Educate and Lead the Next Generation

Be a leader in your field with a doctoral degree in education from Nova Southeastern University. Learn how to foster positive change and development in your classroom, school, administration, or organization. Unlike research-heavy Ph.D. programs, this degree is designed for practitioners, giving you a more hands-on approach to educational leadership.

This flexible online program makes it easier for you to earn your doctorate and further your career with no testing requirements for admission and an optional research project in place of a dissertation.

Headshot of Ed.D. alum, Jene Kapela

I was looking for a program that was practical and that focused on the application of career skills, as opposed to a strictly theoretical, academic program. I found that here.

Jene Kapela | Doctor of Education in Leadership and Higher Education Leadership

What Can You Do with an Ed.D.?

Go on to have a rewarding career as a(n):

  • Teacher
  • Administrator
  • Curriculum Writer
  • Organization Leader
  • Nonprofit Leader
  • Sports Administrator
NSU alum teaching a class

Why Earn Your Ed.D. at NSU?

Specialize Your Studies

This doctoral program offers nine concentrations to choose from to tailor your degree to your area of interest. Whether your passions lie in the classroom as educator, outside the classroom as an administrator, or as a leader in an organization, you’ll be able to excel in your career as an expert in your field.

NSU EdD graduate smiling into the camera with a presentation behind her

Curriculum and Teaching

Skillfully provide direction in the development, implementation, and evaluation of curricula and teaching.

Offered online.

Two educational leaders walking down a school hallway

Educational Leadership

Improve K-12 schools, districts, and other learning environments through planning and research.

Offered online.

two women, seated, in discussion with one another

Higher Education Leadership

Improve the academic and administrative performance of your higher education institution.

Offered online.

woman smiling and reaching out for someone's hand

Human Services Administration

Gain critical skills in the administration, management, and policy development of human services agencies and programs.

Offered online.

students taking notes while participating in an online class

Instructional Technology and Distance Education

Take teaching and learning practices in your organization to the next level with technology.

Offered online.

woman and man in business professional attire seated and in discussion

Organizational Leadership

Develop new competencies for leading a successful organization in an increasingly complex world.

Offered online.

over the shoulder view of a teacher speaking to young children

Reading Education

Transition from practitioner to scholar, applying the latest research in the field of literacy education.

Offered online.

teacher and young student reviewing an assignment

Special Education

Gain critical skills in advocacy, policy development, management, and administration of special education programs.

Offered online.

sports manager pointing at something on a field

Sports Leadership

Climb your way to the top of the sports industry ladder by becoming a leader who can tackle sports challenges in a global economy. 

Offered online.

Capstone Options

The Ed.D. program offers two capstone options for completing your education: the Applied Dissertation or the Strategic Research Project (SRP). Both choices are designed to help you formulate tough questions and learn how to begin answering them as you prepare for educational leadership. You must successfully complete one of these capstones in order to graduate. 

Dissertation Support Services is available to help you with applied dissertations.

Strategic Research Project (SRP)

As opposed to a traditional dissertation, this is a more action-oriented project. Develop a strategy to examine a problem that could occur in an educational setting, using a combination of research and discussion with key stakeholders.

The SRP is made up of two six-credit courses to be completed in two semesters after you have finished all of your required courses.

Applied Dissertation

The dissertation includes a detailed, accurate, and cohesive account of a scholarly investigation designed to answer one or more research questions. This will help you improve your practice in education and human services.

The dissertation process consists of a total of 12 credits encompassing four major benchmarks.

Learn More About the SRP

Not sure which capstone option is the right choice for you? Check out the FAQs below to see why the Strategic Research Plan may be better than a traditional dissertation.

Q: How long will it take me to complete the SRP?
A: Two semesters. You will take two classes: ESRP 9000 in the first term and ESRP 9001 in the second term.

Q: Do I still have to complete a dissertation if I elect the SRP option to earn my Ed.D.?
A: No.

Q: If I do not pass ESRP 9000 (first SRP class), may I still take ESRP 9001?
A: No, you must retake and pass ESRP 9000 before you can register for ESRP 9001.

Q: How many times can I retake ESRP 9000 if I fail it?
A: You are permitted to retake ESRP 9000 two times.

Q: If I choose the Applied Dissertation option, am I permitted to switch midstream?
A: Yes; however, the work that you completed for your applied dissertation may not transfer to your SRP assignments. Students must complete all 12 SRP credits.

Q: Are the grades for SRP Pass/Fail or letter grades?
A: The grades for SRP are P (Pass) and F (Fail). Students must achieve 70% or higher to receive a P (Pass).

Q: May I register on my own for SRP or do I need an advisor to register for me?
A: Similar to the Applied Dissertation track, you must have the assistance of an adviser to register for SRP as you must have completed all required coursework and have a minimum 3.0 GPA at the time of registration.

Q: Am I permitted to take other classes at the same time that I take SRP classes?
A: No, you must complete all of your required courses before taking SRP classes.

Q: Am I permitted to take both SRP classes together?
A: No, you must take ESRP 9000 first by itself and then ESRP 9001 second by itself.

Q: Do I have to choose an SRP chair?
A: No, the professor teaching your ESRP course will guide you through your project.

Q: Will I get the same instructor for both ESRP courses?
A: Not necessarily. Many sections of ESRP will be offered. Registering early is recommended as it increases the likelihood you will get the professor you prefer.

Q: Do I have to defend my SRP?
A: You will be responsible for an oral presentation, along with a final report in ESRP 9001. This can be done in a virtual format.

Q: Does the SRP need to be about a topic at a workplace or can an external problem-solving topic be examined?
A: An employment site is not critical to the completion of the SRP. Students will have the option to use scenarios.

Q: Will I need IRB approval?
A: Given that you will not be implementing your study, IRB approval is not necessary.

Q: Do I still need to go to Summer Institute if I am electing the SRP option and not the dissertation option?
A: Yes, the Summer Institute is a requirement of the doctoral program. If you have not yet earned your Summer Institute credit, you must attend during the second or third year in the program. The Institute will offer SRP seminars for students who have chosen the SRP option.

Q: Will my diploma read any differently if I choose SRP vs. Applied Dissertation?
A: No, your diploma will still read the same.

All-But-Dissertation? We can help!

The Doctoral Completion Pathway (DCP) is designed to support Doctor of Education students who have completed all required coursework but need extra support to complete their dissertation. The structured program is delivered online and pairs students with a team of professionals dedicated to your success. 

The program is open to both NSU students and students from other universities, but space is limited.

DCP Information for NSU Students

DCP Information for Non-NSU Students

The Summer Institute

Doctoral students are required to attend at least one Summer Institute as part of required coursework. During each day of the institute, students will attend sessions where they will learn valuable skills to help them be successful in the program.

There will also be sessions offered specifically to assist with the understanding and completion of the culminating capstone option (applied dissertation or strategic research project) that all students are required to complete. The sessions offer a unique blend of direct instruction and time for students to ask questions and connect with NSU faculty and engage with fellow students.

The overall goal of the institute is to immerse students in a learning experience that will provide students with the information and tools needed to be a successful Ed.D. student. 

Learn More About the Summer Institute

Group picture of students attending the Summer Institute

Success Stories

Shelley J. Brown Cooper, Ed.D.

Founder of Diversity Telehealth

“After being a classroom teacher for 25 years, I wanted to do something different but still be in the realm of helping people.”

Headshot of Ed.D. program alum, Shelley Brown Cooper

Gain the NSU Edge

Get an edge in your career with an academic community that is here to support you and guide you as continue your education journey and further your career.

As a student at NSU, you’ll have a competitive advantage among your peers with a flexible, individualized learning experience, funding for your tuition, community connections to career opportunities, and access to a globally established alumni network.

Learn More About the NSU Edge

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