Northeastern University



Name of CPED-Influenced Program: Northeastern University Doctor of Education

Program Description: 

The Doctor of Education program at Northeastern University prepares experienced professionals to engage in scholarly activity and use innovative approaches of inquiry to effect change in their organizations and society.


Stage in Redesign Process: Experienced with Graduates

Signature Pedagogy: 
Online with two on ground residency requirements
Laboratories of Practice:
Students professional work settings
Doctoral Thesis
Description of each year of the Program: 

This is dependent on whether a student is enrolled full time or part time.  

Student move through their coursework in the first 2-3 years, then work with their advisor to finalize and defend their proposal, move into data collection and complete their thesis in the final phase of their work.  

Program Milestones: 
  • Completion of coursework
  • Defense of doctoral thesis proposal
  • Defense of doctoral thesis
Admission Requirements: 
  • Online application
  • Academic transcripts: Official undergraduate and graduate degree documentation
  • Admission statement: Respond to both questions separately and stay within the prescribed word limits. The ability to demonstrate clear, succinct, well-reasoned writing is essential.

    1. From among the most significant issues in education/organizations today, what specific problem of practice are you interested in investigating during your doctoral study? (1,000 - 1,200 words)
    • Describe the problem of practice
    • Explain why you want to investigate it
    • Provide a strong rationale for the significance of the problem

    2. How have your previous research, work, and life experiences prepared you for the Northeastern University doctoral program in education? (300 - 400 words)

  • Minimum work experience: Three years in a related field
  • Professional resume: Must summarize work and education history, include an outline of your educational/academic skills with examples such as research and teaching experience, affiliations, publications, certifications, presentations, and other professional skills.
  • Faculty recommendation: Must be from a faculty member in your previous graduate program who can attest to your readiness for doctoral work. If you are no longer acquainted with a faculty member, please choose a professional who can speak of your academic capabilities to engage in doctoral level research and writing. Recommendations should be presented as a letter attached to the general recommendation form.
  • Two professional recommendations: Must be from individuals who have either academic or professional knowledge of your capabilities, a supervisor, mentor, or colleague. It is preferred that one letter of recommendation come from your current employer and/or supervisor. Recommendations should be presented as a letter attached to the general recommendation form.
  • Proof of English language proficiency: ONLY for students for whom English is not their primary language: English language proficiency guidelines
Core Courses:

7209 Introduction to Doctoral Studies
7202 Transforming Human Systems
7214 Learning and Human Development
7210 Leadership Theory and Research

Research Series Description:

The research series builds upon prior experience with research in the foundation and concentration courses.  The specific components of research that students focus on in the three course series include: problem, significance and positionality statements, theoretical framework, paradigms, research questions, literature review and methodology. The outcome of the three courses is a draft of the students’ thesis proposal and/or the skills to complete a draft when they move into the thesis phase of the program.

Students also analyze qualitative and quantitative research so they are able to access and be critical of the literature that uses both methodologies to inform their practice.  Students are also expected to locate and synthesize a breath of literature that demonstrates their knowledge of a wide range of literature including scholarly, peer reviewed articles in which their problems of practice are situated.  Again, this requires the ability to analyze qualitative, quantitative and mixed method research.  

7280 Fundamentals of Research

7281 Research Design

7283 Proposal Development


Curriculum, Teaching, Learning, and Leadership

For educational leaders looking to bring change and social justice to the educational process, this concentration explores the ways curriculum can enhance learning opportunities at all ages.

Social Justice and Educational Equity: Investigating and Changing the P-12 Context 3 q.h.
EDU 7217 Educational Systems: The Dynamics between Policy, Values, and Practice 3 q.h.
EDU 7213 Education Entrepreneurship  3 q.h. 
EDU 7242 Situated Leadership 3 q.h.
EDU 7244 Curriculum Theory and Practice


Higher Education Administration

Study administration theory and practice for a variety of post-secondary education settings, including community and four-year colleges, for-profit organizations, and research institutions.

EDU 7204    Global and Historical Perspectives in Higher Education 3 q.h.
EDU 7250    Organizational Systems and Institutional Governance 3 q.h.
EDU 7253 The Legal Environment of Higher Education 3 q.h.
EDU 7256 Financial Decision Making in Higher Education 3 q.h.
EDU 7258 Strategic Management in Higher Education 3.q.h.
Organizational Leadership Studies

Learn strategies for advancing personal leadership skills and directing change in education, government, military, non-profit, management consulting, and enterprise organizations.

EDU 7277 Organizational Learning and Systems Thinking 3 q.h.
EDU 7272 Global Perspectives of Organizational Culture 3 q.h.
EDU 7276 Organizational Communication: Institutional and Global Perspectives 3 q.h.
EDU 7275 Contemporary Models of Leadership 3 q.h.
EDU 7278 Organizational Theory and Design 3 q.h.
  • General Information:
    • Program Delivery: Online
    • Types of employment students hold upon entering the program: Our students come from a wide variety of professional fields.  These are a handful of examples:Higher Education Administration,K-12 Administration (Building and Central Office, Faculty,Teacher,Military, Non-Profit, For-Profit, Management Consultant,Professional Speaker,Organizational Development Consultant, Healthcare Professionals
    • Student : Faculty Ratio (Courses): 25:1
    • Student : Faculty Ratio (Advising): 20:1
    • Typical bachelors degrees held by students upon entering the program: There is no "typical" bachelors degree.  Our students bring a wide variety of backgrounds to the program.
    • Typical masters degrees held by students upon entering the program: Master's of Education,Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Business Administration 
    • Number of credits in the program (beyond the Masters): 60
    • Professional qualifications required of prospective students: At least three years of full time professional experience.
    • Length of Program: 4-5 years
    • Are most students part time or full time?: full time
    • Admissions Cycle: Students are admitted in the fall (September) and winter (January) quarters.
    • What competencies and/or attributes best characterize graduates of your program?: Students develop a plan of study that applies to their own experience. While they come from different backgrounds and locations, our doctoral students are all striving to enact change in society — actively working to solve today’s most demanding educational challenges.
    • Financial aid available to students: Yes, for those enrolled full time.  Federal aid or grants only, no scholarships or assistantships available.
    Does your dissertation process take into account impact or potential impact on the field? If so, can you measure the impact?: Yes, students reflect on and present the implications for practice in chapter 5 of their doctoral thesis.  No, we do not have a measure to follow graduates to measure the impact of their work.  However, anecdotal evidence from current students and graduates attests to the significant impact their research has on their practice and/or organization.