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Doctor of Education: Degree Overview

A Doctor of Education program covers curriculum development, U.S. school system policies and educational leadership and research. Programs are also designed to help to evaluate student achievement rates, curriculum outcomes and standardized test results.

Essential Information

A student who earns a Doctor of Education degree will be prepared to work in education administration and coordination, as well as teach at postsecondary schools. Students in this doctoral program can specialize in curriculum development, educational psychology, teacher education, educational leadership or education policy. Programs typically require the completion of a dissertation. Prerequisites include transcripts from a master's degree program in education or related field, minimum required Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, letters of recommendation and resumes highlighting relevant experience; some programs also require an interview with program representatives.


Doctor of Education

Students delve into social issues in education, including the effects of culture and economics on school populations. They learn to solve problems in education at various levels, from classrooms to entire school districts. Doctor of Education degree programs can offer administrative internships, practicum opportunities or college-level teaching as part of coursework allowing students to gain real-world experiences. Course topics within the program could include:

  • Educational assessment
  • Organizational leadership
  • Curriculum theory
  • Qualitative methods
  • Research and analysis

Popular Career Options

Graduates can seek such opportunities as literacy specialists, directors of curriculum, school superintendents or education coordinators. A doctoral degree in education provides students with the advanced leadership and practical expertise to qualify for coordination, leadership and administration careers within educational facilities, such as school and district offices. Additionally, graduates with a doctorate degree in education are prepared for teaching positions within postsecondary institutions. Typical job titles that graduates may qualify for include:

  • Superintendent
  • Principal
  • Director of programs
  • Professor of education

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), demand for elementary, middle and secondary school principals is expected to increase by 6% from 2014 to 2024; meanwhile, demand for chief executives, like school superintendents, should decrease by 1% during that decade. Postsecondary teachers may see a 13% rise in opportunities over the 2014-2024 decade, and instructional coordinators are likely to see a 7% increase in opportunities during that period, based on the BLS' data.

The BLS reports that the mean annual salary for instructional coordinators was $64,870 in May 2015, and postsecondary teachers in education earned an average of $68,200 in the same year. The average salary for elementary and secondary education administrators in 2015 was $92,940, and chief executives working for elementary and secondary schools earned an average of $144,200 that year, as shown by figures from the BLS.

A Doctor of Education is often required for individuals who wish to pursue careers leading educational institutions, or teacher education at the postsecondary level. Many different programs have specific areas of specialization that students can focus on, so it's a good idea to research each program before applying.

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