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Degree Types

Below you will find the wide variety of degrees offered at the Curry School ranging from our bachelors degrees (and even a minor) to our doctoral programs.

In addition, you can see that we have a portfolio of non-degree offerings that include certificates, course series that are designed to fulfill Virginia endorsement requirements, as well as workshops.

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

The Ed.D. program prepares practitioner-scholars to become leaders within their professions.  Students participate in coursework, research, and field work that focus on the problems faced by educators in schools and other educational institutions.  Students participate in internships that involve the challenges of identifying and developing solutions to the difficulties that educators face on a daily basis. 

Coursework includes topics covering a variety of professional skills, research approaches and seminars focused on seminal scholarship and evidence-based practices.

Students complete a written comprehensive exam covering the knowledge base and the methodology associated with solving field-based problems and a capstone project that documents a problem-solving project or program that was initiated or evaluated and is designed to transform practice. 

Academic Tracks Offered

Admission Requirements

In addition to the admission requirements described under Academic Rules and Regulations, an applicant to an Ed.D. program must: hold a master’s degree or its equivalent, and have previous professional experience in an area related to the proposed major.

Learn more about admission requirements

Enrollment Requirements

Students must be enrolled continuously at the University during the fall and spring semesters while working toward the Ed.D. degree. If students are not taking courses or working with a committee they may maintain enrollment by paying a University non-resident fee through the Office of Admission in the Curry School. Failure to maintain continuous enrollment will require students to reapply for admission. Students must be enrolled for dissertation hours during any semester in which they are working with their committee.

Time Limit

All requirements must be completed within four years after passing the Ed.D. comprehensive examination and within seven years of admission to the Ed.D. program. In special cases, the student may be required to validate out-of-date work by examination. Program committees must determine the appropriateness and currency of all course work, especially if it is eight or more years old.

Program Features

Program Advisors

All entering Ed.D. students will work with a faculty advisor who will guide them in the development of their course of study and capstone project.


Coursework and Residency

The Ed.D. program requires a minimum of 72 credits, including 54 credits of regular coursework (i.e., including up to 6 hours of internship, and not including capstone credits), 12 credits of internship (see below), with at least 36 course credits completed after admission to the program. Students can apply up to 12 credits of capstone project work toward the total of 72 in the final year.

Students entering the doctoral program with a strong master’s degree can apply up to 24 hours of credit to their doctoral program, provided that program area faculty determine j that courses are equivalent to courses required in the doctoral program.

Students will ordinarily complete the program in 3 years of full-time study. Some students may take longer, depending on internship and other responsibilities. EdD students may also study on a part-time basis.



Ed.D. students must participate in an internship. This internship will occupy approximately 20 hours of each student’s week for two years. Students will earn 12 internship credits, most likely distributed across 4 semesters in which students could earn 3 credits during each semester. Six of the 12 credits could be applied toward the required 54 credits of coursework if the experiences included a product (e.g., paper) that frames the internship experiences in a theoretical/research base that could be evaluated by program faculty. The remaining 6 credits can be applied to the 72 credit requirement for graduation. Paid employment in a school or other practice setting can approved for internship, provided that the student receives supervision and training throughout this experience.


Research Methodology

Ed.D. students will take a four-course sequence of research courses covering topics such as research design, program evaluation, research literacy, practice-based research, and data-driven decision-making. These courses could include Research Foundations, Program Evaluation, and as well as other qualitative and quantitative methods courses.



Program areas will determine key student competencies across each year of the doctoral program. Programs may use accreditation or licensing requirements as the foundation for these competencies. Students will document their evolving competencies annually, and receive written and oral feedback on their annual progress.
Comprehensive Examination:

Ed.D. students will complete a written comprehensive exam that covers the knowledge base and methodology of their disciplinary area and demonstrates their readiness to undertake capstone research. The examination will be graded independently by at least two faculty members.


Capstone Project

Students will complete a capstone project. The details of the capstone project can be found on the Curry website.

Life After Curry

Upon completing the Ed.D., Curry graduates typically assume leadership positions in educational settings, e.g., government, K-12 schools, higher education, professional organizations.

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