Learning, Leadership and Community

Innovate. Investigate. Inspire. Plymouth State’s Doctor of Education in Learning, Leadership, and Community creates an environment for students to engage in collaborative inquiry, focused scholarship, and applied research. The Doctor of Education is a degree oriented to the improvement of professional practice by extending the knowledge, expertise, and skill of candidates through the application of research to leadership issues.

Experienced practitioners and professionals, including teachers, administrators, counselors, and individuals in higher education, related community agencies, and organizations, will be prepared to become system leaders and agents of change in their communities and will be ready to advance in their professional careers. It is expected that students typically will complete the coursework and dissertation within a four- to six-year period; a total of eight years is allowed with approval.

Plymouth State University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and formed the first EdD cohort in 2009.

For more information, visit the Educational Leadership, Learning and Curriculum Department website.

The Cohort Model

The program is designed to support candidates from their first doctoral courses through the dissertation. Each admitted candidate becomes part of a small cohort of candidates who follow the same course schedule. You’ll engage with a learning community, your cohort, for the eight required core doctoral courses. The program can be taken as part of either a summer cohort or a year-round cohort.

The summer cohort takes two courses each summer and conducts research, participates in practica or externships, or enrolls in courses during the academic year, based on the individual student’s program of study. The summer cohort is ideal for candidates who live at a distance from Plymouth, including international candidates; for candidates who have limited time during the rest of the year; and for candidates who wish to pursue other coursework between the summer sessions. Summer cohorts began in July 2010 and will continue to form in the following “even” years: 2012, 2014, etc.

The year-round cohort takes one or two core courses per term (two in Summer I, one in fall, one in winter, two in spring and two in Summer II). The year-round cohorts began in July of 2009 and will continue to form in the following “odd” years: 2011, 2013, etc.


The curriculum requires a minimum of 60 credits: 24 credits from doctoral core coursework, 27 credits from a concentration or specialization area (which can be fulfilled with courses taken for a CAGS or equivalent program), and 9 dissertation credits.


Class formats include online, face-to-face, and hybrid meetings led by faculty who are leaders in their field. The summer courses are in-residence during July, with pre- and post-coursework assigned. The eight doctoral core courses are taken in residence at Plymouth State. The 27 credits from a concentration or specialization area may be completed on campus or online, or may be transferred into the program if approved. The nine dissertation credits can be completed from the student’s place of residence. All students have access to the full range of campus services, including the extensive library holdings and services available at Lamson Library and Learning Commons.

Getting started is easy!

Apply today or request more info.

Completed applications, including required additional documents, must be received online and by March 1 to be considered by the Doctoral Admissions Committee.

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