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The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Human Sciences:
Doctor of Education (EdD)

“I chose Walden because I needed a school that fit my career goals and my schedule. I stayed with Walden for the quality education I received.”

Gladys Landing-Corretjer, Doctor of Education (EdD) Graduate


Walden’s EdD programs are designed for educators who want to continue their practice while assuming influential roles in their schools and communities. The programs are built upon five critical components: teaching and lifelong learning, research and reflective analytical thought, leadership and communication, diversity, and collaborative social change. These critical components are the basis for the programs’ learning outcomes, as students develop expertise in various areas, promoting equity and excellence.

Note on Teacher Licensure or Certification

This program does not lead to teacher licensure or certification. Teachers are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this program, educator professionals will be able to:

  1. Apply theoretical knowledge to solve educational problems.
  2. Critically analyze education-related issues.
  3. Align research methodologies to questions and hypotheses addressing issues in educational practice.
  4. Communicate with diverse stakeholders to advocate for students in educational settings.
  5. Practice ethically as a professional in the field of education.
  6. Collaborate with diverse stakeholders to promote continuous improvement in educational settings.
  7. Promote equity in education programs and policies.
  8. Advocate for social change to make a positive impact in educational settings.

Degree Requirements

  • Professional Development Plan and Program of Study
  • Foundation course (5 credits)
  • Research courses (15 credits)
  • Specialization courses (30 credits)
  • Completing the Doctoral Capstone
    • Doctoral support courses (6 credits)
    • Completing the Prospectus (3 credits)
    • Completing the Doctoral Capstone (5 credits per term for a minimum of four terms; taken continuously until completion)
  • One academic residency


Foundation Course (5 credits)


OR (only for students in the Educational Administration and Leadership (for Administrators) Specialization)

Research courses (15 credits)

  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.
  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.
  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.

Specialization courses (30 credits)

These courses are dependent upon the particular specialization. Please see the course list on each specialization page.

Residency Requirements

  • Complete the EdD required residency face-to-face by the end of Term 3.
  • Optional: Complete an EdD Advanced residency when you have your doctoral study committee assigned in the Prospectus course (EDUC 8081 / EDDD 8900/8910) or just prior to the Prospectus course of your program. It is also highly recommended for candidates enrolled in EDUC 8090/EDDD 8990.

Completion of the Doctoral Capstone

Doctoral Support Courses (9 credits)

Completing the Doctoral Capstone (5 credits per term for a minimum of 20 credits until completion)

Students take this course for a minimum of four terms and are continuously enrolled until completion of their doctoral study with final chief academic officer (CAO) approval.

To complete a doctoral study, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the chief academic officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook.

Doctoral Writing Assessment

Students who start or readmit to doctoral programs at Walden University in the university catalog for academic year 2017 or later will complete the university’s required doctoral writing assessment. Designed to evaluate incoming doctoral students’ writing skills, this assessment aims to help prepare incoming doctoral students to meet the university’s expectations for writing at the doctoral level.

8-Year Maximum Time Frame

In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation/doctoral study course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required terms in the dissertation/doctoral study course shell.

Students have up to 8 years to complete their doctoral degree requirements (see Enrollment Requirements in the student handbook). Students may petition to extend the 8-year maximum time frame, but an extension is not guaranteed.