North Dakota State University

Name of CPED-Influenced Program: EdD in Education

Key Contact Person:
Chris M. Ray, PhD
Associate Professor

(701) 231-7417

Program Description: 

The EdD program in Education at NDSU is a 60-hour post-Master’s program, which typically takes 4 to 5 years to complete. The program consists of 15 hours of Program Core courses, 15 hours of Disciplined Inquiry courses, 6-9 hours of Option Area Core courses, 12 hours of Professional Emphasis courses, and 12 hours of Dissertation. Students typically take 2 courses per semester, though students are able to adjust the number of courses according to their schedule.

The program is intended for working professionals who have interest and potential in the field of education, particularly in the areas of Institutional Analysis or Occupational & Adult Education. The program is offered primarily in the evenings with a few courses occurring on the weekends, and is available both locally and at a distance using an Interactive Video Network (IVN) system.  The program does not have a residency requirement.

Stage in Redesign Process:  Design & Development
Program Link:

Signature Pedagogy: 

A signature pedagogy/andragogy is currently under development, but principles of adult learning generally guide teaching practice.

Laboratories of Practice: 

Laboratories of practice are currently under development, with most students currently utilizing places of employment as a laboratory.


Students complete an original research project in the form of a doctoral dissertation. This dissertation seeks to advance knowledge through the application of theory related to the student’s major field. An Ed.D. dissertation at NDSU is application-oriented and aims to design a project that utilizes current research to inform practice and create a bridge between theory and practice, as well as contribute to knowledge in the field. Upon successful completion of the comprehensive examination process, students are required to complete at least twelve (12) hours of independent dissertation research. The student’s advisor and committee will support and mentor students through this process.

Description of each year of the Program: 

The EdD requires 90 hours post-baccalaureate, up to 30 hours of which are typically accepted from master’s programs. Thus, student complete 60 hours toward their doctorate, 12 of which consist of the capstone project (doctoral dissertation). During the first year, students complete foundational courses (foundations of scholarship, foundations of education, and foundations of inquiry) as well begin inquiry and professional courses. Most students take 6 hours per semester, including summers, and the course schedule is arranged such that students take one inquiry course and one professional course per semester. Students typically complete the capstone course in the spring of their third year and take comprehensive exams in the following summer or fall, with their dissertation beginning in the fall of their fourth year.

Core Courses:

     EDUC 706   Foundations of Doctoral Scholarship

     EDUC 708   Philosophical Foundations of Education

     EDUC 723   Diversity and Educational Policy   OR   EDUC 717   International & Comparative Education

     EDUC 790   Capstone Seminar

Research Courses:

All students in the Ed.D. program, regardless of option area, complete the following inquiry coursework:

     EDUC 707   Foundations of Educational Research

     EDUC 749   Case-Based Educational Research and Statistics

     EDUC 773   Introduction to Qualitative Research

     EDUC 745   Program Evaluation

     EDUC 779   Survey Research

This sequence is intended to provide a breadth and depth of disciplined inquiry necessary to critique and conduct inquiry as a scholarly practitioner.


Institutional Analysis students complete the following core courses:

     EDUC 746   Institutional Quality Control

     EDUC 721   Assessment Techniques for Educational Institutions

     EDUC 756   Strategic Planning for Institutional Improvement

     EDUC 725   Institutional Analysis Techniques

Occupational and Adult Education students complete the following core courses:

     EDUC 717   Adult Learning

     EDUC 754   Foundations of Occupational and Adult Education

     EDUC 764   Instructional Methods for Adult Learners

 Finally, students complete additional coursework appropriate to their area of focus (e.g. P12 education, post-secondary education, training & development, etc.)

Program Milestones: 
  • Orientation Course (Foundations of Scholarship) – Taken during the first semester;
  • Capstone Course – Taken after all other coursework completed;
  • Candidacy Paper and Oral Examination – Taken after capstone course;
  • Dissertation Proposal – Completed after comprehensive exams;
  • Dissertation Pre-Defense (Chapter 4 Meeting);
  • Dissertation Oral Defense

Admission Requirements:

Graduate School Application
Statement of Purpose
3 Reference Letters
All Academic Transcripts
TOEFL score for non-native English speakers

General Information:
  • Program Delivery: On Campus
  • Average number of students admitted into the EdD program each year: 6
  • Types of employment students hold upon entering the program: P-12 teachers and administrators; Faculty at regional institutions; Student affairs professional staff at local and regional institutions
  • Student:Faculty Ratio (Courses): 10:1
  • Student:Faculty Ratio (Advising): 15:1
  • Typical bachelors degrees held by students upon entering the program: Varies, especially within Occupational and Adult Education option area.
  • Typical masters degrees held by students upon entering the program: Varies, especially within Occupational and Adult Education option area.
  • Number of credits in the program (beyond the Masters): 65
  • Length of Program: 4-5 years
  • Percentage of students that graduate on time: ~50%
  • Are most students part time or full time?: full time
  • Admissions Cycle: Applications are due February 1st each year, with the new cohort typically beginning classes in the following summer semester.
  • Financial aid available to students: All doctoral who have an approved plan of study qualify for a 3-hour tuition waiver every semester, including summers. Additionally, many student qualify for an additional waiver of 9 hours per year as employees of the North Dakota University System.
  • Average number of students enrolled in each cohort: 6 Ed.D. (15 including Ph.D.)
  • Total number of faculty: 6
  • Graduation Rate: ~80%
  • Attrition Rate: ~20%
  • Current PK-20 Practitioner: 0
  • Former PK-20 Practitioner, Current University Faculty: 0
  • Current University Faculty: 6
  • Former University Faculty, Current PK-20 Practitioner: 0
  • University faculty from discipline outside of education: 0
  • Does your dissertation process take into account impact or potential impact on the field? If so, can you measure the impact?: Not yet - we haven't yet redeveloped our dissertation process, though that is scheduled to occur within the next six months.
Design Process:
Did practitioners advise on the program design process? How so?: 

We currently utilize an advisory board consisting of practitioners in positions related to our program option areas. When curricular changes are proposed, we visit with the advisory board prior to implementation for suggestions and feedback. We also discuss other areas for curricular improvement as identified by the advisory board.

How long was the design process?: On-going (primarily since fall 2010)

Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED)
Headquartered @ The University of Pittsburgh School of Education
4318 Posvar Hall - 230 S. Bouquet Street - Pittsburgh, PA 15260   +1 (412) 648-7428