COE: Doctor of Education, Educational Practice (EdD)
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Bridge Theory and Practice with Scholarship

The Doctor of Education in Educational Practice is a doctoral degree intended for practitioners. Areas of study available are the themes around which learning communities are formed. Members of the learning communities advance through the program as a cohort in three to three-and-one-half years. The program is 80 credits, which includes the ability to apply up to 33 credits from your Master’s degree or Education Specialist degree. A Dissertation in Practice (8 credits) is the capstone.

Why Choose the Ed.D.?

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree is a program that prepares practitioners to be leaders who use practical wisdom, professional skills, and knowledge of educational literature to address the high-leverage problems of practice facing their area of education. The program applies an Inquiry as Practice model of scholarship. Graduates gain the ability to use data to inform decision-making and enhance their practice by gathering, organizing, judging, aggregating, and analyzing situations, literature, and data. The intention is to prepare scholarly practitioners in their professional work.

The curriculum of the Doctor of Education degree is intended to prepare practicing professionals to transform both their practice and the field by working in community, just as practitioners collaborate with key stakeholders to address complex problems of practice. Students are admitted to the degree program and simultaneously to a learning community of practice formed around a theme. The learning community and a mentor team of faculty and practitioners stay together and work together throughout the program by meeting in a learning community seminar every semester. The skills to work collaboratively to develop, test, and advance innovative solutions to high-leverage problems of practice are fostered throughout the program.

In addition to the thematic learning community of practice format, the curriculum features Laboratories of Practice and a Dissertation in Practice as culminating activities. The Laboratories of Practice take the doctoral studies away from the University campus and to a context where theory, inquiry, and practice can intersect and the implementation of practice can be measured. The Dissertation in Practice allows the learning community to address a high leverage problem of practice through collaborative and connected work beyond what a single individual could do alone. Individuals contribute work that feeds into group work. The Dissertation of Practice is characterized by generative impact.

The University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Education is a member of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate, a national group of over fifty universities re-designing and re-orienting the Doctor of Education degree as a program distinct from Doctor of Philosophy in Education degree programs. Our program reflects our commitment to the work of the Carnegie Project and its guiding principles.

The Doctor of Education degree builds upon your previous Master’s and / or Education Specialist degrees with continuous learning community seminars, core courses reflecting the Carnegie Project guiding principles, and community-based inquiry and tool courses. The program is 80 credits, which includes the ability to apply up to 33 credits from your Master’s degree or Education Specialist degree. A Dissertation in Practice (8 credits) is the capstone. The program is completed in three to three-and-a-half years.

Student Support Specialist:

Alexandra Gresick

203 Education Administration Building (EAB)
(314) 516-5107



Slide 1 EdD alumnae break new ground with innovative social studies curricula
Chelsea Witwer and Julia Wilkins earned the EdD Dissertation of the Year award from the UMSL College of Education. Their co-authored research examined power structures and their effects on the populace. (Photo by August Jennewein)
Slide 2 Doctoral students apply UMSL education to roles as charter school administrators
Sarah Ranney (left) and Susan Marino use their EdD coursework to help inform administration of the UMSL-sponsored public charter school Lafayette Preparatory Academy, where Marino is executive director and Ranney is head of school. (Photos by August Jennewein)
Slide 3 Heritage Leadership Program Draws Crowd from Across the Country and Around the Globe
That concept of empowerment – of using leadership as a mechanism for encouraging others to engage and grow and thrive – was a theme often returned to by many members of the cohort as they introduced themselves and shared their research interests over the course of the week.

 Students seeking the Ed.D. degree are expected to meet the Graduate School’s relevant practitioner doctoral degree requirements and procedures.

Degree requirements

1. Learning Community of Practice Seminars15-20
EDUC 7600
Learning Community of Practice I
EDUC 7610
Learning Community of Practice II
EDUC 7620
Learning Community of Practice III
EDUC 7630
Learning Community of Practice IV
EDUC 7640
Learning Community of Practice V
EDUC 7650
Learning Community of Practice VI
2. Laboratory of Practice
EDUC 7889Laboratory of Practice3
3. Required Common Courses
EDUC 7215Data Analysis for Educational Practitioners1
EDUC 7395Research Proposal Development for Educational Practitioners1
EDUC 7605Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Educational Practice2
EDUC 7615Evaluation of Educational Programs2
EDUC 7625Building Socially Just and Ethical Educational Communities2
EDUC 7710Research Methods and Design for Educational Practitioners3
ED REM 7781Qualitative Methods in Educational Research I3
4. Tools Courses
EDUC 7310Integrating Technology in Learning for Educational1
EDUC 7325Grant Writing for Educational Practitioners1
5. Specialization30-60
Courses in an area of specialization (can include Master’s or Education Specialist work)
6. Dissertation in Practice
EDUC 7998Dissertation in Practice Research8

 Total: minimum 80 hours, post-bacclaureate