Banner img

Doctor of Education

Banner img

Doctor of Education

Designed for the experienced and practicing professional, the Doctor of Education program offers opportunities for leaders inside or outside the PK-12 school system. The on-campus cohort program for leaders in education, government, corporate settings, and human service organizations includes advanced formal study and applied practical study of educational leadership theories, systems leadership skills, and applied research methodologies. The program enrolls 18-25 students in a two-year doctoral cohort.

Guiding Principles of the School of Education

  • Social Justice
  • Collaborative Learning
  • Academic Reflection

Distinguishing Characteristics Includes:

  • Cohort-based learning experiences
  • Development of cultural competencies
  • Development of research acumen
  • Technology Enhanced Learning
  • Ethics in research, leadership, and practice
  • Integration of theory and practice
  • Leadership Development
  • Student-centered learning

Goals of the SOE Doctoral Program

  • Development of scholarly thinking, writing, and practice
  • Enhanced dispositions for lifelong learning
  • Enhanced personal vision of education and educational leadership

Quality is maintained by rigorous class expectations, group and individual papers and presentations, cohort dialogue and team learning/evaluation, reflective responses, comprehensive examinations, and the dissertation.

Admission Requirements:(previous degrees, exams, etc)

  • Complete and submit a Drake Graduate Admission Application Submit the $25.00 application fee (prior applicants who have previously paid the fee are not required to do so again).
  • Submit official transcripts for ALL undergraduate and graduate coursework from EVERY institution attended (even if a degree was not received). Drake transcripts do not need to be requested. Transcripts and other supporting materials are not returned to the applicant and become the property of Drake University.
  • Applicants must have achieved an undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or better and a graduate GPA of 3.5 or better on a 4.0 scale.
  • 60 graduate credits, including a master’s degree. Note: No prior graduate work can be substituted for the required courses in the doctorate of education program.
  • Evidence of a Miller Analogies Test (MAT) score of 400; or a Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score of 1,000 (combined quantitative and verbal scores) or better. The Drake Writing Competency Exam is not an acceptable testing option for this program.
  • Evidence of significant scholarly accomplishment, either a completed Master's thesis or other written product(s) that demonstrate ability to write clearly and coherently and to develop a thesis or an idea.
  • A letter requesting admission and including reasons for pursuing the doctoral degree, an overview of professional background and goals, and a discussion of the applicant's educational and professional philosophy.
  • The applicant also should request three letters of recommendation; one must come from the current or most recent employer and two must come from other qualified individuals who have first-hand knowledge of the applicant's professional abilities. Note: The doctoral committee does not accept the letter of recommendation forms used for all other graduate programs in the School of Education.
  • Not all qualified applicants can be admitted.Students may interview with doctoral faculty in order to explore professional goals and proposed specialization studies, applicant commitment to and ability to complete advanced study, and applicant's interests in advanced field experience and research.Final admission decisions are based upon multiple criteria, including both applicant characteristics and the ability of the program to serve the student's needs.
  • Applications for the Doctor of Education program will be accepted from May 1 to December 1 of odd numbered years. The doctoral program begins fall term of even numbered years.

5. Graduation Requirements:

  • Number of Credit Hours required:

    Formal doctoral study constitutes a minimum of 30 credits in a cohort core program for which there are no transfer hours permitted. The doctoral core is taken as a block and fulfills the residency requirements for the doctoral program.
  • Required Courses:


Course # Title and Description

Fall Year 1


DOC 350

Advanced Foundations: Study of philosophical, psychological, and technological foundations of education, with an emphasis on theories of teaching, curriculum, counseling, adult education, research, and leadership.

Fall Year 1


DOC 301

Doctoral Seminar: First semester of a two-semester study and analysis of practice-based issues.This course will explore the theoretical foundations of social science and practice-based research design with an emphasis on the integration of theory as studied in DOC 350 in the research process.

Spring Year 1


DOC 345

Advanced Leadership: A study of major theories of leadership and organizational design.

Spring Year 1


DOC 306

Qualitative Research Methods: Principles of methodology associated with qualitative research in education; critiquing, planning, conducting, and writing qualitative research.

Sum Year 1


DOC 302

Doctoral Seminar: Second semester of a two-semester study and analysis of practice-based issues. This course will explore individual and ethical responsibilitieswith an emphasis on leadership, multiculturalism, and social justice.

Sum Year 1


DOC 396

Advanced Qualitative Research Methods: Doc 396 is the second course in the qualitative (DOC 306) research sequence. Course emphasis is on application of fieldwork in qualitative research, culminating in a final qualitative project.

Fall Year 2


DOC 305

Quantitative Research Methods: Rationale, application, and communication of basic quantitative methods and statistical analyses commonly used in educational research.

Fall Year 2


DOC 395

Advanced Quantitative Research Methods: Doc 395 is the second course in the quantitative (DOC 305) research sequence. Course emphasis is on advanced methods of quantitative research design and statistical analyses.

Spring Year 2


DOC 399

Dissertation: Six credit hours required in the last semester and 1 credit hour required in each semester following until completion of the dissertation.Three of the six required credits in the last semester will be taken in a structured dissertation proposal seminar class. Course credit is not earned until the dissertation is completed and successfully defended.



DOC 398

Directed Research

  • Other Requirements (experiential, exams, thesis, etc.)
    • Satisfactory performance on the Comprehensive Examination and continuous registration until the dissertation is successfully defended.
    • Students must complete their studies, including defending their dissertation, within 10 years of admission.
    • Students will register for six credits hours during their first two years in the program (fall and spring), this includes the summer semester of their first year. Beyond this, a student must maintain continuous enrollment for 1 credit of Doc 399 each semester (fall, spring, and summer) until the student has completed, defended, and submitted an approved and finalized dissertation.
  • Any limitations and special policies (eg., gpa requirement, or requirements that students take certain courses at Drake):
  • GPA: Maintain a 3.5 or higher
  • Courses must be completed with a “B” or better; the cumulative grade point, however, must be a 3.5 or better.
  • No transfer credit is permitted.
Drake img
Do Something Drake
I came to Drake because I could combine my interests
Admission Calendar

Apply Now - Application for Fall 2016 & Fall 2017

Visit Now - Campus visits offered Monday-Friday

August 29 - First day of Fall 2016 semester

October 1 - FAFSA available for Fall 2017

October 10 - Campus Preview Day

Mid-October - Application & scholarship review begins for Fall 2017 students

November 14 - Campus Preview Day