Admissions The Loop Academics Grad Student Resources Grad Student News and Updates

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Time Schedule
Course Descriptions
<<Back to Previous Page




Doctor of Education (EdD)

Peterson Hall

The Doctor of Education (EdD) program is a 90-quarter credit, post-master's interdepartmental degree offered by the SPU School of Education. The program serves school practitioners who are primarily interested in preparing for a variety of leadership positions in educational systems, including superintendent, district office, school counseling, and other areas.

In addition, the program also serves students interested in other related careers in education, including nonprofit and higher-education administration, and other education-related professions. It can be tailored to meet varied professional needs and interests. This degree is for active professionals interested in leadership positions in all fields and levels of education.


Using the educational benefits of collaborative and cooperative learning combined with continued professional association, the program uses a cohort approach for core doctoral classes. Once admitted to the program, students proceed though these cohort courses as a group, following a defined schedule and sequence.

Because this is an interdepartmental degree, you will select courses and learning experiences with the assistance of the director of doctoral studies, from a variety of areas and opportunities in the School of Education, or from other schools within Seattle Pacific University (subject to approval by the School of Education Doctoral Committee).


The specialization/elective component provides you with the opportunity to develop an area of expertise appropriate to your professional and academic goals. Areas of specialization include the following:

  • Superintendent certification
  • Principal certification
  • Program administrator certification
  • Curriculum and instruction
  • Global education
  • Literacy education
  • Educational technology
  • Educational leadership
  • School counseling
  • Special education
  • Self-designed specialization

Earning Washington State certification as a superintendent, principal, program administrator, or school counselor is possible as an area of specialization while working on the EdD degree.


Depending on your educational background, the following prerequisites may be required for the doctoral degree:

  • EDU 7300 Introduction to Educational Research and Statistics
  • EDU 6975 Interpreting and Applying Educational Research I
  • EDU 6976 Interpreting and Applying Educational Research II
  • EDU 6655 Human Development & Principles of Learning
  • EDU 6524 Curriculum Design
  • EDU 6526 Survey of Instructional Strategies
  • EDU 6613 Standards-Based Assessment


After approximately one year of coursework, or 24 credits, you may register for EDU 7990 Leadership Colloquium. This requires you to write a scholarly paper and present that paper in a formal setting to the educational community.

Graduate faculty of the School of Education conduct an evaluation of the scholarship and colloquium. The Leadership Colloquium must be taken before you can take the Comprehensive Exams.

Upon completion of all courses, you must pass three written Comprehensive Examinations. These examinations will cover the foundations, professional and research components of the Core, and your area of specialization. Successful completion of the comprehensive examination advances you to the doctoral candidacy.


Under the direction of a faculty dissertation advisor and committee, you will complete a Dissertation project during the final phase of the degree program. The Dissertation is designed to integrate theories and tools learned throughout the program, and should demonstrate mastery of concepts and methods. As a final demonstration of scholarly competence, you will prepare a written dissertation report and conduct an oral presentation/defense.

The Dissertation requirement may be demonstrated by a study of an educational problem such as curriculum evaluation, development and evaluation of administrative models, field testing of a diagnostic tool or curricular material, or development and evaluation of educator training models. It may also take the traditional form of a research study. You are encouraged to take additional research courses linked to the your specific dissertation methods and design.

You will choose problems of practice originating from external practitioners and policymakers, generated through the suggestion and review of faculty members. External practitioners may include school districts, educational service districts (ESDs), universities, state agencies, and research groups.


Because the doctoral program requires considerable faculty time and resources, a limited number of students will be admitted to the program each year. It is expected that all applicants will have at least a bachelor's degree (requiring 135 credits for the doctorate) or a master's degree (requiring 90 credits for the doctorate) from a regionally accredited college or university.

Submit the following items to The Graduate Center to be considered for admissions:

  • A doctoral application.
  • A $50 processing fee. Make checks payable to "Seattle Pacific University."
  • Official transcripts documenting excellent undergraduate and graduate GPAs.
  • Academic degree(s) in education or related field from an accredited university.
  • Minimum of three years successful experience as an educator.
  • GRE-Revised Test score (preferred minimum combined score of 299/51st percentile GRE-Revised on verbal + quantitative or 1100 on old GRE test) taken within five years of application.  A Miller Analogies Test score (preferred minimum scaled score of 400) taken within five years of application may be substituted.
  • Four letters of recommendation (two academic and two professional).
  • Personal statement — including goals and proposed area of study (no more than 500 words).
  • Personal interview with at least two SPU core doctoral faculty members.

Cohort classes begin each summer. Screening applicants for admission is an ongoing process and students may be admitted to the program throughout the year in order to begin needed prerequisites, foundations, and elective courses.


At the time of admission, you may transfer up to 15 post-master's degree credits into the doctoral program with the approval of the director of doctoral studies. Courses transferred must be graduate level, from a regionally accredited institution and relevant to the course of doctoral study.

The courses must have been taken within the three years prior to admission and must have been part of a planned program leading to a graduate degree or a professional certificate. Courses with grades below a 3.0 ("B"), or those receiving "pass" or "satisfactory" grades cannot transfer into the program.

Finally, transferred classes may be substituted for degree requirements if you can document in writing that the courses are comparable to required courses offered through SPU. Modifications to these transfer policies may be made at the discretion of the director of doctoral studies in consultation with the Doctoral Admissions Committee.


Students must be continuously enrolled (all four terms) in required SPU courses to earn the doctoral degree or until the student is officially withdrawn from the program. Exceptions to continuous enrollment must be approved by the Director of Doctoral Studies.

A student who decides to no longer actively pursue a doctoral degree may officially withdraw from the program and the university by notifying the director of doctoral studies ( and the graduate programs manager (

A student may be granted a leave of absence for up to four quarters by the school dean or Director of Doctoral Studies. Once the leave of absence has expired, the student will either enroll in doctoral coursework or be dropped from the program.

SPU's Student Academic Services (SAS) requires continuous enrollment to remain admitted in a doctoral program. After four quarters of non-enrollment, students will be placed in “inactive status” and will need to reapply for admission.

During dissertation work, students must enroll in dissertation credits every quarter until the degree is completed.


A 3.2 overall GPA is required for graduation.


You must complete all requirements for the doctoral degree within five years from the quarter the first post-admission course was taken. Students needing more than five years to complete the degree must file a time-extension petition with the director of doctoral studies.


Ted Hiemstra
Associate Director of Graduate Admissions

Seattle Pacific University
3307 Third Avenue West, Suite 111
Seattle, WA 98119-1922


<< Back to 2014-15 Graduate Catalog Home


2014-15 Graduate Time Schedule | Academic Calendar | Graduate Homepage

Older Editions of the Graduate Catalog
2006-2007 | 2005-2006 | 2004-2005 | 2003-2004 | 2002-2003