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Master of Science in Education - Education Leadership (MSE)

Designed for the experienced and practicing professional, the Doctor of Education on-campus cohort program offers opportunities for leaders in education, government, business, healthcare, human services, and other fields. Courses within the program emphasize the practical study of leadership, theory, ethics, technology and organizations, program evaluation, and research methodologies.

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

Admission Requirements

  • Complete and submit the Drake University Application for Graduate Admission.
  • Evidence of 36-graduate credits to include a completed master’s degree from an accredited institution and official transcripts for all post-secondary education. It is recommended that applicants have a graduate grade point average of 3.5 or better on a 4.0 scale. Transcripts and other supporting materials are not returned to the applicant and become the property of Drake University. Note: No prior graduate work can be substituted for the required courses in the doctorate of education program.
  • Official report of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) test scores. The Drake Writing Competency Exam and the Miller’s Analogies (MAT) are not acceptable testing options for this program.
  • Evidence of significant scholarly accomplishment, either a completed master’s thesis or other written product that demonstrates ability to write clearly and coherently and to develop a thesis or idea with supporting literature citations.
  • A personal statement requesting admission, including reasons for pursuing the doctoral degree, an overview of professional background and goals, and a discussion of the applicant's professional philosophy.
  • Three recommendations using the doctoral program letter of recommendation form: one from a current or recent employer and two from other qualified individuals who have first-hand knowledge of the applicant’s professional and scholarship 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.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 (to include all supporting materials) for the Doctor of Education program are due by January 15th each year for the fall cohort of the same calendar year.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Number of Credit Hours required:
    Formal doctoral study constitutes a minimum of 42 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.
  2. Required Courses:


Course # Title and Description
Fall Year 1 3 DOC 350 Advanced Foundations: Study of philosophical foundations of education.
Fall Year 1 3 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 3 DOC 345 Advanced Leadership: A study of major theories of leadership and organizational design.
Spring Year 1 3 DOC 306 Qualitative Research Methods: Principles of methodology associated with qualitative research in education; critiquing, planning, conducting, and writing qualitative research.
Sum Year 1 3 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 3 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 3 DOC 360 Technology and Organizational Leadership: Study of what it means to communicate, learn and lead in an age of evolving technology.
Fall Year 2 3 DOC 305 Quantitative Research Methods: Rationale, application, and communication of basic quantitative methods and statistical analyses commonly used in educational research.
Spring Year 2 3 DOC 370 Program Evaluation and Assessment: Philosophical, theoretical, methodological and practical components of evaluation and assessment.
Spring Year 2 3 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.
Sum Year 2 3 DOC 390 Dissertation Seminar: The purpose of this seminar is to assist and guide students as they prepare for and write their dissertation proposal.
Sum Year 2 3 DOC 399 Dissertation: Nine credit hours required (3 in sum year 2, and 6 in fall year 3) and 1 credit hour required in each semester following until completion of the dissertation.
Fall Year 3 6 DOC 399 Dissertation: Nine credit hours required (3 in sum year 2, and 6 in fall year 3) and 1 credit hour required in each semester following until completion of the dissertation.
  1. 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 must register for six credits hours during their first two years in the program (fall, spring, and summer), and the fall semester of their third 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.
  2. Any limitations and special policies (e.g., 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.
    • Students must abide by all policies and procedures as outlined in the Drake University School of Education Doctoral Program Handbook.
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