Concentrations and Curriculum

Doctor of Education Students
Our 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. Most students take two classes per quarter in a mix of foundations, research methods, electives, and classes from their chosen concentration. Students enroll in the thesis seminar to work on their doctoral thesis after fulfilling their course requirements.

Foundation Classes

In the foundation classes, students develop a background in the education literature and begin to identify a research problem for their doctoral thesis. These classes provide an overview of scholarly thinking and research on learning, leadership, and change in the context of practice. The following classes are required:

EDU 7209 Introduction to Doctoral Studies*
EDU 7202 Transforming Human Systems
EDU 7214 Changing Conceptions of Learning and Human Development: Research and Practice
EDU 7210 Leadership Theory and Research
*Must be taken in the first quarter

Research Methods

These classes will teach students the advanced data analysis methods necessary for doctoral-level research and help them develop skills to apply that research in their practice. The following classes are required:

EDU 7280 Fundamentals of Research 
EDU 7281 Research Design
EDU 7282 Proposal Development (Quantitative) or EDU 7283 Proposal Development (Qualitative)

Concentration Courses

Students choose one of three areas to focus their studies:

Students will complete foundation classes before beginning studies in their concentration. Need help choosing a concentration?

Elective Courses

Students are encouraged to further customize their curriculum in the program by choosing four electives in their area of interest. Across all concentrations, over ten elective courses are offered. 

For students who are interested in faith-based educational leadership, three elective courses are offered in the field. These three courses can be taken as a suite and replace concentration-level course requirements. 

Doctoral Thesis Seminar

A series of four seminar courses is reserved for pursuing independent study on the doctoral thesis. Students enroll in EDU 8796, EDU 8797, EDU 8798, and EDU 8799 during their final phase of the doctoral program, after a faculty advisory committee approves their research plans.

What does it look like to be a Doctor of Education student? View a sample curriculum timeline.