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Washington State University
College of Education

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) Curriculum

Program requirements, schedule and time to completion

  • The program requires a minimum of 72 semester credits which includes 42 credits of graded coursework (14 classes).
  • Upon completion of graded coursework, students must successfully pass a Preliminary Exam before advancing to candidacy for the Ed.D. degree. The exam is designed to assess knowledge the student has gained while completing coursework, and it is a measure for determining whether the student is adequately prepared to complete the dissertation.

The program is designed as a part-time program for working professionals. During the fall and spring semesters, courses are offered one night per week (per class) in the evening from 5:45 – 8:30 p.m. Summer classes (required) are typically taught using a hybrid schedule, which would include a combination of videoconference class sessions, online activities, and one or more face-to-face weekend sessions on a WSU campus.

Students enrolled in two classes each semester will finish the coursework portion of their program in two and a half years. Students making continual progress could complete the degree in four years, though it is common for students balancing educational, professional, and personal demands to finish in four to five years. The maximum time to complete is 10 years.

Sample Ed.D. Program of Study Planning Sheet
  • ED_AD 501: Philosophy of Education
  • ED_AD 503: Values and Ethics in Education
  • ED_AD 512: Leadership Studies for Social Justice
  • ED_AD 521: Leadership Theory
  • ED_AD 522: Race, Identity, and Representation in Education
  • ED_AD 539: Applied Research for Educational Leaders
  • ED_AD 561: Intro to College Student Development
  • ED_AD 580: Organizational Theory
  • ED_AD 582: Policy in Education
  • ED_AD 591: Action Research
  • ED_AD 800: Preliminary Exam, Dissertation Proposal, Dissertation Defense
  • ED_PSY 508: Educational Statistics
  • ED_RES 563: Principles of Research
  • ED_RES 564: Quality Research
  • TCH_LRN 577: Curriculum Theory

View Sample Ed.D. Program of Study Planning Sheet


More information about program milestones can be found in the program handbook (PDF)