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Doctorate of Education
Location: Gladys L. Benerd School of Education

Degree Program

Doctor of Education (EdD) in Education with specialization and/or cognate concentrations in:

  • Educational and Organizational Leadership
  • Organizational Learning and Effectiveness
  • Social and Educational Entrepreneurship

Admissions Requirement

  1. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better for the last 60 units of college or post-baccalaureate work
  2. An appropriate degree from an accredited university (masters for admission to doctoral programs).
  3. A completed application portfolio to the Graduate School, an essay following departmental guidelines; official transcripts from all college-level coursework including official verification of the awarding of degrees; and three letters of recommendation that attests to the candidate’s ability to undertake doctoral studies.
  4. Departmental interviews are required for the EdD program.
  5. Evidence of qualities and character in keeping with the philosophy and standards of this University and the School of Education.
  6. Some programs may have additional requirements. Please contact the Department Chair for that program for additional information.

For experienced educators who desire to prepare for positions as supervisors, consultants, vice principals, principals, or district office staff, the School of Education offers programs meeting the requirements for the Preliminary Administrative Services Credential. The credential programs may be combined with the master’s degree or the doctorate in education.

Program Stages

The successful completion of EDUC 356 (Option A) or EDUC 327 (Option B) with the production of a quality problem statement and literature review advances the student to Doctoral Candidacy.


An acceptable dissertation must be based on an original investigation. It must present either a contribution to knowledge and/or understanding, or an application of existing knowledge to the candidate’s special field of study. The dissertation must be submitted by the appropriate deadlines as stated in the current Graduate Academic Calendar. As noted above, students admitted to the EdD program in the Benerd School of Education require a minimum of 2 units and maximum of 5 units of Dissertation units (EDUC 399) that are completed after the dissertation proposal has been completed.

Period of Candidacy

The maximum time allowed for completion of an EdD program is governed by the following: All requirements for the Doctor of Education degree must be completed within nine years after the first day of the semester of enrollment in EdD coursework at Pacific as a provisionally admitted doctoral student. Failure to complete within nine years requires the student to petition the department and the Graduate School for continuation in the doctoral program. If the petition is approved, the student will be required to register for five additional units of EDUC 399 Dissertation. Students who do not meet these deadlines are dropped from the doctoral program.

Final Oral Examination

A final oral examination, conducted by the candidate’s dissertation committee, is held in accordance to the deadline established by the Graduate School. This oral exam concerns itself with the candidate’s dissertation. Supplemental information is available in the Benerd School of Education department offices.

Semester Hour Requirements

A minimum of 56 doctoral units is required for the EdD degree. Some (usually no more than 6) post master degree units may be approved by petition for transfer from another university and count toward the 56 doctoral units.

Credit value of the dissertation: Not less than 2 nor more than 5 units.

Grade Point Average Requirements

Grade point average of at least 3.0 in all work taken while in graduate studies is required. Preferably this should be 3.5.

Minimum Residence

The period of residence work represents an opportunity to secure additional competency in the area of specialization as well as the development of an acceptable dissertation. Residency requirement can be met by taking 18 units of coursework within 12 calendar months.

Courses Outside the Field of Education

Related graduate courses outside the field of education may count towards the EdD upon prior approval of the advisor and the Dean of the School of Education.

Doctorate of Education

The Doctorate of Education (EdD) requires a minimum of 56 units with a Pacific cumulative grade point average of 3.0.  Students must complete the doctoral core courses as well as a dissertation proposal and defense.

Based upon state and federal laws, additional units and requirements may be necessary for those students electing to earn a credential, certification or license along with the graduate degree (e.g., teaching credential, administration credential, licensed educational psychologist, or licensed psychologist).  Students interested in earning a credential, certification or license should work closely with advisor and credential staff.  Student may choose to specialize in one or more areas.  Students will be required to complete a dissertation at the conclusion of the program.

I. Core

Option A - A minimum of 21 units. Required option for all concentrations with the exception of Educational Psychology and Specialization in Counseling Psychology.

EDUC 202Statistical Thinking and Communication3
EDUC 322Qualitative Research Design and Methods3
EDUC 325Quantitative Research Design and Methods3
EDUC 352Applied Inquiry I3
EDUC 354Applied Inquiry II3
EDUC 356Applied Inquiry III3
EDUC 358Applied Inquiry IV3

Option B - A minimum of 21 units. Required for Educational Psychology and Specialization in Counseling Psychology concentrations.

EDUC 201Techniques of Research3
EDUC 202Statistical Thinking and Communication3
EDUC 304Program Evaluation3
EDUC 325Quantitative Research Design and Methods3
EDUC 326Applied Multiple Regression3
EDUC 327Structural Equation Modeling3
EDUC 352Applied Inquiry I3

II.  Research and Dissertation

(Minimum 5 units)
EDUC 399Doctoral Dissertation2-5
Education Electives related to Dissertation at 200-300 level0-3

III.  Concentrations

Students may elect to specialize in one or more specific areas.  In order to earn a concentration (specialization and/or cognate), students must fulfill the general requirements listed above as well as specific concentration (specialization and/or cognate) requirements listed below.  A single course may be used to fulfill requirements in two or more specializations and/or cognates.

Students interested in earning a credential or license along with the degree will need to fulfill specific requirements as mandated by state and national governing organizations.  In order to ensure these requirements are fulfilled, the student must work closely with an academic advisor and the credential staff in the Benerd School of Education.

Specialization Concentrations

Educational and Organizational Leadership
Select 18 units from the following Specialization courses:18
Seminar: Trends, Issues and Dynamics of Change
Seminar: Personnel Issues
Seminar: Educational Policy Making and Politics
Seminar: Administration of Higher Education
Seminar: Leadership in Diverse Organizations
Seminar: Leading Complex Organizations
Program and Organization Evaluation
Leading Innovation
Law in Higher Education
Leadership in Higher Education

Cognate Concentrations

Organizational Learning and Effectiveness
Select 12 units from the following:12
Facilitation of Projects and Initiatives
Design Thinking for Organizational Analysis
Prototyping for Organizational Improvement
Organizational Learning
Organizational Change and Consulting
Social and Educational Entrepreneurship
EDUC 215Creativity and Ideation3
EDUC 287Educational and Social Entrepreneurship3
EDUC 366Seminar: Marketing and Public Relations in Education3
EDUC 377Design Thinking & Lean Startup for Social Impact3

IV.  Of the required 56 units a minimum of 18 units must be from the Benerd School of Education

V.  Of the required 56 units a minimum of 18 units must be taken at the 200 or 300 level

Students will be able to:

  • Contribute to their discipline through conducting an original research study
  • Critique and synthesize existing information relevant to their area of inquiry
  • Apply appropriate methodologies to their process of inquiry
  • Analyze data gathered through their process of inquiry and draw appropriate conclusions from that data
  • Synthesize their results with previously existing information