• EdD Program Overview

    Required Courses

    Courses meet during fall and spring terms. Within each course there are four Friday night (5-9 p.m.)-Saturday (9 a.m.-5 p.m.) sessions. The schedule for each year is distributed well in advance of the year's terms. Because there are limited sessions per course, consistent attendance is required.

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    There are 16 semester credits of electives. At Hamline, students may use 8000-level graduate courses offered by the School of Education, and selected courses from the Creative Writing Programs, School of Business, and School of Law to fulfill the elective credits. 

    Transferring Credits

    Up to eight semester graduate credits taken prior to admission at Hamline or other institutions may be transferred toward elective credits. Approval depends on meeting the transfer-credit criteria. EdD students who earn an advanced certificate (8000-level course numbers) or an administrative license through the School of Education may apply these credits toward their electives, whether they earned the certificate or license before or during their doctoral work. For example, administrative licensure holders may transfer 16 credits. Continuing studies or professional development courses from Hamline and other institutions are not accepted as doctoral work.

    Independent Study

    An independent study course is an opportunity to do independent work under the direction of a faculty member. The student and the instructor work out a course of study before the term begins and typically meet four to six times throughout the term to discuss readings and papers. Students may take one independent study, and special registration is required.

    Program Benchmarks

    In addition to completing required and elective courses, students are required to demonstrate competency through successful completion of a written examination, a synthesis presentation, a portfolio, and a dissertation.

    Written Examination

    The written examination is done after the first year and is included in the EdD portfolio. It:

    • serves as a reconstruction of the ideas and knowledge from GED 8501-8503; 
    • documents the ability to synthesize and apply what has been learned in the first four courses; and 
    • demonstrates ability to do quality writing, thinking, and research.

    Synthesis Presentation

    The synthesis presentation is done after the second year as an example of public scholarship, and is included in the EdD portfolio. Students make their presentations to Hamline faculty, students, and guests. Each presentation: 

    • shows content expertise on a topic of interest to the student; 
    • engages the student actively as a researcher and scholar through deep investigation and synthesis of the self-selected EdD themes and guiding questions from the second-year courses; 
    • promotes the EdD's purpose of developing educational leaders’ ability to make effective public presentations; and demonstrates proficiency in using language in its oral, written, visual, and technological components.

    The presentation (approximately 45 minutes) emphasizes these skills: public speaking, organization of ideas, actively engaging the audience, effective use of media/technology, and writing. Each presenter provides a synopsis of the presentation. 


    Each EdD student develops a professional, comprehensive portfolio during the doctoral program. The purpose is to document progress on the EdD knowledge, action, and reflection learning goals. These learning goals derive from the program’s eight integrated themes. The portfolio is submitted after completion of the eighth required course and must be approved before a student registers for any dissertation credits. 

    Students who pursue Minnesota administrative licensure must go through a competency-based portfolio assessment. The contents of that portfolio, which are dictated by the State, may be a subset of the EdD portfolio, but cannot be substituted for it.


    Post-admission advising occurs before taking the core courses and is completed with the Program Director. This advising typically concerns elective courses that may be taken before the core courses begin. There are three annual stages in formal program advising after admission:

    First-year advising

    Each Ed.D. student must meet twice during the first academic year with the lead facilitator to develop a formal program plan. The collaborative review has three main foci: 

    • the completion of program required courses and projects (written examination, synthesis project, and dissertation),
    • the selection of electives, and 
    • concerns and questions about any aspect of the doctoral program.

    Second-year advising

    Each Ed.D. student must meet once during the second year with the lead facilitator to review individual formal program plan and other foci described above. 

    Third-year advising

    Each Ed.D. student meets once prior to the end of the last core course with the lead facilitator to review the formal program plan, with special emphasis on progress toward the Ed.D. portfolio and prospectus development. Before the end of every core course, group advisement concerning the portfolio will also take place.