Doctor of Education (EdD)


Effective 1 June 2023 through 31 May 2024

Please see the Graduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.

This program is offered by the School of Education and is available asynchronous online. The emphasis in Transformative Learning in the Global Community is available asynchronous online and via Live Virtual (synchronous online). . 

Admission to this program is every even year.

Program Description

Webster University's Doctor of Education (EdD), offered by the School of Education, is based on a scholar-practitioner model with a well-rounded program for fostering scholarship, research and leadership among candidates who aspire to make a difference in today's world. It is based on a holistic framework with four foci: theory, research, practice and leadership. Beyond the four foci, the program values social consciousness, criticality and advocacy. Social consciousness corresponds to the connectedness of the dissertation projects to the sociopolitical, socioeconomic and sociocultural contexts. Criticality refers to doctoral students' critical thinking and analytical capacity to challenge the status quo and create new proposals for advancing the knowledge base and specialty area. Advocacy reminds students to take the findings from their research projects to the next level and become a voice and advocate for the people for whom they represent and care. Webster University's doctoral program also values projects which engage in cross-cultural research with global contextual relevancy.

The program duration is approximately three years (maximum is seven). Students take coursework in the first two years and complete a dissertation or doctoral digital portfolio in the third, with the exception of students with a conferred Educational Specialist (EdS) degree. Students admitted with a conferred EdS are waived 15 credit hours, equivalent to one year of coursework. Students will need special permission from the Dean if the duration of study exceeds seven years. 

EdD Emphasis Areas

  • Educational Leadership
  • Special Education
  • Transformative Learning in the Global Community

Note: DESE certification is not covered in the doctorate. Students need to consult with the program directors in other academic programs for DESE certification.

Note: Special Education emphases require requisites which can be taken simultaneously with doctoral courses and/or prerequisites which should taken prior to the program. 

Learning Outcomes

The doctor of education develops scholars, scholar-practitioners, and leaders with expertise in research and scholarship through coursework with social conscious perspectives. The program provides learning opportunities for students to develop academic competency through theory building, practical application of research knowledge in school settings and leadership skills. The EdD program enables students to:

  • Investigate and critically analyze current affairs, issues, theoretical issues, empirical studies, practice and policy in educational settings.
  • Read and write with synthetic and analytical competence for applying complex theories in research and publishing in respected peer-reviewed journals and other publication venues in the field.
  • Conduct research for pushing boundaries in a specialty area in education and shed new light in the building of knowledge base. 
  • Reflect on the status quo in educational settings and offer data-driven and evidence-based solutions and proposals.
  • Develop leadership skills to become a voice and advocate for the people they respect.
  • Demonstrate respect of diversity through their ability to facilitate and model collaborative inquiry for advancing social and institutional change.

Each emphasis' specific learning outcomes are measured in the Doctoral Modules with rubrics specified. 

Program Requirements

This program requires at least two years of advanced coursework prior to the successful completion of a comprehensive exam, a prospectus and a dissertation or a doctoral digital portfolio, except students with conferred EdS degree. Students admitted with a conferred EdS degree are waived 15 credit hours, equivalent to one year of coursework.

Required Courses

  • EDOC 7000 Doctoral Module (12 hours)
    Students in an emphasis area take advisor-approved content-area courses via a doctoral module, EDOC 7000, except for students in the emphasis in Transformative Learning in the Global Community, who take the following courses instead of EDOC 7000:
    • EDOC 7120 Global Histories and Politics in Education (3 hours)
    • EDOC 7130 Transformative Lens in Educational Technologies (3 hours)
    • EDOC 7140 Transformative Leadership in Education: Equity and Ethics (3 hours)
    • EDOC 7150 Social Justice and Transformative Learning in Global Education (3 hours)
  • EDOC 7001 Doctoral Writing Seminar (3 hours)
  • EDOC 7002 Quantitative Research Methods (3 hours)
  • EDOC 7003 Qualitative Research Methods (3 hours)
  • EDOC 7004 Prospectus and Dissertation Writing (3 hours)
    or EDOC 7005 Research Design for Doctoral Digital Portfolio (DDP) (3 hours)
  • EDOC 7901 Doctoral Apprenticeship (3 hours)
  • EDOC 7902 Comprehensive Exam and Prospective Defense (3 hours)
  • EDOC 7903 Residency for Online Program^ (0 hours)
  • EDOC 8000 Doctoral Dissertation Research and Writing^ (10 hours)
    or a two-course sequence of EDOC 8001 Doctoral Digital Portfolio (DDP) I (5 hours) and EDOC 8002 Doctoral Digital Portfolio (DDP) II (5 hours)^^
  • EDOC 8020 Publication of Doctoral Project (0 hours)

^Students in the online program are required to complete a two-day residency EDOC 7903, as noted by the program director. 

^^Students who do not complete dissertation writing or doctoral digital portfolio with 10 hours of EDOC 8000 or 10 hours of EDOC 8001 and EDOC 8002 will take EDOC 8010 Doctoral Project Completion (1 hour) until completion. 
Notes: i) The alternative route to dissertation, EDOC 7005, 8001, and 8002 are available to students admitted from 2022 onwards only; ii) Special Education emphasis requires requisites which can be taken simultaneously with doctoral courses and/or prerequisites which should be taken prior to the program; iii) DESE certification is not covered in the doctorate. Students need to consult with the program directors in other academic programs for DESE certificate.

Total: 40 credit hours (excludes prerequisites, requisites, practica, fieldwork, internships or service learning)


See the Admission section of this catalog for general admission requirements. Students interested in applying must submit their application online at Transcripts should be sent from your institution electronically to If this service is not available, send transcripts to:

Office of Admission
Webster University
470 E. Lockwood Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63119 

Additional Requirements

Requirements for admission to the doctor of education program include:

  • Official transcripts from all universities, colleges and professional schools. 
  • Transcripts showing evidence of a bachelor's degree and a master's degree completion.
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 for graduate coursework.
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation*
  • An interview may be required.

*These required materials must be electronically uploaded to the application account.

Application Process

The doctoral program will admit a cohort every even year (except for the Tashkent campus), depending on the enrollment and availability of courses. Domestic and international applicants must submit all required documents by July 1st for a Fall start. International students may complete the online program in the countries where they reside. F1 student visa will not be sponsored. International applicants need to submit required application materials according to International Admissions, except for documents that pertain only to F1 student visa sponsorship.
Students with a conferred EdS degree will be waived 15 credit hours and may be admitted with the rest of the cohort, but begin in the odd year. 
The admission packet will be reviewed, and if considered appropriate, an interview will be scheduled with the Doctoral Admissions Committee. The committee may require the applicant to provide other materials to speak to the readiness of the applicant for the EdD program. Should the committee find weaknesses in certain academic areas, the applicant may be strongly advised to take additional coursework that will not count toward the degree requirements. 
The applicant must successfully complete an interview with the Doctoral Admissions Committee during which the applicant presents their research interest.

Advancement to Candidacy

Doctoral students who completed all coursework requirements before taking EDOC 8000 or the EDOC 8001-8002 sequence will take the comprehensive examination in the course EDOC 7902. Students who have passed the comprehensive examination will earn the status of doctoral candidacy. Advancement to candidacy indicates that a student shows the requisite capacity and dedication to complete the program.