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School of Education Doctoral Programs

Students in class

The School of Education at Seattle Pacific University offers doctoral programs for professionals interested in leadership and teaching positions in all fields and levels of education. The research-focused PhD program and the practitioner EdD program will prepare you to meet the needs of today's schools and communities. If you want to earn a doctorate in order to make a positive difference in the lives of children and families, SPU offers a program for you.


What distinguishes SPU's doctoral programs?

  • Designed for full-time working educators
  • Cohort-based programs with small classes, personalized instruction, and a sense of community
  • Expert faculty with a desire to help students succeed
  • Opportunities for involvement in undergraduate and graduate programming at SPU
  • Focus on educational research, theory, and practice applicable to current needs of schools
  • Clear differentiation between empirical, research-focused degree (PhD) and practitioner degree (EdD)
  • Writing workshops to support the dissertation writing process at every stage
  • Flexible learning providing the benefits of both online learning and face to face courses


Education (EdD)

The Doctor of Education (EdD) at SPU is a degree program for school leaders and educators who want to develop as practitioners. It is designed to prepare you for a variety of leadership positions, such as superintendent or district office administrator, in the P–12 educational system.

Education (PhD)

SPU's PhD in Education is a degree program for educators who want to develop as scholar-teachers. It is designed to prepare you to become a college- or university-level educator capable of both teaching and conducting publishable research.

Core Doctoral Program

All doctoral students in the School of Education, regardless of their terminal degree, take the same foundation courses, including a Leadership Colloquium. These core classes are designed to develop leadership by focusing on knowledge applicable to all fields and levels of education. Students will then begin their individual course sequences and specializations, which culminate in comprehensive exams and a dissertation. The schedule and requirements are described in more detail under each degree.

Faculty Chair

Munyi Shea

Professor of Counselor Education; Director of Doctoral Programs
PhD, Columbia University

Phone: 206-281-2369
Office: Peterson Hall 310

Lane Seeley and students

Educational Leadership Programs

SPU has graduate-degree and certification programs for every level of leadership in a school district. Designed for working professionals, these programs offer world-class academics, flexibility, and more.

Lindsay O

Learning While Teaching

Lindsay O’Neal challenges her students to think intentionally about their goals and dreams. “I decided to follow my own advice,” she says, “and go back to school.” Now the Federal Way High School teacher is a PhD student at SPU.


Graduate Admissions

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Because your needs are specific to fit your career, our graduate programs are not “one size fits all.” Graduate Admissions is your source for information on all SPU graduate programs, as well as admissions and events.