Doctor of Education

Doctor of Education

(EdD degree)


The Doctor of Education program is designed to prepare educators to be leaders in their chosen specialties. The program focuses on qualities of cultural, moral, and organizational leadership as the basis for leading complex educational organizations.

This program assumes that leadership is: (1) a conceptual art, building on the power of theory and ideas; (2) a moral art, depending upon core values; and (3) a performing art, perfecting the integration of theory and values in practice and experience. This curriculum provides a comprehensive framework from ethical, legal, social, political, and historical perspectives within a Christian worldview.

Program Objectives

Educational Objectives

To enable students to:

  • Effectively use writing to communicate ideas
  • Use technology to solve problems
  • Communicate orally to large and small audience
  • Use research tools to investigate questions and solve problems
Professional Objectives

To enable students to:

  • Enact leadership that is just, effective, and provides reasoned solutions to problems encountered in the process of meeting valued institutional and community goals
  • Integrate faith and learning into professional practice

Admission Requirements

Applicants seeking admission to the EdD program must hold an approved master's degree from an accredited college or university, with a minimum GPA of 3.25. In addition, applicants must complete the following to be considered for admission to the program:

  • Doctor of Education application form and application fee
  • Evidence of scholarly work (master's thesis, term paper, publication, etc.)
  • A personal statement as described in the application
  • One official transcript from all colleges or universities attended
  • Three letters of recommendation from people who can comment on the applicant's intellectual ability, creativity, initiative, sensitivity to others, and leadership potential
  • Evidence of at least three years of relevant professional experience
  • Scores from either the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Millers Analogies Test (MAT)
  • A current professional résumé
  • Applicants seeking to meet TSPC licensure requirements upon completion of the program must also complete the following:
  • Verification of valid Oregon teaching license or the equivalent, such as an expired or out-of-state license, education degree, or documented and appropriate teacher experience (applicants to the program that do not have a teaching license should submit a letter of explanation as to how the program would meet their professional goals.)
  • Completed Teachers Standards and Practices Character Questionnaire

Transfer Credit

Upon approval by the department, transfer of up to 17 hours credit beyond the Master's degree is allowed toward the EdD program from accredited graduate schools. Students must have earned a grade of B or better for a course to be considered for transfer. Transferability of credits earned at this institution and transferred to another is at the discretion of the receiving institution. Consult the registrar's office for information on eligibility of transfer credit.

Residence Requirements

Of the 63 hours required for the EdD program, a minimum of 46 hours must be taken in resident study at George Fox University. All work leading to the EdD must be completed within seven years from the time of matriculation. Extension of this limit requires approval of the Educational Foundations and Leadership (EDFL) Faculty. However, only one such extension may be considered due to special circumstances, such as ill health. Reinstatement to the program after withdrawal requires Admissions Committee action and may subject the student to additional requirements for the degree.

Course Requirements

The EdD program is generally four years in length with 63 semester hours of course work required as a minimum for graduation and can be completed in that timeframe by taking 18 semester credits in year one and 15 semester credits in years two through four. Students who have successfully completed appropriate course work beyond the Master's degree may be able to finish the program at a faster pace. Of the total hours required for the program, 36 are in educational perspectives courses, 19 hours of electives including those in an area of specialty, and 8 hours of dissertation.

Other Degree Requirements

Students gain full standing in the program by taking a minimum of 18 hours in continuous enrollment over four semesters.

In addition to the core requirements, students must complete the following requirements:

  • A comprehensive qualifying exam that reveals students' breadth of knowledge
  • Competency qualifying projects tied to the ability to communicate ideas to diverse stake holders and to use research effectively when making organizational decisions
  • A doctoral dissertation that reveals the ability to use research tools to shed light on important problems
Licensure in Oregon and Other States

Upon completion of the EdD degree, students will be eligible for two administrative licenses for service in Oregon's public K-12 schools: Initial Administrator and Continuing Administrator licenses. Oregon has reciprocal licensure arrangements with 25 other states, thus allowing those who seek employment elsewhere to meet the administrative licensure requirements for those states.

Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate with the EdD degree students must:

  • Satisfactorily complete a minimum of 63 semester hours with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above.
  • Achieve no grade lower than a B in all core courses. If a grade of a B- or lower is received in a designated course, that course must be retaken (for more specific information, please refer to the student handbook).

Curriculum Plan

The curriculum is designed so that students are required to take core course hours in the following perspective areas: ethics, foundations, teaching and learning, leading and managing, and research. Within each area students are allowed to choose electives that enhance their own areas of professional development, although some areas have required courses that are essential to the doctorate. Issues of cultural diversity are woven into courses within each perspective area.

Ethical Perspectives (6 hours)
EDFL 672 Ethics and Cultural Diversity 3
EDFL 675 Faith and Learning Seminars (three 1-hour courses) 3
Foundational Perspectives (6 hours)
Students must select 6 hours from the following courses:
EDFL 680 Philosophical Perspectives on Education 3
EDFL 682 Legal Perspectives on Educational Policy and Finance 3
EDFL 685 Selected Topics in Foundational Perspectives 1-3
EDFL 686 Political and Social Perspectives on Education 3
EDFL 687 Critical Issues in Higher Education 3
EDFL 690 International Perspectives on Education 3
EDFL 692 Historical Perspectives on American Education 3
EDFL 694 History of American Higher Education 3
Teaching and Learning Perspectives (6 hours)
EDFL 506 Research in Effective Teaching 3

Students must select 3 hours from the following courses:
EDFL 500 Instructional Supervision 3
EDFL 505 Trends and Issues in Education 3
EDFL 508 Learning and Cognition 3
EDFL 515 Selected Topics in Curriculum and Instruction 1-3
EDFL 624 Developing Curriculum With New Technologies 2
EDFL 630 Advanced Developmental Psychology 2
EDFL 631 Implementing Inclusion in the Regular Classroom 2
EDFL 632 Differentiated Instruction 1
EDFL 634 Adult Development in Educational Organizations 3
EDFL 638 Testing and Measurement 2
Leading and Managing Perspectives (6 hours)
EDFL 641 Personal Leadership Assessment 3

Students must select 3 hours from the following courses:
EDFL 626 Implementing Technology in Educational Organizations 2
EDFL 640 Leadership in Education 3
EDFL 642 Student Life: Issues, Policy, and Planning 2
EDFL 643 Enrollment Issues: Marketing and Retention 2
EDFL 644 Advancing the Organization: Fund Raising 2
EDFL 650 Managing Organizational Resources 3
EDFL 651 Strategic Planning 2
EDFL 653 Organizational Change and Decision Making 3
EDFL 654 Program Evaluation for Organizational Success 3
EDFL 655 Selected Topics in Leading and Managing 1-3
EDFL 656 Organizational Behavior in Education 1-3
EDFL 660 School District Leadership 3
EDFL 661 Administration of Specialized Programs 3
EDFL 662 Superintendency for the 21st Century 3
Research Perspectives (13 hours)
EDFL 700 Intro to Qualitative and Quantitative Research 3
EDFL 701 Educational Statistics 3
EDFL 702 Advanced Qualitative Research Methods 3
EDFL 703 Bibliographic Research and Writing 2
EDFL 707 Survey Research Designs 2
Electives (18 hours)
Students may take additional courses beyond the minimum in the perspective areas to complete a specialization, transfer up to 17 semester hours into their programs from other institutions, or complete practica from teaching endorsements, teaching licenses, and administrative licenses.
In addition to the courses offered through the EDFL department, students may also select courses from George Fox University graduate programs in psychology, business, counseling, Christian education, and religion to meet their specific professional goals.
Dissertation (8 hours)
EDFL 720 Dissertation Research 2
EDFL 721 Dissertation Research 2
EDFL 722 Dissertation Research 2
EDFL 723 Dissertation Research 2
EDFL 725 Dissertation Research (continuation as needed) 2
Doctoral students may take a maximum of 4 hours of doctoral dissertation research hours in any semester. EDFL 725 is for students who do not finish their dissertation research within the minimum 8 hours. EDFL 725 is repeatable until the dissertation is finished.
EDFL Course Descriptions
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