Doctor of Education

Master the practical knowledge you need to become a leader in educational management.

Enhance your educational leadership expertise with a doctoral degree focused on addressing real-world challenges and opportunities in the field of education. The program was designed to complete in approximately 3 years through a series of sequenced courses. That means you'll have the opportunity to learn and build professional relationships with the same set of students throughout the program.

Outcome goals and graduates' proficiency levels

Each doctoral program and specialization is designed around expected learning outcomes (see Expected Program Outcomes below). End of program performance is determined during the comprehensive exam and dissertation process. Because the work is unique to each learner's dissertation or research topic and the criteria for evaluation are aligned to that work, we do not collect data on proficiency levels for doctoral programs.

Doctor of Education (EdD) specializations

  • Adult Education and Leadership 2, 3
  • Curriculum and Instruction 2, 3
  • Educational Leadership and Management
  • Reading and Literacy1, 2

Quality and Professional Relevance

  • Capella's School of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). NCATE-accredited programs are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation for the preparation of P-12 teachers and other professional school personnel. Graduates of these programs are highly regarded by many school districts, licensing authorities, and teaching professionals.
  • The Educational Leadership and Management specialization is designed around the standards of a number of respected P–12 organizations.
  • This Educational Leadership and Management specialization is aligned with the Competencies for Community College Leaders developed by the American Association of Community Colleges.
  • The Reading and Literacy curriculum is designed around national reading and literacy education standards.
  • Capella is one of very few universities to offer an online EdD specialization in Reading and Literacy.

Expected Program Outcomes

  1. CONTENT KNOWLEDGE: Has content expertise in the subject matter or discipline of one's profession as a teacher, administrator, counselor, or school psychologist.
  2. PEDAGOGICAL CONTENT KNOWLEDGE: Understands concepts, theories, and research about effective teaching and learning and the interaction of subject matter and pedagogy; uses multiple strategies to help students learn subject matter.
  3. PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS: Understands the context of schools, education, and learning; designs and delivers assessment-driven standards-based curriculum, instruction, training, or administrative practices.
  4. DATA-INFORMED PLANNING: Uses data, especially about learners, to plan instructional, administrative, counseling, or consultative strategies and activities.
  5. INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: Uses information technology effectively to improve learning, productivity, and professional practice.
  6. DIVERSITY: Has the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to work successfully with diverse learners, their families, and professionals who differ in ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, gender, exceptionalities, language, religion, sexual orientation, and geography
  7. IMPACT ON P-12 LEARNERS: Assesses and documents that one's professional activities as a teacher, administrator, counselor, or school psychologist have a positive impact on P-12 learners.
  8. USE OF CURRENT KNOWLEDGE: As a practitioner-scholar, applies current theory, research, and best practice to improve one's professional practice as a teacher, administrator, counselor, or school psychologist.
  9. GENERATION OF NEW KNOWLEDGE: As a scholar-practitioner, conducts field-based research to advance and improve one's professional practice as a teacher, administrator, counselor, or school psychologist.
  10. COMMUNICATION SKILLS: Writes and speaks clearly; communicates effectively with learners, their families, and other professionals in ways appropriate to purpose and content.
  11. CRITICAL THINKING: Engages in critical thinking, analysis, and problem solving that reflect scholarly intellectual standards and incorporate sound reasoning.
  12. REFLECTIVE PRACTICE: Engages in reflective practice that leads to continuous professional growth and improvement.
  13. COLLABORATION: Collaborates successfully with families, other professionals, and community members to mobilize resources for both learners and one's own professional growth.
  14. PROFESSIONAL DISPOSITIONS: Has professional attitudes, values, and beliefs that support student learning and development.
  15. VISION AND LEADERSHIP: Demonstrates the vision and skills necessary to lead and manage classrooms and schools as complex, adaptive systems in a changing world.

1North Carolina residents are currently not eligible to enroll in this specialization.

2This specialization does not satisfy licensure requirements for P-12 public school teachers or administrators.
3Review of this specialization is pending in KS, KY, ND, SC, and TN.

School of Education Doctoral Degree Graduates

Data from graduates across all Education doctoral programs have been combined for these Career Outcomes results.

Capella's School of Education doctoral graduates report satisfaction with tasks and responsibilities and salary and benefits. Over 50% of graduates work in higher education; an additional 25% work in P-12 environments.

Satisfaction with Job Doctoral Degree Graduates

Percentage of respondents who answered "satisfied" or "very satisfied"
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q2 2012 – Q1 2013.


Our School of Education doctoral graduates report receiving salary increases and getting recognition from employers for their Capella degrees. Just over half have presented at a conference or published an article, book or monograph. Over 40% of those surveyed have advanced in their careers.

Improvement in Skills & Abilities Education Doctoral Graduates

Percentage of respondents who indicated they had accomplished each item
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q2 2012 – Q1 2013.

School of Education Doctoral Degree Graduates

Data from graduates across all Education doctoral programs have been combined for these Student Experience results.

Capella University School of Education doctoral graduates think their education meets academic program outcomes and helps them meet career goals. They are likely to recommend Capella to others.

Satisfaction with Job Doctoral Degree Graduates

Percentage of respondents who answered affirmatively
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q2 2012 – Q1 2013.


School of Education doctoral graduates report they have gained practical knowledge and expertise which are applicable in a range of professional settings.

Improvement in Skills & Abilities Education Doctoral Graduates

Percentage of respondents who rated themselves as "proficient" or "distinguished" on ability to demonstrate the skill or ability on the job.
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q2 2012 – Q1 2013.

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Capella believes in being clear about the real cost, time, and value of a Capella degree The Gainful Employment disclosures, required by the US Department of Education (DOE) (under 34 CFR 688.6 ), provide some information about completion, expenses and occupations based on learners who graduated between July 2012 and June 2013. Most of our students are part-time so they might not take a full course load or attend all 4 quarters each year. We took that into account in calculating these data. For example, we define program length for certificates and master's and doctoral degrees as the number of calendar quarters it takes a typical student to complete a program. The DOE has defined time to complete for a Bachelor's degree as 4 years. Program cost is based on the specific pricing structure for each program which is either a cost per credit or a cost per active quarter.

Other related information may be found on the Learning Outcomes, Career Outcomes, and Student Experience tabs on this page.

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Learn more about these values and how they are calculated»

Earn Your Doctoral Degree

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Alumni Success Story Quote

Photo of Generosa Lopez-Molina, PhD Generosa Lopez-Molina, PhD

"I feel that I can now help shape higher education in the 21st century, while achieving one of the most important goals in my life."

Read Generosa's story »