Ed.D. in Education FAQs

Question: What are the deadlines for application submission?

Answer: January 15.  Learn more about application requirements by visiting the How to Apply to the Ed.D. in Education page.

Question: How long will it take for the admission committee to make their decision?

Answer: The committee will usually notify students of their decisions by the middle of March.

Question: Can I still apply to the Ed.D. program under the old concentrations?

Answer: The Ed.D. program was revised beginning in 2010. No new applications are being accepted for concentrations as specified under the prior program.

Question: Do I have to have a Master’s degree to apply to the program?

Answer: A Master’s degree is required for the Ed.D. program.  Learn more about application requirements by visiting the How to Apply to the Ed.D. in Education page.

Question: What is the cost of the program?

Answer: A complete list of tuition and fees can be found on the Office of Student Accounting, Billing, and Cashiering’s Tuition and Fees page.

Question: Who should I contact for additional information?

Answer: Additional information about the Ed.D. program can be found by contacting Ed.D. program director Cheryl McLean.

Question: Can I work and do the program?

Answer: Yes, the program is designed for working professionals and most of our students are employed full-time.

Question: What’s the difference between the Ph.D. and the Ed.D.?

Answer: The programs differ in their mission and their structure.  The Ph.D. is designed for individuals who plan on a career devoted primarily to research conducted in the context of a research-intensive university setting or in a research oriented consulting firm.  The Ed.D. is intended for individuals who plan to be educational leaders in the practice arena–in schools, school districts, community-based and faith-based organizations, teacher education, other educational settings such as museums and corporate training departments, and consulting firms providing technical assistance and professional development to educators.

Given these divergent goals, the structure of the two programs is significantly different.  The Ph.D. program has two broad concentrations and few course requirements (only pro seminars and research methods).  A specific course taking plan for each student is developed in consultation with an advisor to ensure the development of deep knowledge in an area in which the student wants to concentrate.  At least as important in this program, Ph.D. students are meant to learn how to become researchers by doing by engaging in collaborative research projects with faculty in a sort of apprenticeship model.  The Ed.D. is a cohort program with a relatively large number of required common courses and five concentrations designed to help students develop the leadership and research skills they need to effectively lead change and improvement efforts for learners in a broad range of educational contexts.  While the Ph.D. program does not have a specified time to completion, the Ed.D. is designed to be completed in 38-48 months.

Many students ask whether one degree positions them better than another to work in higher education.  The answer is not necessarily.  A doctorate is a doctorate, and either can equally qualify someone to work in a college or university.  What distinguishes someone for a research intensive position in a university is his or her training and experience, not the name of the degree.  With that said, however, we assume that those who earn an EdD and want to teach at the college level will most likely work as educators of educators (e.g., teacher educators, instructors in leadership masters programs, etc.).  Students in either program should work with their instructors and advisors to take the course work and gain the experiences they need to help them meet their future job-related goals.

Question: What does it mean to be a cohort program?

Answer: Logistically this means that all members of the cohort begin the program at the same time and take all required classes together.  Ideally, all members complete the program at the same time.  The benefits of this approach is that students have a true community of learners to which they belong to provide intellectual and emotional support.  Our current students state that being part of a cohort is one of the best features of the program.

Question: What is the course schedule?

Answer: The program begins at the beginning of our summer session, right after Memorial Day.  It runs year round.  Summer classes meet 1-2 days a week for 6 or 12 weeks.  Students take three classes during Summer sessions 1 and 2, with a one-week break in between classes.  Most classes are taught using a hybrid format (combination of face to face and online).  Classes run from 5-8:30 pm.  Fall and Spring classes meet once a week for 15 weeks from 4:50-7:30.  Most students take two classes each semester during the academic year.  Once students reach dissertation stage, they meet with their dissertation groups and chair approximately every two weeks by arrangement.

Question: Can I transfer credits in?

Answer: Yes, most students transfer in between 3 and 9 credits, but you are allowed to transfer in up to 18 credits.  You will be notified of transfer credit given after your second semester in the program.

Question: The program is designed to be completed in a little more than 3 years. Can I complete the program in less time or more time?

Answer: You cannot speed up the program.  The program is quite compressed already.  We feel that doing it even more quickly would make it too difficult to assimilate all the new information and skills we hope students are learning.  In addition, it is logistically almost impossible to complete the program in less time.  Because of our cohort design, some program elements like the qualifying process and dissertation group formation would not occur at the right time for a more accelerated pace.  You can slow down if you find it necessary. We believe that the cohort model is an extremely important element of the program and that students benefit greatly from it.  If you slow down, you lose that benefit.  However, we know that life circumstances can make it impossible to keep up the accelerated pace.  If this happens, we work with students to develop a plan that fits their needs.  We require all students to begin the program with their cohort and take at least two of the three required summer courses during their first year.  Anyone who finds they can not do this can defer matriculation for up to two years.

Question: Do cohorts start every semester?

Answer: We only start one cohort a year, at the beginning of Summer Session.  However, if you would like to begin taking classes before matriculating in to the program, you can take one or two electives (and in some cases required concentration courses, but not core courses) as a non-matriculated student.  You should seek advisement from the Ed.D. Director before making final course selections to ensure that you are taking courses that will count toward the degree.

Financial Supports

Question: I’m a current Ed.D. student interested in available financial supports. What should I do? 

Answer: Visit and study information at the following Rutgers Graduate School of Education (GSE) and Rutgers New Brunswick webpages for Tuition, Scholarships and Financial Assistance:

Question: Does the program offer scholarships/fellowships that cover tuition? 

Answer: There are currently no scholarships/fellowships at the GSE that provide tuition remission for Ed.D. students. The Ed.D. Program is designed for educational professionals and scholarly practitioners, and as such, tuition support source for this professional program usually comes from the employers. In order to supplement and/or supply any such financial needs for tuition payment, our students generally apply for financial aid.

Question: What are the typical types of financial awards and supports available to Ed.D. students in the GSE and associated conditions? 

Answer: For GSE in-house funding sources, our Ed.D. students may check out list of awards on the Tuition, Scholarships and Financial Assistance page https://gse.rutgers.edu/tuition/ and submit an application to any and all Fellowships and Awards for which they may be eligible.

Question: Is there any major doctoral level scholarship support for either prospective students or current students in the Ed.D. Program? 

Answer: There are many scholarships and awards available for which our Ed.D students may be eligible. For example, some scholarship criteria focus on field of study (e.g., literacy-centric scholarships), diversity (MLK scholarship), and/or financial need. However, many of these scholarships do not provide major financial support with awards amounts usually in the $500-$2000 range.

Question: Are prospective Ed.D. students eligible to apply for the scholarships and awards available at the GSE? 

Answer: No. Only current GSE students are eligible to apply for these scholarships and awards.

Question: How do I go about applying for a fellowship, scholarship, or an award? 

Answer: Scholarship and fellowship awards are made on the basis of academic achievement and/or financial need. While these awards are competitive, interested students are encouraged to apply for consideration by March 22 using our online application and submitting the following:

  • A one- to two-page personal statement that includes information about your professional goals and how a scholarship could help you meet your goals
  • Names and contact information for two or more recommenders (recommenders will receive an electronic request to complete a letter of recommendation by April 1)University policy requires that you must submit a current FAFSA application to be considered for scholarships with a financial need requirement.  The FAFSA application deadline is February 15 and can be found here: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa 
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