How Do I Get a Doctor of Education Degree?

Marlene Garcia

A bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in education must be earned before obtaining a doctor of education degree for work in administration or research. Before applying to a doctor of education program, a student should determine his or her career goals to ensure the correct course of study. Doctor of education courses might focus on leadership opportunities, policy making, research, counseling, or teaching.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

Both a doctorate in education (Ed.D.) and doctorate in philosophy (Ph.D.) might be used in the field of education. An Ed.D. generally permits teaching at the university level and leading a school system. Students who intend to conduct research into education methods might choose to earn a Ph.D. Graduate school courses under a Ph.D. program typically include sociology, psychology, economics, and politics.

Some universities offer a doctorate of education leadership (Ed.L.D.) degree, which might be suitable to manage organizations that set educational policy. These students typically learn how politics and education policy intertwine, and how change evolves. They also typically study the psychology of leadership and how to work effectively with educational employee associations.

After earning a doctorate, career opportunities might be available in government agencies that develop standard educational policy for public schools. A Ph.D. graduate might also seek a job as the chief executive officer of organizations that advise policy makers. Usually, a license is required to become an administrator in the region where a graduate plans to work.

Before getting a doctor of education degree, the student should check prerequisites at an accredited university or online school. Admission requirements might vary, but typically include completion of a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree. Some experience in the field of education might also be necessary, along with passing admission exams.

Many universities want letters of recommendation and transcripts during the application process. Students might be required to maintain minimum grade point averages during the doctor of education program, with periodic testing to assess their progress. A dissertation based on research represents another component of earning a doctor of education degree. Some colleges include a one-year internship during the final year of study.

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