Jul 14, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Educational Program Development, Ed.D.


  • Educational Innovation

This Major shares core requirements with the Curriculum and Instruction, Ph.D.  and the Higher Education Administration Ph.D.


The Doctor of Education degree is available in Educational Program Development with a concentration in Educational Innovation. The focus of this degree program is on the improvement of educational practice. The Ed.D. is considered a practitioner’s degree that emphasizes practical applications of research.

Admission Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.

A master’s degree from an accredited university in education, a related professional field, or a specialization for which the student plans to develop educational programming or the equivalent bachelors and/or graduate degrees from a foreign institution.

Application Documents:

  • Three letters of recommendation to be submitted directly to the program. These must be from professional sources, and, if possible, should include at least one reference from a USF faculty member.
  • Evidence of two years of successful professional experience in education or an education-related setting.
  • Personal statement of no more than 1000 words that includes two parts:

Part 1:

  • A description of your professional goals and how they are aligned with the program’s conceptual framework (described below). How would the Ed. D. help you to meet these goals? (about 300 words)
  • Conceptual Framework: The program is designed to prepare professional practitioners for leadership and stewardship of the profession. We aim to help you develop strong habits of mind in the dimensions of practice of inquiry, agency, ethics of care, and reflective thinking:
  • Practice of inquiry: Scholar-practitioners will use practical research and applied theories as tools for positive social innovations. They will be able to identify complex problems of practice as well as design, implement, and evaluate sustainable innovations in their own professional settings.
  • Agency: Scholar-practitioners will develop a commitment to equity and social justice in order to serve as agents of change for diverse students, groups, and communities. 
  • Ethic of care: Scholar-practitioners will work collaboratively with cohort peers, faculty, and stakeholders in the profession to respond to diverse community interest and needs in ways that show compassion and care.
  • Reflective thinking: Scholar-practitioners will reflect critically and ethically on identifying complex problems of practice; developing, implementing, and evaluating sustainable innovations in their own professional settings; and implications this may have for serving as agents of change for diverse students, groups, and communities.

Part 2:

  • A description of an issue or problem of practice—a persistent issue that you have experienced before in your professional setting or is currently relevant to your professional work—that you would like to improve with the dissertation research. Provide a specific example and describe how you have approached the situation and worked with the people involved in order to resolve it (about 700 words).

The application documents will be reviewed to select a group of applicants who will be offered an admissions interview and the final candidates for admission will be selected from the interview process.

Curriculum Requirements

Total Minimum Hours: 54 credit hours post-master’s

  • Shared Core Requirements – 6 Credit hours
  • Statistics/Measurement/Research Design/Applied Research– 9 Credit hours minimum
  • Psychological and Social Foundations– 3 Credit hours minimum
  • Concentration – 15 Credit hours minimum
  • Electives – 12 Credit hours minimum
  • Dissertation – 9 Credit hours minimum

Shared Core Requirements (6 Credit Hours)

Statistics/Measurement/Research Design/Applied Research (9 Credit Hours Minimum)

Selection of three quantitative, qualitative, applied, or action research courses chosen in consultation with advisor.

Psychological and Social Foundations Requirement (3 Credit Hours)

Course focused on equity, diversity and social justice chosen in consultation with advisor.

Concentration Requirements (15 Credit Hours Minimum)

Students complete the following concentration:

Educational Innovation

The aim of the Concentration is to foster the development of effective and judicious innovators with the capacity to plan, develop, evaluate, and revise educational improvement efforts in their institutional settings.

Students complete the following 15 credit hours in Educational Innovation:

Electives (12 Credit Hours Minimum)

At least four additional 6000 or 7000 level courses selected in consultation with advisor.


Recommended courses:

Doctoral Qualifying Exam

Students complete one of three options near the completion of coursework.  The options are:

  • Literature Review
  • Portfolio
  • Analytical Paper/Essay

Dissertation (9 Credit Hours Minimum)

Students must be admitted to doctoral candidacy before they are permitted to enroll in dissertation hours.