To address the dramatically changing landscape of education in the 21st century, which includes new research on the science of learning, advances in technology, and the emergence of a for-profit education sector, the Johns Hopkins School of Education offers an innovative online Doctor of Education degree program. This EdD program is designed to prepare an exceptional corps of educational practitioner-scholars, both nationally and internationally, who can set a high standard for transformational leadership in education, apply evidence-based practices to improve educational outcomes, and meet the vast challenges associated with improving learning outcomes in both public and private educational environments.
At minimum, applicants to the EdD program should hold a master’s degree from an accredited college or university. Previous degrees must document high academic achievement (a minimum GPA of 3.0) in an area of study closely associated with the objectives of the program. If the earned degree or credit is from an educational institution abroad, the candidate’s academic record must be evaluated by a credential evaluation agency before consideration for admission. Applicants must submit the online admission application form, application fee, official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended, a curriculum vitae (résumé), dispositions survey, and three letters of recommendations signed by the recommender. These letters should include at least the following:
- a professor with whom the applicant worked in his/her master's program who can speak to the applicant's competency to conduct rigorous scholarly work, and
- an administrator/colleague from the applicant’s context of professional practice who can attest to
- the applicant's qualifications to pursue a doctorate,
- the applicant's impact on his or her professional practice, and
- knowledge of and support for the applicant's area of research/Problem of Practice.
District support for the applicant's research within his/her context of professional practice is an important component of the admission process. Additionally, applicants will submit a personal statement including responses to the following:
- Describe a significant Problem of Practice relevant to your current context of professional practice.
- Indicate the importance of this problem within the educational landscape as well as the candidate’s context of professional practice.
- Discuss the potential underlying causes for or contributing factors related to this Problem of Practice.
- Discuss the ways in which this problem aligns with your chosen area of specialization.
All applicants who meet the entrance requirements will be scheduled for an interview and asked to submit a written response to a prompt.
International students must fulfill the general requirements for admission and complete additional requirements—see https://education.jhu.edu/admission-financial-aid/admissions/international-applicants/.
Note: This program is not eligible for student visa sponsorship.
Students who enter the program are expected to possess an understanding of introductory research methods topics as evidenced by documented successful completion of a graduate-level introduction to research course. Students who lack this course experience will be required to successfully complete orientation modules prior to enrollment in the program. All students are expected to show competence in the content areas of these modules.
Please note that for the online EdD program, an offer of admission is for the specific cohort to which an application is submitted. Students may accept or decline the admission offer only; deferring to a future cohort is not an option.
Program Structure and Requirements
Program requirements include a minimum of 90 graduate credits. Students must enter the program with a master’s degree with a minimum of 36 graduate-level credits, which will be transferred into the EdD program. If a student does not have the required 36 master’s credits, the student will be admitted on a conditional basis and must complete the additional graduate-level credits at an accredited college or university. Students with post-master’s graduate credit in related education content completed prior to admission to the EdD program may petition to transfer in an additional six credits of equivalent coursework with appropriate documentation and with the approval of the EdD program director. Thus, students must complete between 48 and 54 credits at the doctoral level at JHU. The program includes the following required coursework components:
- Foundations of Education (12 credits + electives)
- Applied Research and Evaluation (12 credit hours)
- Specialization Area (12 credit hours)
- Applied Dissertation (9 credit hours)
In addition to successfully completing all the coursework requirements, candidates must also satisfy written assessments and an oral comprehensive examination that document attainment of competencies and an Applied Dissertation.
Problems of Practice and Applied Dissertation
Students examine a Problem of Practice (POP), which is an area of concern that they have observed within their professional context. This POP becomes the focus of the student's Applied Dissertation research. The Applied Dissertation is embedded within the EdD program coursework, which provides students with a unique opportunity to examine an issue important to the organization in which they are employed. During the first year in the program, students examine their articulated POP to identify underlying causes and associated factors. During the second year of the program, students develop a potential solution, such as an intervention or policy change, and a plan to study the implementation of this intervention as well as proximal outcomes. Students will demonstrate mastery of first- and second-year competencies through written and oral comprehensive assessments, which will serve as indicators of readiness for conducting their applied research. Students will then evaluate the effectiveness of this solution as their Applied Dissertation (Year 3). Characteristics of the Applied Dissertation that make it unique to this program include:
- Written assignments within courses that focus on the student's POP.
- Coursework that leads students to consider solutions that hold the potential for significant change or impact within their organization and/or have implications for policy.
- Dissertation components that are embedded within coursework and distributed across the three years of the program.
Although somewhat different from a traditional dissertation in its completion and focus, students are nevertheless expected to demonstrate mastery of the relevant literature, to obtain extant and/or collect additional data, and to interpret the results in light of previous studies. The dissertation will be presented at a final oral defense before the student’s Dissertation Advisory Committee.
Typically, we expect that students would complete three years of coursework and independent research concurrently. It is possible that some students may need more than three years to complete their research, in which case they will be required to enroll in at least one credit hour per semester after completion of the required 90 credit hours.
Upon successful completion of the EdD, we expect that graduates will:
- Participate in a diverse community of educational practice.
- Contribute to the public discourse on improvement of education.
- Engage in and promote evidence-based practices through the application of rigorous methodology.
- Link high quality education research to policy and practice.
- Provide leadership in their education context by applying advanced theoretical perspectives and rigorous research to problems of practice.
- Develop mutually beneficial partnerships between public and private interests.
- Lead innovative education policy change.
- Implement inclusive and socially just policies, practices, and organizational change processes.