Doctor of Education (EdD)

Volume 1: 2020.2021

Effective 1 June 2020 through 31 May 2021

Please see the Temporary Adjustments to Policy on Grading for Graduate Courses for Spring 2020

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

This page was modified on 17 July 2020.
Please see the Graduate Catalog Addendum to view changes that were made.

This program is offered by the School of Education and is only available at the St. Louis home campus.

Admission to this program is every even year.

Program Description

Webster University’s doctor of education (EdD), offered by the School of Education, is 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 dissertations to the next level and become a voice and advocate for the people whom they represent and care for. Webster University's doctoral program also values dissertation 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 in the third, except students with an EdS in hand. Students admitted with an EdS in hand 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: Dyslexia
  • Special Education: Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
  • Special Education: Severe Developmental Disabilities and Autism
  • Special Education: Trauma-Informed Education and Intervention
  • Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL)
  • 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 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 collaborate inquiry for advancing social and institutional change.

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, except students with an EdS in hand. Students admitted with an EdS in hand are waived 15 credit hours, equivalent to one year of coursework.

Required Courses

  • EDOC 7000 Doctoral Module* (12 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)
  • EDOC 7901 Doctoral Apprenticeship (3 hours)
  • EDOC 7902 Comprehensive Exam and Prospective Defense (3 hours)
  • EDOC 8000 Doctoral Dissertation Research and Writing^ (10 hours)
  • EDOC 8020 ProQuest Publication of Dissertation (0 hours)

*Students in an emphasis area take content-area courses which are cross-listed with EDOC 7000, except for students in the emphasis in transformative learning in the global community, who will take the following courses instead of EDOC 7000:

  • EDOC 7120 Global Histories and Politics in Education (3 hours)
  • EDOC 7130 Communications Technologies in Educational Systems (3 hours)
  • EDOC 7140 Educational Equity and Ethics: Theory and Policies (3 hours)
  • EDOC 7150 Seminar: Social Justice, Transformative Learning and Issues in Global Education

**Students in the emphasis in special education: severe developmental disabilities and autism take SPED 5850 Single-Subject Research Design instead of EDOC 7004

^Students who do not complete dissertation writing with 10 hours of EDOC 8000 will take EDOC 8010 Doctoral Project Completion (1 hour) until completion. 

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

Requisites for Emphasis Areas*

Special Education: Dyslexia

  • READ 5190 Advanced Studies in Language Development and Acquisition (3 hours)

Special Education: Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

  • SPED 5700 School-based Prevention/Intervention: RTI/PBIS (3 hours)
  • This is a prerequisite and it is offered every even summer

Special Education: Severe Developmental Disabilities and Autism

  • SPED 5090 Special Education Practicum (3 hours)

Special Education: Trauma-Informed Education and Intervention

  • SPED 5285 Understanding and Responding to Trauma in Schools (3 hours)

*Requisites and prerequisites may change due to enrollment and curriculum updates. 


The doctoral program will admit a cohort every even year, depending on the enrollment and availability of courses. Students with an EdS in hand will be waived 15 credit hours and may be admitted with the rest of the cohort, but begin in the odd year. A minimum of 10 admitted students is required to run the EdD in a given year and a minimum of 10 for the emphasis in transformative learning in the global community. The deadline for application is July 1 for domestic applicants and April 1 for international applicants. 

Application Process: Prospective students must complete and submit the Application for Admission online through Graduate Admissions. Inquiries may be addressed by email to the Office of Admission (

All admission materials must be submitted to:

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

Admission Requirements

Please include the following in the admission packet:

  • All undergraduate and graduate transcripts with evidence of a bachelor's degree and a master's degree.
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 for graduate coursework.
  • Current (within the last five years) General GRE test scores including Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning and Analytical Writing
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Application fee of $125 (waived for Alumni; current Webster University faculty, staff and students)

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. After admission to the EdD program, students will begin coursework in the Fall term, dependent on prerequisites. 

The applicant must successful complete an interview with the EdD Program Admissions Committee during which the applicant presents his/her research interest.

Advancement to Candidacy

Doctoral students who completed all coursework requirements except dissertation hours will take the comprehensive examination in a 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. 

This page was modified on 17 July 2020.
Please see the Graduate Catalog Addendum to view changes that were made.