The Doctor of Education prepares experienced professionals for leadership in their communities, empowering its graduates from all over the world to pursue the issues they’re passionate about.
The Doctor of Education Program fosters leaders in professional fields to employ existing research and theory to develop and conduct research in order to investigate, explore, and transform organizational and institutional landscapes. With a deep respect for students' practical experience and knowledge, we work with students to incorporate practice-based research into their day-to-day professional lives.
*Residency for career success: While all EdD courses can be completed online (except for hybrid courses in Seattle and Charlotte), residencies occur each year that are designed for networking and career success. Students attend residency in their first and second years in the program at one of our campuses in Boston, MA, Charlotte, NC, or Seattle, WA. This offers the chance to connect in person with faculty and fellow scholars to share knowledge and experiences.
* Please note, International Students enrolling in the Online EdD Program will be provided with an option to complete the Residency through online participation in interactive sessions with fellow scholars offered during the Residency period.
Northeastern's Doctor of Education degree is designed to be completed in three to four years of study, following a fast-paced quarter system rather than the traditional semester schedule. Students begin working on their Dissertation in Practice at the onset of their coursework by identifying their problem of practice and developing an action plan—incorporating cycles of data collection and analysis, collaboration, change work and reflection—culminating in the dissemination of their action research findings.
Our students come from diverse disciplines and professions seeking more than just a degree. They’re gaining a practical education that translates to their everyday working environment. Students learn to apply advanced research principles to real-life problems they face in their own organizations while completing a doctoral thesis that explores a compelling educational/organizational challenge.
- Students choose one of three areas—Higher Education, Organizational Leadership Studies, or Curriculum, Teaching, Learning, and Leadership—to focus their studies and further customize their curriculum
- Students begin work on the Dissertation in Practice at the onset of their program around a self selected, compelling educational/organizational challenge—also known as the student's problem of practice
- Students are assigned a faculty advisor at the beginning of their program to help with their Dissertation in Practice
- Majority of, or all, coursework offered online, allowing for flexibility for working professionals
- Residency for career success can be fulfilled at one of our campuses in Boston, MA, Charlotte, NC, and Seattle, WA. In-person participation for the Residency is available for international students as well.
- MacFarland Scholarship - New, incoming students, who are working or have the intention of working as an educator in a public school at the elementary or secondary level, within an urban area, are eligible to receive a scholarship award of up to $10,000.
- Higher Education Administration: The Higher Education Administration concentration provides the context in which to investigate a complex problem of practice. The concentration course work includes the study of practice and scholarship within all sectors of postsecondary education including community colleges, four-year colleges, for-profit institutions, and research universities. The increased globalization of higher education is addressed throughout the program. The concentration allows experienced educators to be well-grounded in the areas essential to understanding and articulating the educational roles of colleges and universities, and develop skills and knowledge for establishing and sustaining initiatives in higher education.
- Curriculum, Teaching, Learning and Leadership: The Curriculum, Teaching, Learning and Leadership (CTLL) concentration provides the context in which to investigate a complex problem of practice. It engages educational leaders in research and practice to develop the competencies, dispositions, and values to promote educational innovation based on a commitment to social justice. This concentration is appropriate for both P-12 and university-level educators as well as professionals in for and non-profit organizations. All students are committed to the investigation of teaching and learning. This concentration provides the opportunity to conduct research at the worksite that contributes to the resolution of a complex problem of practice, and develop skills and knowledge to serve as transformational leaders in a variety of educational settings.
- Organizational Leadership Studies: Learning occurs in both formal educational settings including K-12 and higher education, and workplace settings. Leaders/working professionals must enhance their skills in eliminating the boundary between work and learning. The Organizational Leadership Studies Concentration prepares leaders/working professionals to systematically transform corporate and nonprofit firms, government organizations, the sports industry, and formal educational settings. The concentration addresses ways leaders interact, make meaning, and collaborate within their organizations and throughout their local and global networks. Leaders/working professionals develop diagnostic skills for assessing learning, leadership, and organizational systems.
- Sports Leadership Specialization – Students have the option to specialize in Sports Leadership within the Organizational Leadership Concentration. Students in this specialization will investigate the impact sports has on a global scale and identify leadership principles to effect positive change in the field of sports. This requires a total of 9 quarter hours.
- Develop a broad understanding of scholarly approaches to education, education reform, and organizational development/leadership
- Learn methods for researching and analyzing critical practice-based issues
- Conduct a doctoral research study that investigates a compelling educational/organizational challenge
The Northeastern Doctor of Education degree is accredited by NECHE, New England Commission of Higher Education.
Lisa R, Current Student
Gina K., Current Student
Doctor Aaron B., Program Graduate
Joan Burkhardt, Program Graduate and Senior Lecturer
- Online application
- Academic transcripts: Official undergraduate and graduate degree documentation
- Admission statement: Respond to both questions separately and stay within the prescribed word limits. The ability to demonstrate clear, succinct, well-reasoned writing is essential.
1. From among the most significant issues in education/organizations today, what specific problem of practice are you interested in investigating during your doctoral study? (1,000 - 1,200 words)
- Describe the problem of practice
- Explain why you want to investigate it
- Provide a strong rationale for the significance of the problem
- Minimum work experience: Three years in a related field
- Professional resume: Must summarize work and education history, include an outline of your educational/academic skills with examples such as research and teaching experience, affiliations, publications, certifications, presentations, and other professional skills.
- Faculty recommendation: Must be from a faculty member in your previous graduate program who can attest to your readiness for doctoral work. If you are no longer acquainted with a faculty member, please choose a professional who can speak of your academic capabilities to engage in doctoral level research and writing. Recommendations should be presented as a letter attached to the general recommendation form.
- Two professional recommendations: Must be from individuals who have either academic or professional knowledge of your capabilities, a supervisor, mentor, or colleague. It is preferred that one letter of recommendation come from your current employer and/or supervisor. Recommendations should be presented as a letter attached to the general recommendation form.
- Proof of English language proficiency: ONLY for students for whom English is not their primary language.
Priority Deadline: November 1, 2018
Final Deadline: December 10, 2018
Priority Deadline: April 3, 2019
Final Deadline: August 1, 2019
60 total quarter hours required. Up to nine quarter hours may be waived based on prior coursework.
Note: A minimum of 51 quarter hours must be taken at the College of Professional Studies.
Required Foundation Courses
Required Research Courses
EDU 7294 (3 q.h.)
Choose one from the following:
Complete 12 quarter hours in the following range: EDU 7000 to EDU 7999
DOCTORAL THESIS COURSES
Note: Students who choose to pursue the international higher education track within the higher education administration concentration should complete (EDU 7260) and (EDU 7261) rather than Financial Decision Making in Higher Education (EDU 7256) and Strategic Management in Higher Education (EDU 7258).
Complete 12 quarter hours in the following range:
Note: Students who choose to pursue the international higher education track within the higher education administration concentration should complete Educating Global Students: Issues and Practices (EDU 7264) as an elective.
Doctoral Thesis Courses
Note: Students who choose to pursue the sports leadership track within the organizational leadership concentration should complete Contemporary Models of Sports Leadership (EDU 7290) rather than Contemporary Models of Leadership (EDU 7275).
Complete 12 quarter hours in the following range:
Note: Students who choose to pursue the sports leadership track within the organizational leadership concentration should complete Personnel Development in Sports Leadership (EDU 7291), Social Justice in Sports (EDU 7292), and Legal and Ethical Issues in Sports Leadership (EDU 7293) as electives.
Doctoral Thesis Courses
The core of the mission of the program is to allow educators to remain in the places they work, focus on a problem of practice and through experiential learning and site-specific research opportunities in the program, make an immediate impact in their professional environments. The program explicitly integrates research and practice for professionals so they develop the requisite skills for conceiving, designing, conducting and producing original site based research in order to affect ethical change related to real-life problems of practice.
International students enrolling in the online EdD program full-time will be provided with an option to satisfy the practicum requirement through participation in XN (https://cps.northeastern.edu/experiential-learning/xn/how-it-works) offered throughout the duration of the program.
Our faculty represents a wide cross-section of professional practices and in fields ranging from finance to education to biomedical science to management to the U.S. military. They serve as mentors and advisors, and collaborate alongside students to solve the most pressing global challenges facing established and emerging markets.
By enrolling in Northeastern, you gain access to a network of more than 245,000 alumni and 3,200+ employer partners, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and global NGOs. Our current students and faculty across strategically located regional campuses further foster that lifelong global community of learning and mentoring.
Below is a look at where our Education & Learning alumni work, the positions they hold, and the skills they bring to their organization.
Where They Work
- Boston Public Schools
- Chicago Public Schools
- NYC Department of Education
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Tufts University
What They Do
- Community and Social Services
- Business Development
- Human Services
What They're Skilled At
- Public Speaking
- Curriculum Development
Learn more about Northeastern Alumni on Linkedin.