other fields may need to supplement minimum requirements to meet program standards.

Candidates for the Ph.D. degree must complete a minimum of 61 post-MA credits. Credits are distributed across four areas:

Core study credits:

In their first year, students must complete a sequence of core studies. Core studies review contemporary research and theory in school organizations (EAD 940) critical issues in school reform and improvement (EAD 951b) and leadership theory and practice (EAD 941). The core also includes a pro seminar (EAD 950) designed to orient students to doctoral research and scholarship and to build learning community among cohort members.

*First year K-12 doctoral core course are taught Saturday mornings from late August to mid May (with semester and holiday breaks). Online learning is used some weeks.

Research and inquiry credits:

Students complete a minimum of 12 credits of research and inquiry coursework including introduction to educational inquiry (CEP 930), qualitative research methods (EAD 955 or TE 931), quantitative methods (CEP 932) and a research practicum (EAD 995). Students may need additional study to learn research methods specific to their area and mode of doctoral inquiry.

Selective studies credits:

Students work with their advisor and guidance committee to develop knowledge in a selected area of study through a plan that may involve coursework, independent study, research practicum and apprentice learning. A minimum of 15 credits of selective study is required.

Dissertation credits:

Once students complete coursework and exams theymust earn 24 dissertation credits; 1-3 hours may be allocated to dissertation seminars periodically offered by faculty. Students draw from their courses and independent study to design their dissertation proposal. While conducting dissertation research, students meet regularly with their advisor, drafting and revising sections of the dissertation until a final version is ready for review and recommendation. Participation in writing support groups is encouraged and facilitated during this stage of the program.

Other Program Requirements:

Preliminary Exam
At their end of their first year students complete a preliminary exam which tests their knowledge of the field as presented in core courses and the pro seminar.

Comprehensive Exam
The comprehensive exam involves a scholarly question designed to demonstrate student knowledge in their specific area. It is completed after 2-3 years in the program.

Research Practicum
All students complete a research practicum (EAD 995). The research practicum supports students to develop their dissertation proposal.

Dissertation Proposal
Students present their dissertation proposal to their dissertation committee at an oral hearing.

Dissertation Defense
A final oral examination in defense of the dissertation is conducted and evaluated by the dissertation committee.