Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Master's: 45

Required Courses:

Year 1
Summer IICredit Hours
EDAD 8461Ethical Leadership3
EPSY 8627Introduction to Research Design and Methods3
 Term Credit Hours6
Fall
EDAD 8635Education Policy Analysis3
EDUC 5325Introduction to Statistics and Research3
 Term Credit Hours6
Spring
EDAD 8653Civic Leadership3
EDUC 5262Introduction to Qualitative Research3
 Term Credit Hours6
Year 2
Summer II
EDAD 8636Research for Change3
EDAD 8755Organizational Dynamics3
 Term Credit Hours6
Fall
EDAD 8093Administration Research Seminar3
EDAD 8553Democratic, Equitable, and Ethical Leadership3
 Term Credit Hours6
Spring
EDUC 5010Special Topics in Education3
EDUC 9998Dissertation Proposal Design3
 Term Credit Hours6
Year 3
Summer II
AOD 5534Group Facilitation and Consultation3
 Term Credit Hours3
Fall
EDUC 9999Doctor of Education Dissertation3
 Term Credit Hours3
Spring
EDUC 9999Doctor of Education Dissertation3
 Term Credit Hours3
 Total Credit Hours: 45

Culminating Events:
Comprehensive Examination:
At the end of the academic term in which students are enrolled in EDAD 8093 Administration Research Seminar and prior to completion of the dissertation proposal, students complete a comprehensive exam in order to advance to candidacy for the doctoral degree. The comprehensive exam consists of written responses to three questions developed by the instructor of the Research Seminar who, in most cases, will serve as the student’s primary dissertation advisor and chair. Through the comprehensive exam, students must demonstrate the ability to:

  • situate and define a chosen topic or field within the concepts and history of the field;
  • compare, contrast, and justify various research methods appropriate to investigation of a practice-based research problem; and
  • critically synthesize the extant scholarly and practice-focused literature that informs administrative practice related to the topic.

Successful completion of the comprehensive exam advances students to doctoral candidate status and aids in preparation of the dissertation proposal.

Dissertation Proposal:
In the term immediately following completion of the EDAD 8093 Administration Research Seminar and successful completion of the comprehensive exam, students enroll in EDUC 9998 Dissertation Proposal Design . Like EDAD 8093 Administration Research Seminar, EDUC 9998 Dissertation Proposal Design serves as a structured, intensive, cohort-based monthly workshop in which students design and defend a dissertation proposal that outlines a rigorous plan for empirical study of an issue relevant to the student’s professional responsibilities or aspirations. The proposal must incorporate a thorough and critical review of literature relevant to the topic, a discussion of theoretical approaches to understanding and studying the topic, a conceptual or theoretical framework that will guide the study, and a robust methodological plan that includes assurances of completing IRB review and any interview or other protocols necessary to submit for IRB review. Dissertation proposal defense occurs at any point during or at the end of the academic term and students receive feedback from the faculty advisor, other committee members, and their cohort peers during their defense.

Dissertation:
The Ed.D. dissertation is distinct from the Ph.D. dissertation in that the intent of the Ed.D. dissertation is not to build theory but to make a substantive contribution to practice-focused scholarship in a particular domain of K-12 educational leadership. Ed.D. dissertations are typically less lengthy than Ph.D. dissertations and cover a smaller scope of theorizing and data collection. They are, however, held to the same standards as Ph.D. dissertations with respect to methodological validity, data analysis, and writing quality and clarity.

Following successful defense of the dissertation proposal and after securing IRB approval, students carry out an original research project intended to make a significant practice-based contribution to the field. While the Ed.D. dissertation is meant to have practical and applied relevance, however, it is nonetheless expected to engage rigorously with existing literature and theory appropriate to the student’s chosen topic and to demonstrate the student’s ability to execute robust methods appropriate to the student’s research question(s). Toward this end, Ed.D. students:

  • prepare a dissertation study report that is a standard academic manuscript, which includes an introduction, literature review, conceptual/theoretical framework, methodology, results, discussion, and references; and
  • produce a white paper/executive summary that distills the lessons of their research for practitioners in their field.