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Teaching, Learning and Educational Leadership

Educational Theory, Research and Practice (EdD)

The Department of Teaching, Learning and Educational Leadership at Binghamton University offers an EdD program that integrates theory, knowledge, research and practice to increase understanding of and improve teaching and learning within the broader institutional, social, organizational and political context of early childhood, elementary, secondary and postsecondary educational settings and related fields.

The program emphasizes a broadening experience, where students gain breadth and depth through the required core and research courses, careful planning of electives and learning alongside a cohort of students with diverse backgrounds and experiences. The intent is to foster constructive and insightful discourse across professional areas and research interests.

The doctoral program is designed with both collective and individualized elements. All students will take core courses that emphasize theories and research methods used in addressing meaningful educational and social issues. These courses have both applied and theoretical contributions for addressing complex and multilayered problems. In these classes, students will be encouraged to refine their own research questions through the integration of theories and methods across disciplines and professional fields.

The doctoral program has four core learning areas:

  1. reflective professional practice
  2. educational theory
  3. diversity and social justice
  4. research methodologies

Detailed information about the doctoral program can be found in the EdD Doctoral Student Handbook.

Program requirements

The requirements for the EdD in Educational Theory, Research and Practice include:

  • Developing and completing a program of study. Students will work closely with their program advisors to develop an individualized plan of study that includes required core courses in education, core research courses, and elective courses. Students are required to maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 grade point average in all courses presented for the doctoral degree. No credit is granted for courses in which a grade of C- or lower is received. The plan of study is meant both as a planning tool as well as a check on the progress of course work and other doctoral requirements.  The plan of study form should be completed by the end of the first academic year for full-time students and by the end of the third semester of coursework for part-time students in consultation with the student’s program advisor. Plans of study will be filed in student files by the Student Services secretary for future reference. Any amendments to the plan of study need to be documented and approved by program advisor and the doctoral coordinator.

  • Passing the comprehensive examination (portfolio). The comprehensive examination for the EdD comprises a qualifying portfolio and an oral defense. This exam, which occurs when all coursework is completed,  is a major milestone in doctoral education, as it demonstrates to your committee that you have acquired specialized knowledge in educational theory, research, and practice, and that you have developed the expertise necessary to undertake advanced-level dissertation work. Upon the successful completion of the comprehensive examination, students are officially advanced to doctoral candidacy.  

  • Preparing and defending a dissertation prospectus. Doctoral candidates are required to present a dissertation prospectus to their dissertation committees. In the prospectus, doctoral candidates identify the topic to be undertaken in the dissertation and formalize the approval of the project by the dissertation committee. Prospective formats and requirements vary in relation to dissertation genre. As such, the doctoral candidate should work closely with the dissertation advisor and committee on the fulfillment of this requirement

  • Design, conduct and defend dissertation research. The dissertation establishes doctoral candidates as independent scholars in their areas of expertise.  Students can conduct a traditional or multiple-paper dissertation (e.g., chapters that are a series of publishable papers or publishable  journal articles). In consultation with the dissertation chair and committee, doctoral candidates will determine the dissertation format that best aligns with their research and career goals. When the doctoral candidate has completed the research, written the dissertation, and has made revisions to the satisfaction of the dissertation advisor, the final oral defense of the dissertation can be scheduled. At the final examination, the doctoral candidate is required to respond to examiner’s questions concerning the dissertation and to defend the validity of the dissertation. To pass, the student must receive the unanimous approval of the dissertation examining committee approved by the Graduate School.

Required courses

In addition to the following required courses, students are required to take a minimum of 20 credits of elective courses, in consultation with the student’s advisor.  

Education Core Courses

Research Courses


For questions about Binghamton University's Doctorate in Education - Educational Theory, Research and Practice, contact Marla Mallette, program coordinator.


To apply to this program, visit our Admissions page.

Last Updated: 1/24/18