Doctorate in Education - Doctoral Degree Programs
Drexel University School of Education, Philadelphia
Drexel University’s School of Education in Philadelphia has been teaching great educators for over a century. We combine our extensive experience with our passion for today’s technology and research to help our students reach new heights in the Education field through our doctorate degree programs. Our students do great things as educators, scholars, administrators and researchers.
What is a Doctoral Program?
By most academic standards, a doctoral degree is the highest degree a student can achieve. Students earning a doctorate in education degree complete coursework, as well as a rigorous independent dissertation research project. Those who graduate with a PhD or EdD are considered experts in their field and may be qualified to conduct research, teach university-level courses, and stand out among their peers within their companies and organizations.
Doctoral students have the option to choose from two outstanding doctoral degree programs:
- PhD in Education
Drexel University School of Education’s PhD in Education program is designed for students who aspire to be scholars, researchers, instructors, and leaders in the field of education. The program offers two tracks based on student's needs: Full-Time (fully funded) and Part-Time (self paid). The full-time program is highly competitive and small by design, admitting only 6-8 students annually. Students in the program apply for research or teaching assistantships that provide a generous stipend and a health insurance subsidy. Part-time students are usually working professionals who do not wish to leave their jobs. Courses are offered in the evenings and online.
Full-time students are generally on-campus a few days a week and work with their supervising professors, assistantship professors, and students in their cohort on research and presentations outside of their dissertation. All dissertation research is done independently. The program takes 4 years to complete with students completing courses in the first 3 years and using the fourth year to complete their dissertation.
- EdD in Educational Leadership and Management
Drexel University School of Education’s EdD in Educational Leadership and Management program is a flexible, part-time doctoral program meant to prepare students for careers in a variety of educational fields. The program is offered online or as a hybrid online/in-person program with students meeting 3 times per quarter at Drexel University’s campus in Philadelphia or at Drexel’s Washington DC Center. To provide ultimate flexibility and affordability, the program offers a 3-year plan of study with students taking 2 courses per term, or a 5-year plan of study with students taking 1 course per term.
Students in the EdD program learn in cohorts of up to 20 students. Students complete their dissertation research independently with the guidance of a supervising professor. What’s unique about Drexel’s EdD program is our concentration offerings. Students can choose from nine different concentrations based on their educational goals and interests. The program is ideal for school superintendents, principals, K-12 educators and administrators, as well as those working in educational corporations and non-profits who have a master’s degree, but want to advance their education.
What’s the difference between the Doctoral Programs in Education?
A PhD in education is designed to prepare graduates for research and teaching roles while a Doctor of Education (EdD) is a professional degree designed for practitioners pursuing educational leadership roles.
Students in a PhD program take a more theoretical, study-based approach to learning. In most cases, their goal is to master a specific subject or add their unique findings to a body of existing literature. PhD candidates conduct original research in the hopes of driving change in their field or inspiring others to make change based off their work. A PhD is the degree most popular amongst those who aspire to become a professor or obtain a tenure position. Through these programs, students tend to focus on getting published in well-respected journals, presenting at national conferences, and learning how to teach future educators. The School of Education at Drexel University follows a fellowship design structure. This highly competitive application full-time program is small by design, admitting approximately 6-8 students per cohort, with a maximum of 24 students in the fellowship. In addition, The PhD program offers a part-time model (self-paid) that is 4-5 years long and is designed for inspiring scholar-practitioners in education, including those in public or private schools, community colleges, government agencies, professional associations, and other education-related settings.
While an EdD student is a professional doctorate best suited for experienced educators and mid- to senior level working professionals who want to lead and implement change within their organization. EdD candidates work in a broad range of fields ranging from K-12 and higher education to nonprofits, government, healthcare, and the military. What each share is a desire to transform their everyday environment and apply the lessons learned through their doctorate to a complex, critical issue facing their workplace. The EdD is practice-based. Students in an EdD program don’t want to just research their area of interest, but leverage that research in ways that could positively influence their community or organization’s decision-making process.
We encourage you to visit the EdD and PhD program pages to learn more about the curriculum and other differences between the two programs. Also visit our EdD vs PhD Career Path page to learn more about the opportunities from each program.
How Long do the Doctoral Programs Take to Complete?
Drexel University School of Education’s doctoral programs are designed with flexibility in mind. The EdD program is a part-time program available 100% online or as a hybrid program where students take courses online and meet face-to-face with faculty and their fellow students 3 weekends per term. The EdD can be taken as a 3-year or 5-year allowing students to learn at their own pace.
The PhD program is available in two formats: part-time and full-time fellowships. The part-time program is a self-paid program with courses taken on campus in the evenings and can be completed in 4-5 years. The full-time model is a fully-funded (no tuition cost) program where students where students complete a 20-hour a week fellowship and receive a generous stipend and health subsidy. The fellowship model can be completed in four years.
Doctorate Degree in Education: Concentrations
At Drexel University, we believe there is not a one-size fits all doctorate program. Students in the School of Education’s EdD and PhD programs can choose from a variety of concentrations that fit their educational interests.
PhD Program Concentrations
Students in the PhD program take 3 courses in their chosen concentration area. Concentrations include:
- Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education
- Educational Leadership and Policy
EdD Program Concentrations
In addition to core courses, students in the EdD in Educational Leadership and Management program take 5 concentration courses in their chosen area of study including:
- Athletic Administration
- Creativity and Innovation
- Educational Administration (with Pennsylvania Superintendent Letter of Eligibility)
- Education Policy
- Global and International Education
- Higher Education
- Human Resource Development
- Learning Technologies
- Nursing Education
- Special Education Leadership
How to Apply to Drexel University’s Education Doctorate in Education Programs
Graduate students interested in applying or learning more about the doctoral program at Drexel University’s School of Education should attend one of the upcoming in-person or virtual information sessions.
For additional insight about doctoral programs, learn more about the differences between EdD vs. PhD programs at Drexel University.
If you are ready to apply, you can learn more about doctoral admission requirements in the Graduate Admissions page.