Applying to the Doctor of Education: What you need to know

Whether you’re interested in applying for the Doctor of Education for the upcoming July 2024 cohort, or in the future, here are a few tips based on frequently asked questions to help guide you along the way. We recommend starting your application early to ensure you have time to submit all the required documents.

Admission & applications

When should I apply or start my application?

You should apply for admission to the program in the year preceding the year you wish to begin. You will not be able to defer admission and will need to apply again if you decide to pursue your degree at a later date.

Field Mentors & your Collaborative Supervisory Committee

What is a Field Mentor?

The Field Mentor is an expert in their field and will be part of your collaborative supervisory committee. They will support you through research in the field, serving as an advisor and critical friend. They provide input and feedback on your progress as a scholar-practitioner, attending the Practice-Based Dissertation presentations and providing valuable input and recommendations as part of your committee.

How do I choose a Field Mentor?

The Field Mentor should be someone who is familiar with your area of study as they will provide valuable input and recommendations. Your Field Mentor should be someone who you can relate to and who is willing to share their own challenges and experiences. The relationship between the Field Mentor and the student will not be personal, but rather built on professionalism and reciprocity.

There is someone at my workplace that has a doctorate and would like to supervise my project, can this be done?

This person could make a great Field Mentor as part of the Collaborative Supervisory Committee (CSC).

What support is available for the Field Mentor?

The Field Mentor will be supported by the EdD Faculty Lead and Program Manager.

How can I choose my supervisor?

You will be assigned a faculty supervisor at time of admission based on your research interests. You must identify a Field Mentor on your application.

Coursework and transfer credits

I would like to get started on coursework before the program begins. Can I take courses now as an unclassified student and then have them recognized in the EdD program when I am admitted?

No. Current university policies discourage students from taking courses prior to beginning a graduate program that they wish to have applied to that program. Special sections of required courses are offered for students in the EdD program, so even though these courses may be offered at other times, it is important to take required courses with other members of your cohort.

I have started my graduate work somewhere else. Can I get transfer credit for my courses?

In terms of transfer credit, doctoral students may be eligible for course exemptions on the basis of previous courses taken.

Program schedule & academic leaves

Is there a single set class time each semester or will course times vary each semester?

At this time our plan is to offer a summer intensive where students come to campus to learn with and alongside each other for several days. This will be an opportunity for students to meet their colleagues and professors, and will create great networking opportunities. In 2024, the in-person orientation and summer intensive will be the third-week of July.

The fall and winter courses will be completed online. The dates and times of the courses are yet to be determined. We will design the coursework to include synchronous learning where students will set their own schedules as well as asynchronous seminars. Students should plan for two hours per week to learn together online.

Is it a requirement to attend the summer intensive sessions?

We consider the summer sessions to be very important for developing and maintaining relationships within the cohort, meeting potential committee members, participating in various seminars and social events, and using library and other university resources. We consider it very important that you arrange your work and family obligations so that you can participate as fully as possible during the summers.

Do I need to take a leave from my job in order to start the EdD program or can I complete the program while working full time?

The EdD is designed for working professionals and can be completed while working full-time.

What if due to circumstances (e.g. illness, pregnancy, etc.)  I require a leave and cannot continue with my cohort. Do I have to drop out of the program?

No. We expect that some students will encounter a wide range of circumstances that may prevent them from completing the program with their cohort. Assuming that this happened during the first two years of the program, you would apply for a one-year leave from the program, paying the current on-leave fee listed in the University Calendar. On your return to study, you would meet with the EdD Manager to reassess and determine course of action for the development of your research proposal until you were able to join the next cohort. The university’s on-leave regulations for graduate students apply to all students in the EdD program.

Practice-based dissertation

What is a Practice-Based Dissertation?

The Practice-Based Dissertation is conducted over the course of Year 3 of the program and provides an opportunity for students to intensively study a problem or set of circumstances embedded in their own practice. This project is a rigorous, intensive application of a field-based analysis and/or implementation of a structural change, and the research conducted will contribute or lead to (1) professional innovation and creative excellence, (2) exemplary professional practice, and/or (3) the significant development of professional practice (65-80 pages).

Does the Practice-Based Dissertation have a formal defense?

Part of your practice-based dissertation is a presentation. The purpose of this presentation is for you to reflect upon and defend sustained thinking and evaluation around theoretical frameworks, identified problems of educational practice, research activities and resulting recommendations from your Practice-Based Dissertation. It also offers an opportunity to gain valuable insight from a small group of peers, your Collaborative Supervisory Group and an invited external scholar. Your supervisor(s) and field mentor(s) also attend this final presentation alongside the EDUC 698 course instructor. The presentation will be held as a virtual, public forum for presenting and celebrating.

Finances and student loans

Can I apply for student loans?

We are currently looking into the options for Student Aid BC (BC student loans) and hope to have more information soon. We recommend that you reach out to your respective provinces/countries for more information about loans

Why is tuition for the EdD program so much higher than for the PhD program?

The EdD is a market-priced professional program which means that tuition is based, in part, on what is charged by similar doctoral-level programs designed for practicing professional educators.

8 responses to “Applying to the Doctor of Education: What you need to know”

  1. Clorice Delorme

    Do you need to have completed a thesis Masters or is course route Masters sufficient for this Doctor of Education program?

  2. Ken Forde

    How long are the summer intensive sessions?

  3. Bradley Myrholm

    Is there housing/dorms available to Ed.D students for the summer intensive courses or do we need to find our own accommodations? I suspect accommodations would be limited and pricey in Kelowna in the summer.

  4. Nasir Khan

    Hi, Any idea about the expected timeline for application review and subsequent steps in the admission process? I would appreciate any information regarding the estimated duration for receiving an admission decision.

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