About NNU's Doctoral Programs in Education

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree programs are designed to provide advanced study and research for educators interested in educational leadership. Learn more about the courses and degree requirements of these programs in the College of Adult and Graduate Studies Catalog. Program highlights include:

  • Flexible scheduling and course delivery in an online/distance format for continued employment.
  • Program length of approximately 26 months. 
  • Full accreditation with doctorally-prepared faculty who have extensive experience within the areas of K-12, higher education and educational research.
  • Utilization of a cohort model that offers a two-week on-campus summer session as an opportunity to prepare for dissertation and research activities.

Value of NNU's Doctoral Degree

A passion for leadership and a commitment to excellence made the Ph.D. program at Northwest Nazarene University the obvious choice for me. The NNU experience is both professionally and personally rewarding, providing an alignment of vision, values, personal courage, faith and community.—Robert Sanchez (current PhD candidate)

Both the Ed.D. and Ph.D. are concentrated on the area of educational leadership; however, each has a specific focus. The Ed.D. focuses on research on particular practices or policies that affect state or regional schools or school systems; this degree is concerned with application to professional practice in K- 12 education.

The Ph.D. focuses on research of national or international trends or large-scale practices in the field of education. It requires five credits in research beyond the requirements of the Ed.D. program.

Note: Both the Ed.D. and the Ph.D. require the completion of an Educational Specialist degree or equivalent OR students with prior doctoral-level coursework can be admitted.

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Cohort Start Dates

New cohorts begin in the spring of each year. The priority application deadline is October 15 of the previous fall.

Required Courses

EDUC 9900 (Ed.D. only) Ed.D Dissertation Proposal (3)
EDUC 9901 (Ph.D. only) 
Ph.D  Dissertation Proposal (3)
EDUC 9150 Introduction to Educational Research (3)*
EDUC 9160 Qualitative and Quantitative Methods for Educational Research (3)
EDUC 9165 (Ph.D. only) Research Seminar (2)
EDUC 9170 Advanced Qualitative Research: Analysis and Methods (3)
EDUC 9180 Advanced Quantitative Research: Analysis and Methods (3)
EDUC 9200 Policy Influence and Development (3)
EDUC 9300 Effective Leadership for Change Management (3)
EDUC 9400 Advanced Data Analysis (3)
EDUC 9410 (Ph.D. only) Advanced Data Analysis and Research II (3)
EDUC 9500 Professional and Ethical Leadership (3)
EDUC 9910 Dissertation Research I (3)
EDUC 9920 Dissertation Research II (3)
EDUC 9990 Dissertation Writing and Defense (3)
Total Credits 36 Ed.D.; 41 Ph.D.

Additional if needed: EDUC 9930 Extended Dissertation Research and Writing (1-3)
*9150 is waived is student took EDUC8677 Intro to Qualitative and Quantitative Research in the EDS program.

Learn More in the Catalog