Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Admissions Questions

General Questions

What type of doctoral program is Seattle University Doctorate in Educational Leadership?

The Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership (EDLR) is a Doctor of Education (EdD). Return to top

What is the difference between a Doctor of Education (EdD) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Educational Leadership?

An EdD is Doctor of Education, and a PhD. is Doctor of Philosophy. The theoretical distinction between the two degrees has always been that the PhD is research-oriented, whereas the EdD has been directed towards educational practice and the application of theory and research. They are both the highest degree in that particular discipline. A PhD and an EdD are only different in content, not respect.  

For more information, check out this video on The EdD vs. the PhD on The Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate's website of which the Educational Leadership program at SU is a part of. Return to top

Does this program cater to working individuals?

The program, while rigorous, is planned to meet the needs of working professionals.  During the first two years, students typically take classes on evenings and all day Saturday, once a month. Because of the infrequency of classes, attendance is mandatory. During the third year, students work in teams on a thematic doctoral dissertation under the guidance of a faculty committee. Students should also expect to do extensive reading and research outside of class meeting times. Return to top

What is the advantage of a cohort-based program?

Cohort-based learning offers support to candidates, and provides opportunities for members to learn from one another. Students within a cohort are given the chance to establish professional ties that often last beyond the completion of the program, and are important to their continued professional support and growth. Cohort members will have a wide range of experiences and backgrounds, offering many different perspectives on challenges and potential strategies for tackling them, and ultimately creating a richer learning experience. Approximately 20-25 students are in each cohort and students complete their core courses together in the same sequence.  Return to top

When does the program start? How long does the EdD program take to complete?

Each EdD cohort will begin the program in mid-July. A new cohort is selected once per year for summer-entry only. The program of study is 90 quarter units and requires three years to complete. The first two years consist of course work and the final year focuses mostly on the completion of the thematic dissertation in leadership. Return to top

What is the dissertation process?

The EDLR program at SU includes a Thematic Dissertation in Leadership Practice (TDiLP) research component, requiring each student to conduct inquiry relevant to information needs of a learning organization. Students form thematic dissertation groups led by a faculty Inquiry Supervisor and organized around broad, complex, organization-based issues or problems relevant to leadership. Return to top

What is the course schedule like?

EDLR Seminars meet during the weekend, general once a month. An academic schedule for the next year of the program is distributed each year early in winter quarter. Most other College of Education courses meet one night per week (Monday through Thursday), and are generally scheduled from 6:00 pm to 8:40 pm during the Fall, Winter and Spring terms. Summer class times may vary, but generally meet from 5:30 to 8:55 pm. Students take courses all four quarters each year (fall, winter, spring, and summer). Return to top

Can I transfer credits?

Up to 15 quarter-hour credits may be transferred. If credits earned are semester credit hours, the maximum is 10 semester-hour credits. Transfer credit must be at the A or B grade level, and earned at a fully accredited institution. Return to top

Is this program accredited?

Seattle University and the College of Education is regionally accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges. Return to top


Admissions Questions

Is a master’s degree required for applying to the doctorate program?

Yes, a master’s degree from an accredited college/university is required for admission to the program. Return to top

What are the admission requirements and process for the program?

Applicants are invited to visit our admissions page for further details. Return to top

When is the application deadline?

Application review begins December 1 for the following summer start but may continue until the cohort is full.  The final application deadline for summer is April 1. Return to top

Do I need to choose a concentration?

Yes. During the admissions process you will be asked to choose between the following: Adult, Post-Secondary and Higher Education; Principal; Program Administrators; Spiritual Leadership; Public/Non-Profit Leadership; and Health Systems Leadership.  Read more about our concentrations on our degree options pageReturn to top

Do I have to take a standardized test (ex. GRE, GMAT or MAT)?

No. Return to top

What should the writing sample look like?

The writing sample should be a piece of scholarly work demonstrating an applicant’s basic writing and critical thinking skills, which are key to completing any doctoral program successfully. The writing sample could include, but is not limited to, some major components of research, data analysis, conceptualization ability, and problem solving ability. For example, a graduate course research paper, peer-reviewed article, grants, published works, or anything that exhibits your qualified writing skills. Return to top

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