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.

Two Pathways to Enter

Students in the PSU doctoral program participate in their core courses as part of a cohort. The cohort is an integral component of the PSU doctoral program. Two pathways exist to enter the program each summer. It is expected that students will complete the 60-credit degree within three years. The total time taken to complete the degree may not exceed four years.

Pathway 1

  • 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.
  • Transfer in up to 27 credits of CAGS or equivalent post-master’s work so your specialization courses are complete before enrolling.
  • Students must have
    • Earned a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) in education or a related field, a degree equivalent to a CAGS, or a minimum of 27 post-master’s credits from coursework (7000 level or higher) related to a specific field of study.
    • Practicum, internships, and capstones will not be included in the 27 credits of post-master’s coursework.
    • At least five years of successful experience in your profession
    • Be available for intensive weekend courses throughout the three years to complete the doctoral core requirements.
    • Course selection 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

  • Complete eight doctoral core courses on campus over a three year time-frame while completing the 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 have:
    • completed at least 15 credits of post-master’s level courses (7000 level or equivalent) as part of the specialization component
    • complete the remaining 12 credits of specialization courses during the first two years, along with the EdD core classes
    • at least five years successful experience in your profession
    • be available for intensive weekend courses throughout the three years to complete the doctoral core 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

Completed applications and all supporting documentation must be received by March 1 to be considered by the Doctoral Admissions Committee.

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 education and who have demonstrated evidence of or potential for professional leadership.

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.

 Highly qualified applicants will be invited to participate in the EdD interview process.
EdD Interview Process and Requirements
  1. Beginning after March 1st all Doctor of Education applicants will be reviewed by faculty and scored according to a predetermined rubric. Students will be scored on their resume, transcript, professional writing sample, statement of purpose and three letters of recommendations. Students who meet the benchmark score will be invited to a face to face interview with the PSU Doctor of Education Faculty and Director.
  2. The applicants invited for an on campus interview will be asked to come to campus for a 30 minute individual interview with 4-5 faculty. At this time applicants 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). Applicants will be scored on a predetermined rubric during this time. These interviews will occur the last week of March. Interviews are in blocks either 9-12 or 1-3 time frames.
  3. Applicants will be invited for an on campus group interview which will be from 3-6pm and will occur shortly after the individual interviews, where the applicant will be evaluated by faculty and scored.
  4. Applicants will receive notice of their acceptance or denial 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 Doctor of Education courses will begin with online pre-assignments and readings.
  6. Starting July 1 or shortly after the face to face intensive classes will begin on campus from 9-4 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.
  7. Fall classes will begin at the end of August and or early September and will be offered during Saturday intensives from 9-4pm throughout the year.

Register Now for Fall 2020

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.

2020-21 ESTIMATED Rates for New Hampshire Residents

Program Level Tuition Mandatory Fees Per Credit Total
Master’s $550 $42 $592
CAGS $575 $42 $617
EdD $640 $42 $682

2020-21 ESTIMATED Rates for Non-Residents

Program Level Tuition Mandatory Fees Per Credit Total
Master’s $765 $42 $807
CAGS $695 $42 $737
EdD $780 $42 $822

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.

Graduate Assistant positions are available on a limited basis to highly qualified graduate students who’ve been fully accepted into a graduate program at Plymouth State. Applications for assistantships should be returned to the Office of Academic Affairs by April 1 for the upcoming year.

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 2020-21
This course planning matrix shows a tentative schedule of when the doctoral core classes will be offered. Please note this is subject to change.