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Doctor of Education

Mary Alice Heushel

As a university with a reputation for serving students, families, and communities, SPU offers a Doctor of Education degree (EdD) designed to prepare educators for a variety of leadership positions in the P–12 educational system. Teaching in the EdD program is practical, and applicable to current P–12 school issues, such as models of leadership, organizational systems, ethical decision-making, school change, and educational policy.

Who Should Pursue This Degree

If you want to become a superintendent or a district office administrator, then this program is for you. Or, if you’re interested in other education-related careers, such as nonprofit and higher education administration, the EdD program can help you achieve your goals.

Designed for working professionals, the EdD program offers most classes on weekday evenings (usually 4:30–7:05 p.m.) and on some Saturdays. In summer, classes may be offered during the day.

Areas of Specialization

The EdD program encourages you to develop an expertise appropriate to your professional and academic goals. Areas of specialization include educational leadership, curriculum and instruction, literacy, educational technology, special education, and a self-designed program. Earning certification as a superintendent, program administrator, or school counselor can be accomplished while working on the doctoral degree.


In order to maximize your experience preparing for a leadership position in education, Seattle Pacific’s EdD program:

  • Offers relevant educational theory and practice to students seeking school leadership certificates (such as superintendent, program administrator, or ESA (School Counseling) certificates).
  • Focuses on research that has immediate value and also meets the needs of school leaders.
  • Aligns its curriculum for school leaders (both degree and certification) with best practices at regional competitors and exemplary national programs.
  • Makes clear distinctions between an empirical, research-focused degree (PhD) and a practitioner (EdD) degree. To accomplish this, SPU now offers a PhD in Education in addition to its longstanding EdD.

Program Outline

The program outline includes a description of program components, program schedule, course requirements, suggested course sequence, and prerequisite coursework. The official degree requirements for this graduate program are stated in the SPU Graduate Catalog in effect when you are accepted to this program.

Admission Information

What is required for admission to the EdD program? Find information about admission requirements and procedures. The official admissions requirements for this graduate program are stated in the SPU Graduate Catalog in effect when you are accepted to this program.

Did You Know?

You can now earn your EdD and Superintendent Certification at SPU in just three years — instead of the typical four to five years. The new program combines best leadership practices with effective use of educational policy and research.

Andrew Lumpe

Why I Teach at SPU

Andrew Lumpe, Professor, Associate Dean of Graduate Programs, Director of Doctoral Programs

"I teach at SPU because it possesses an exceptional reputation for developing outstanding educators who serve in a variety of school settings. At SPU, we can freely explore the intersection between theory and practice while focusing on the moral imperative to help all children learn."

Cindy Strong

Searching for Research Resources?

Doctoral students: Cindy Strong, the School of Education’s library liaison, is glad to meet with you to discuss research interests, explain recent changes in the library search system, and point out library resources. Contact her at