Ed.D. Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Professional Practice EdD Program?

The Doctor of Education (EdD) degree at the University of Florida is an established doctoral degree offered only in the College of Education. The online professional practice doctorate is designed to support practicing professionals serving or preparing to serve as educational leaders at all levels and in a range of contexts. The degree is designed to connect advanced graduate study with pressing problems of practice encountered by educational leaders and will prepare them to create a more seamless connection between theory, research, and practice. In addition, the online program meets the needs of adult learners by providing individual and collaborative self-directed, job-embedded learning application opportunities and by accommodating varied work schedules and personal responsibilities. It extends the opportunity to receive an advanced graduate degree from the University of Florida to full-time educational professionals living and working across the state and nation without many of the personal and professional sacrifices necessary for full-time on-campus study.

How is this program different from other doctoral programs?

The Teachers, Schools, and Society (TSS) Professional Practice EdD in Curriculum and Instruction is designed specifically for the practicing educator. The following features are distinct:

  • The program is cohort-based with participants working together as a community of learners to name, frame, and study common and individual problems of practice.
  • Courses specifically link theory and research to problems of professional practice within participants’ contexts.
  • Course assignments support educators in the application of and inquiry about their learning.
  • Qualifying examinations are organized around reflective portfolio entries in which participants demonstrate conceptual understanding and application of learning to problems of practice.
  • The dissertation is designed as a capstone experience in which participants design and implement practitioner inquiry studies focused on context-based problems of practice.

Who is it for?

We are seeking committed educational professionals who are working actively to create more just and equitable experiences for students, teachers, and communities in their contexts.

We continue to broaden our definition of “educational professional” as we more inclusively consider a range of roles in and beyond schools and classrooms that are so intertwined with the field of education and society as a whole (classroom teachers, instructional coaches, school and district leaders, professional development coordinators, curriculum specialists, post-secondary instructors/faculty, educational consultants, etc.)

How much will it cost?

Students will be responsible for their application fee, tuition and fees each semester*, books (price varies), and travel/lodging (summer institutes). Students should anticipate taking a minimum of 60 credit hours for program completion (i.e., approximately thirteen 3-credit courses and 21 credits of advanced research/dissertation research).

As a public institution, our costs are reasonable, even if you are not a Florida resident. UF is authorized to provide online enrollment to residents of most states. Only the states noted are not eligible, and an explanation of restrictions can be found here.

*These are only estimates and may vary from year to year. Please check with the Bursar’s Office for the most current information. Students who are out of state and wish to qualify for the Flat Rate Waiver must be registered for all of their classes by the end of the drop/add period for the full semester in which they are enrolled.

You can find more information about funding opportunities by visiting the following:

Please know we are not able to provide graduate teaching/research waivers for EdD students due to the online nature of our program and, perhaps more obviously, the fact that our EdD students are full-time working professionals.

Will my degree help me get a raise in the public school system in which I am employed?

Prospective students are encouraged to visit the Online/Distance State Authorization Process and UF Online page to be sure that this program is authorized in their respective state. Prior to enrollment, students are also encouraged to visit their state educational agency or licensing board to ascertain whether or not they can utilize their degree program for additional compensation, initial licensing, or renewal of an educational license, as well as any other benefits.

What commitment do I need to make?

Students must commit to the following:

  1. Remaining active as a full-time educational professional throughout the duration of the program.
  2. Attending a synchronous virtual orientation prior to the first summer of coursework.
  3. Adhering to registration policies and deadlines each semester.
  4. Attending week-long on-campus institutes (always during UF summer break week) during the first and third summers, and participating in synchronous and asynchronous online activities during the second summer’s virtual institute. Each summer institute is approximately four days in length and always occurs during UF’s summer break week (usually the third or fourth week of June).
  5. Orally defending written qualifying exam and dissertation on-campus or, with committee approval, via Zoom.
  6. Participating in occasional synchronous meetings/activities via Zoom with cohort colleagues and/or course instructors when scheduled as part of specific courses.
  7. Staying on track with the cohort program of study.

How long will it take?

This program takes approximately four years to complete assuming approval by the UF graduate school to transfer 30 credits from prior graduate coursework (master’s or specialist degree). The first two years include a predetermined sequence of online coursework, followed by a written and oral qualifying examination and the dissertation experience. If a student is unable to follow their cohort’s program of study, it will generally mean delaying progress toward their degree until the next cohort begins (a cohort is admitted every other year).

Can I apply early and start taking classes early?

No. Because this is a cohort program, we do not review applications or admit on a rolling basis. No courses may be taken early or in conflict with the cohort program of study.

Where will classes be offered?

All classes will be offered online on UF’s Canvas E-Learning platform. Summer, Fall, and Spring sessions are typically 16 weeks in length, and students typically take two courses (six credits) each semester during the first phase of the program.

How many courses can I transfer in?

UF’s graduate school determines the number of credits transferred in. Typically your entire master’s degree will transfer in (up to 30 credits) as long as they are graduate-level courses with a letter grade of B or better earned recently from a relevant education degree program from a regionally accredited university. The program coordinator will advise students regarding programs of study and transfer credits, including petitioning the graduate school concerning the recency/relevancy of courses, if necessary. Final decisions lie with the graduate school, so the time to degree may be longer if not approved for 30 credits.

If you have a graduate degree from UF, up to 36 credits may count toward the 90-hour doctoral degree, which only lightens your load in some semesters but does not shorten your program length.

What are the dates for the summer experience?

The summer experience will be held during the UF summer break week between Summer A and B. Generally this is the fourth week of June each summer. Attendance is required, and upon admission, you must commit to attending and participating in the institute for the first three summers.

2023 – Week of June 26

2024 – Week of June 24

2025 – Week of June 23

2026 – Week of June 22

2027 – Week of June 21

How does the cohort structure work?

This program operates as a cohort model with a specified sequence of online courses involving asynchronous and synchronous virtual learning experiences, three summer institutes, written and oral qualifying examinations (including a dissertation proposal), and defense of a completed written dissertation.

In addition to taking all courses together as a cohort during the first two years of the program, students must support the success of all cohort members by actively participating in facilitated synchronous and asynchronous online discussions, sharing relevant artifacts, collaborating on activities such as inquiry cycles, writing groups, professional development experiences, etc., and serving as critical friends.

While this program is primarily asynchronous online, there are numerous required synchronous virtual meetings embedded throughout: individual meetings with faculty instructors/advisors, collaborative small group meetings, whole-cohort meetings, etc. Every effort will be made to schedule mutually convenient dates/times.

What are the selection criteria?

The TSS EdD Professional Practice Doctorate is highly competitive. Applicants are expected to check the TSS website for information about how to apply. Applicants will have to meet all University entrance requirements in order to be selected. Current entrance requirements include three or more years of practical experience in the education field, a full-time professional role in education, an upper-division undergraduate GPA of 3.0, a purpose statement, and a written response on an assigned topic. The admissions committee reviews all application materials using all available evidence on a case-by-case.

When will I know whether I’ve been admitted?

For our next cohort, TSS program area faculty will review all applications for a cohort when the spring 2024 semester begins. Decision letters will be sent to applicants via email by the end of February 2024.

What courses will I take?

Curriculum/Instruction and TSS Concentration Courses:

  • Perspectives in Curriculum, Teaching, and Teacher Education
  • Critical Pedagogy
  • Professional Development and Teacher Learning
  • Education & American Culture
  • Academic Writing for Practitioner Scholars
  • Teacher Leadership for Educational Change
  • Teacher Learning and Socialization in Poverty Schools

Research Methodology Courses:

  • Foundations of Research in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Practitioner Research: Theory and Practice
  • Qualitative Research for Practitioner Scholars
  • Quantitative Methods for Evaluation in Educational Environments
  • Practitioner Research II
  • Conceptualizing Research in Curriculum and Instruction

Dissertation/Capstone Research Courses:

  • Advanced Research (Qualifying Exam/Capstone Proposal) (6+ credits)
  • Dissertation Research (Capstone) (12+ credits)

Whom should I contact with questions?

Questions about the admissions process or your application:

Email GradAdmissions@coe.ufl.edu

Questions about the program:

Email Dr. Elyse Hambacher (edd-tss-program@coe.ufl.edu)