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Deepen your knowledge in education and gain superior critical thinking and problem-solving skills. This program allows you to engage in original research and prepare for a leadership position in either P–12 or higher education. Plus, you can develop the advanced skills needed to become a bold educational leader in a global society.

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 Philosophy (PhD) in Education

Higher education and training specializations

  • Instructional Design for Online Learning
  • Leadership for Higher Education
  • Nursing Education
  • Postsecondary and Adult Education

P–12 education specializations

  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Leadership in Educational Administration1
  • Special Education Leadership1

Quality and Professional Relevance

  • Capella University's Educator Preparation Provider (EPP) is accredited based on the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) Standards through 2024. CAEP is the only recognized national accreditor for educator preparation.
  • The CAEP Annual Report is available. This report includes impact and outcomes measures for each of offering in Capella’s CAEP-accredited EPP.
  • More than 600 organizations—including corporations, health care organizations, and community colleges—invest in their employees by partnering with Capella to offer discounted education programs.
  • The National League for Nursing recognizes that Capella’s PhD specialization in Nursing Education aligns with the Core Competencies for Nurse Educators©, using competencies that are integral to the Certified Nurse Educator® (CNE) exam.
  • Capella’s Leadership in Educational Administration and Special Education Leadership specializations are state-approved and may lead to licensure endorsement
  • Capella’s PhD specialization in Leadership in Educational Administration is recognized by the Education Leadership Constituent Council.

Expected Program Outcomes for All Specializations

Higher education and training specializations

  1. Evaluate best practices in higher education.
  2. Demonstrate professional and ethical leadership.
  3. Demonstrate professional competence.
  4. Evaluate, Analyze and conduct relevant research in higher education.

P–12 education specializations

  1. Subject Matter: Possess a deep understanding of subject matter, its place within the discipline, and its connection to other disciplines.
  2. Diverse Learners: Utilize multiple models, resources, and management strategies to meet the needs of and engage diverse populations.
  3. Equitable, Inclusive Learning Environments: Apply knowledge, skills, and attributes equitably and inclusively to ensure the people they serve have the opportunity and encouragement to reach their potential.
  4. Curriculum and Instruction: Develop assessment-driven, standards-based instruction or training.
  5. Current Research and Theory: Work as scholar-practitioners by applying current research and theory to lead the development of the profession.
  6. Field-Based research: Conduct research as scholar-practitioners to lead the evolution of practice in professional settings.
  7. Data Informed Strategies: Inform thinking and planning for organizational strategies with appropriate data.
  8. Ethical Leadership and Management: Consistently apply standards of ethical leadership and management.
  9. Systems Thinking: Understand the attributes and skills necessary to lead and manage professional organizations as complex and adaptive systems.
  10. Reflective Practice: Engage in reflective practice for continuous professional growth and improvement.
  11. Communicate Effectively: Write clearly and communicate effectively with constituents in a variety of ways appropriate to purpose and context.
  12. Critical Thinking: Engage in thinking, analysis, and problem solving that reflects scholarly intellectual standards, incorporates sound reasoning, and strives for equity and fairness.
  13. Technology: Use technology effectively to improve learning, productivity, and professional practice.
  14. Collaboration: Initiate and participate in communities of practice and other collaborations with professionals and community members to mobilize resources to best meet learner needs and to enhance professional growth.
  15. Vision: Adapt to and provide vision and direction in a changing world.

1Capella University cannot guarantee licensure, certification, or endorsement. State regulations vary regarding professional licensure and salary benefits. It is the learner's responsibility to understand and comply with requirements for their states. Where applicable, teachers are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether a program may qualify for salary advancement. For more information on licensure, see: http://www.capella.edu/education-degrees/licensure/.

 

PhD in Education Degree Program Graduates

Data from graduates of the PhD in Education degree program have been combined for these Career Outcomes results.

The graphs below show some key findings from Capella's Alumni Outcomes Survey. We use this information to help improve our courses, programs and services and to give you an idea of how alumni are using their degrees.

Career Preparation
PhD in Education Graduates

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Career Preparation
PhD in Education Degree Program Graduates

The skills and knowledge have been immediately applicable to my career: 78%

My degree has positioned me to achieve my professional ambitions: 68%

Capella's competency based curriculum has prepared me for the needs of my profession: 67%

Percentage of respondents who answered "strongly agree" or "agree."
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q3 2017 - Q1 2018.

Career & Professional Accomplishments
PhD in Education Graduates

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Career and Professional Accomplishments
PhD in Education Degree Program Graduates

Made a significant contribution to my profession: 51%

Successfully changed jobs and-or-careers: 48%

Assumed leadership responsibilities: 53%

Received a salary increase: 40%

Received a promotion: 51%

Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography, and degree field, affect career outcomes, and Capella does not guarantee a job, promotion, salary increase, or other career growth.

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 Q3 2017 – Q1 2018.

PhD in Education Degree Program Graduates

Data from graduates of the PhD in Education degree program have been combined for these Student Experience results.

The graphs below show some key findings from Capella's Alumni Outcomes Survey. We use this information to help improve our courses, programs and services and to give you an idea of how alumni feel about Capella and what general skills and abilities they gained.

Satisfaction With Capella
PhD in Education Graduates

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Satisfaction with Capella
PhD in Education Degree Program Graduates

I have or intend to recommend Capella : 59%

I am satisfied with my Capella education : 92%

Capella gave me the most efficient direct path to completing my degree : 78%

Percentage of respondents who answered affirmatively.
Source: Responses to the Alumni Outcomes Survey one year after graduation. The data were collected during Q3 2017 - Q1 2018.

Skills & Abilities
PhD in Education Graduates

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Skills and Abilities
PhD in Education Degree Program Graduates

Write clearly, accurately, and professionally; use sources appropriately : 97%

Communicate thoughts and ideas in varied settings : 97%

Show ethical conduct reflecting values and beliefs of discipline : 94%

Show knowledge of field; respect contributions of other fields : 97%

Analyze theoretical issues or investigate real-world phenomena, create knowledge : 100%

Locate, evaluate and communicate information; address legal, professional, other issues : 100%

Critically examine, analyze, and evaluate thinking using intellectual standards and creativity : 100%

Critically evaluate, select, and use discipline-appropriate technology : 100%

Show appreciation of group and individual differences : 100%

Demonstrate effective leadership in diverse environments : 100%

Apply the specialized knowledge associated with professional practice area : 97%

Percentage of respondents who rated themselves as "proficient" or "exceptional" 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 Q3 2017 - Q1 2018.

Earn Your Doctoral Degree

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Become an expert in your field. Enroll in an online PhD, PsyD, or EdD program at Capella.

"A doctoral degree is quite a bit of money, but I found that there is a direct positive correlation with the more education that I received after getting my Capella degree and the increase in my salary."

John Luukkonen, PhD

2004 Graduate

School of Education

Specialization in General Education