Doctor of Education

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Plymouth State’s Doctor of Education (EdD) programs create an environment for students to engage in collaborative inquiry, focused scholarship, and applied research.

Our EdD programs are 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.

Three Pathways to Completion

PSU’s doctoral program is a total of 60 credits, of which 27 credits are post-master’s specialization courses. Once a minimum of 15 credits in the specialization component are complete students will be invited to participate in the cohort interview process. Successful completion of the interview process will move qualified candidates into the cohort which begins in the summer of each year. Once assigned to a cohort, students will complete the eight doctoral core classes along with any remaining specialization courses and three courses of dissertation work. The cohort is an integral component of the PSU doctoral program. It is expected that students will complete the 60-credit degree within four years. The total time taken to complete the degree may not exceed five years.

Pathway 1 (must have at least 27 credits of post-master’s coursework)

  • Complete eight doctoral core classes throughout the year within the three-year time frame by taking one or two courses during each semester on campus, in sequence, starting in the summer and ending two summers later. See course schedule model.
  • Core courses are offered in an intensive or hybrid format, with pre-and post-course assignments required.
  • Students must
    • have earned 27 credits of post-master’s coursework (practicum, internships, and capstones will not be included)
    • have at least five years of successful experience in their choosen field
    • Be available for intensive weekend courses throughout the three years to complete the doctoral core requirements.
    • Specialization courses must have the approval of the doctoral program coordinator and be at the 7000 level or equivalent.
    • Courses must be completed within six years of admission to the doctoral program.

Pathway 2 (must have at least 15 credits post-master’s coursework)

  • Complete eight doctoral core courses on campus over a three year time-frame while completing remaining specialization courses during the fall and spring semesters. See course schedule model.
  • Core courses are offered in an intensive or hybrid format, with pre-and post-course assignments required.
  • Students must
    • complete the remaining 12 credits of specialization courses during the first two years, along with the EdD core classes
    • have at least five years successful experience in their choosen field
    • be available for intensive weekend courses throughout the three years to complete the doctoral core requirements.

Pathway 3 (must have earned master’s degree)

  • Complete eight doctoral core courses and specialization courses over a four-year period. Specialization courses will be completed during fall, spring, and summer semesters. 
  • Core and specialization courses are offered in an intensive or hybrid format, with pre- and post-course assignments required. 
  • Students must
    • Complete at least 15-18 credits of post-master’s courses toward the specialization component before being invited to interview for a place in a cohort which begins in the summer of each year.
    • Post-master’s core required courses:
      • EP 7020     Collaborative Leadership
      • EP 7404     Quantitative Research for Professionals
      • EP 7400     Conducting a Qualitative Study
      • EP 7080     Ethical Leadership and Decision Making
      • EP 7060     Legal Issues and Policy Making
    • Complete the remaining 9-12 credits of specialization courses during the next two years, along with the EdD core classes once assigned to a cohort.
    • Have at least 5 years successful experience in their choosen field
    • Be available for intensive weekend courses throughout the four years to complete the doctoral requirements.

Plymouth State University is accredited by the New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE) and formed the first EdD cohort in 2009. PSU is also a member of the nationally recognized Carnegie Program on Education (CPED), and has developed our program along the same principles found in this introduction to the program, and in this video developed by CPED students.

This is a practitioner based program meant for individuals who are looking to transform their organization, and themselves through personal development and action based research. This program will enable you to develop partnerships and connections for internal and external stakeholders so your dissertation can impact change on multiple levels.

Learning, Leadership and Community

The EdD in Learning, Leadership and Community is designed for experienced practitioners and professionals, including teachers, administrators, counselors and individuals working in education, community agencies and other organizations. EdD candidates will have four years total to complete the coursework and dissertation.

Curriculum Requirements

Higher Education

The EdD in Higher Education is designed to provide doctoral students with the skills and knowledge needed for successful careers in a variety of higher education environments. Doctoral students who currently work in higher education, and those who aspire to, will be able to explore the field of higher education through core and specialization courses, and participate in a practicum experience designed to give them direct experience in their areas of interest. EdD candidates will have four years total to complete the coursework and dissertation.

Curriculum Requirements

Admission to the doctoral program is competitive and open to individuals who possess a master’s degree and at least five years of successful experience in their choosen field along with demonstrated evidence of, or potential for, professional leadership.

Applications are accepted for the fall, spring, and summer semesters. All materials must be submitted by the stated deadlines below. As part of the application review, students will be advised to follow one of the three pathways to complete the program based on the number of post-master’s credits earned at the time of admission. The program coordinator will work closely with students and invite those who are ready to move into the doctoral phase to interview for next available summer cohort. 

  • Fall 2022 – Apply by August 1, 2022
  • Spring 2023 – Apply by December 1, 2022
  • Summer 2023 Cohort – Apply by March 1, 2023
  • Summer 2023 – Apply by April 15, 2023

Admissions requirements for the Doctor of Education programs require the following materials to be submitted through our online application

Minimum GPA of 3.0 or better

The admissions review team will consider academic history for bachelor’s, master’s and post-master’s coursework.

Official transcripts from all college level coursework

Official transcripts verifying conferral of bachelor’s and other graduate degrees from an accredited institution, along with official transcripts from any/all other colleges and universities attended. Transcripts can be sent electronically to or mailed to PSU Graduate Admissions, 17 High Street-MSC 52, Plymouth NH 03264

Three professional recommendations

Professional recommendations must:

  • directly address applicant’s candidacy for admission to the doctoral program;
  • include a detailed explanation of applicant’s strengths and ability to do research; and
  • address applicant’s potential to successfully participate in, and complete, a doctoral program.
Current resume

Resumes can be uploaded directly to your online application.

Professional writing sample

Applicants may create a writing sample or use a previously created work that has been submitted academically or written for professional reasons. Writing sample must:

  • be written within the last two years
  • be original and individually written (group projects or papers will not be accepted)
  • be clear and well organized with logical progression of ideas;
  • include multiple supporting details (literature) with sources cited correctly within the narrative;
  • indicate mastery of grammar, usage & mechanics; and
  • reveal evidence of appropriate use of APA format.
Statement of interest

The statement of interest/intent must:

  • indicate your reasons for applying to the doctoral program;
  • describe your preparation and/or readiness for commencing doctoral level coursework; and
  • explain why our program is a good fit.
NH Residency Verification form (NH residents only)
Residents of NH must complete the NH Residency Verification form as part of the application process to receive the in-state tuition rate.

$100 application fee

The application fee will be waived for US Military Veterans and/or PSU alumni who have earned a bachelor’s, master’s or CAGS degree from Plymouth State.

Acceptance to the Summer Cohort – Doctoral Core & Dissertation
EdD Interview Process and Requirements
  1. In March of each year, the EdD program director will invite doctoral  students who have met the minimum of 15 post-master’s credits to participate in the interview process for the upcoming summer cohort. 
  2. There will be a 30 minute individual interview with 4-5 faculty at which time students will be asked to present their Problem of Practice that aligns with their research and dissertation interests. (Please review guidelines for Problem of Practice development in preparation for the on campus interview). 
  3. There will also be a group interview which will occur shortly after the individual interviews, where students will be evaluated by doctoral faculty.
  4. Doctoral students will receive notice of their acceptance or denial into the upcoming cohort by the middle of April. At that time candidates will have two weeks to accept a spot in the cohort and put forth a $300 deposit to confirm their place.
  5. Starting in the third week of May the first two EdD courses will begin with online pre-assignments and readings.
  6. Starting on or around July 1, the face to face intensive classes will begin on campus from 9am-4pm for a period of two weeks. On campus classes will end in the third week of July with ongoing assignments till the second week of August at which time classes will end for the summer. Dates/schedule subject to change.
  7. Fall/Spring classes be offered as Saturday intensive classes from 9am-4pm throughout the year. Dates/schedule subject to change.

Register Now for Fall classes

Search for classes – the Office of the Registrar handles the course registration process – more information is available by visiting their website where you can check out the current course schedule by clicking on the “Browse and Register for Courses” option on the left side. Simply select the current term from the drop down menu which will then allow you to search for classes in a variety of ways.

Register Online – Registration can be completed online through the myPlymouth portal if you are a current/active student or have been admitted to a graduate program. Be sure to have your user name, password, and the course number and title handy. At the end of the registration process you will be notified of your billing due date. Specific instructions for completing the online registration can be found on the Registrar’s website under the “How to Register” tab.

New to PSU? If you are taking your first graduate class at PSU and have not been admitted to a graduate program, you will need to complete the paper registration form which can be found under the “Registration Forms” tab. Completed forms should be submitted directly to the Office of the Registrar via email to or faxed to 603-535-2724.

Graduate Tuition Rates – Tuition for graduate coursework is calculated on a per credit rate based on residency status. Click here to see the current tuition costs.

“How much will my graduate program cost?” and “How will I pay for it?” are two of the most common questions asked when considering continuing your education. Here is some basic information about tuition, financial aid, scholarships and Graduate Assistant opportunities. We encourage you to click the links on this page for additional information and resources.

Graduate Tuition and Fees

Tuition for graduate level courses is assessed on a per credit basis, and differs slightly for NH residents and non-residents. Please note, the per credit rate varies depending on the level of the program to which you are admitted.

2022-23 ESTIMATED Rates for New Hampshire Residents

Program Level Tuition Mandatory Fees Per Credit Total
Master’s $560 $42 $602
CAGS $595 $42 $637
EdD $650 $42 $692

2022-23 ESTIMATED Rates for Non-Residents

Program Level Tuition Mandatory Fees Per Credit Total
Master’s $770 $42 $812
CAGS $745 $42 $787
EdD $825 $42 $867

More information is available through the Student Account Services Office.

Financial Aid

Graduate students are eligible for financial aid in the form of student loans only. You will need to complete the FAFSA at least 30 days prior to the start of the semester you wish to begin taking classes. International students are not eligible for federal financial aid – please review our international admission requirements to learn more.

More information can be found on the Financial Aid webpages.


Each year, Plymouth State offers a limited number of merit-based scholarships to admitted graduate students. Selection criteria include academic and professional achievements, commitment to graduate study, and achievement or pursuit of personal or professional goals. Visit the PSU Scholarship Opportunities webpage for additional information.

Graduate Assistant positions

Graduate assistants are an important part of Plymouth State’s collaborative learning community. They work alongside faculty, staff, and students to help achieve the University’s goals, while gaining valuable experience as assistants, researchers, and teachers.

At this time, our Graduate Assistant positions are limited and available only for certain graduate programs.  Please contact your program coordinator for more information on available positions and the application process.  

We would be happy to provide you with more information about our graduate programs – here are a few ways to learn more!

INQUIRE – Complete a brief inquiry form and we will connect you with the program coordinator and provide you with additional information about the curriculum, admission requirements, faculty information, and more.

VISIT – We hold information sessions and campus visits throughout the year, or we can schedule an in-person advising appointment – come check out our beautiful campus in Plymouth, NH

EMAIL – Have a quick question about our wide array of graduate programs and certificates? Send us an email at

CHAT – We would be happy to chat with you – just submit a question to one of our admissions advisors.

Want an answer right away? Give us a call – the Admissions Office is open Mon-Fri from 8:00am-4:30pm at 603-535-2237 or 800-FOR-GRAD.

Graduate Admission Team – Whether you are continuing your education or have been out of school for a while, we are here to help guide you through the application process, assist in getting you registered for your first semester of classes, and provide you with “next steps, information, and resources on campus.

Program Coordinator/Advisor – Once you have been admitted into a graduate program, you will be assigned an academic advisor who will be your go-to person for class scheduling, program and/or curriculum questions, and academic guidance.

Office of the Registrar – can assist with course registration, transcript requests and degree conferral information

Student Account Services – please contact them with questions regarding your bill, employer reimbursement, or financial holds on your account.

Financial Aid Office – is here to assist financial aid, student loans, or other financial related questions.

EdD Course Offerings 2022-23
Please check our course registration page for current offerings or schedule a time to speak with the program coordinator for more information.