Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) Requirements

Credit Requirements

The minimum credit requirement for the Ed.D. degree is 100 credits in graduate work beyond the baccalaureate degree. All course work must be completed in accordance with the academic requirements of the College and the Graduate School.



At least one full year of course work, i.e., 30 credits of course work beyond the master's degree, must be taken in residence at Wayne State University. This may include work in research techniques, but does not include dissertation research credit.


The Ed.D. program requires the completion of 6 graduate credits in regular course work in each of two successive semesters after admission as an Ed.D. applicant. The residence requirement must be completed following admission to the Ed.D. program.


All degree requirements must be completed within seven years from the time of admission as a doctoral applicant.


Doctoral Seminars

Students must elect two doctoral seminars from an area outside the field of concentration and are open only to doctoral students from the following foundation areas:

  • Educational Administration
  • Educational Psychology
  • Educational Sociology
  • History and Philosophy of Education
  • Curriculum and Instruction

Research Methods

A minimum of 11 credits (depending on major area) is required in course work, approved by the College's Doctoral Academic Standards Committee, aimed at developing competence in statistics and research methodologies. At least 6 credits of the minimum requirement will consist of a comprehensive course in evaluation and statistics and an advanced course in research methodology and experimental designs. The remaining 5 credits will include research electives appropriate to the needs of the student, department research seminars, internships in research, or any combination thereof.



A minimum of 30 credits is required in the student's area of concentration. The courses constituting the major will be specified by the department in which the student selects the concentration. Course work in the field of concentration is not restricted to courses offered by the College of Education.



A cognate in professional education or in a single field consisting of a minimum of 12 credits, is required. Courses included in the cognate will be selected by the student and adviser in conjunction with the cognate field committee member.



The doctoral student is required to submit a dissertation on a topic satisfactory to the doctoral committee.  20 credits are required in dissertation research (ED 9989).



May be chosen from the foundations of education, non-dissertation research techniques, or any course work the applicant and adviser consider appropriate to the student's individual program.


A Plan of Work

Must be filed and approved by the adviser and graduate officer during the semester in which the student is completing 18 credits of work under advisement. Failure to file a Plan of Work may preclude further registration.


Final Written and Oral Examinations

In the major field of concentration and the cognate in professional education or a subject field will be required. The exact time of these examinations are determined by the Doctoral Academic Standards Committee. Students will register for the examinations with adviser approval. The Qualifying Examination Committee will consist of a minimum of three members:

  • The adviser
  • One member representing the area of the concentration
  • One member representing the area of the cognate.

When performance on a final examination is unsatisfactory, the student may request a re-examination which must be taken within one year of the date of the examination and after one semester has elapsed since the examination. The second examination shall be considered final.


A Final Oral Examination

On the dissertation is conducted by the student's doctoral committee under the auspices of the Education Graduate Office.


Selection of Adviser and Dissertation Advisory Committee

Students will be assigned an adviser at the time of admission. The adviser acts as the chairperson of the student's doctoral committee, which will consist of a minimum of three members:

  • Adviser
  • One member representing the area of the concentration
  • One member outside of the concentration area.

The committee must be fully constituted not later than the time the student begins active work on dissertation research or project. The main function of the doctoral committee is to advise the student in research activities and to administer the final defense. The dissertation committee chair assumes the responsibility for overseeing the procedures of the dissertation defense, serving as the advocate for the student and resolving conflicts.

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