Doctor of Education

Doctor of Education


The Doctor of Education 60-credit-hour program explores the great idea of education and offers students a grounding in historical, social, and philosophical literature. Prospective students must demonstrate superior scholarship in the field of education. The program is appropriate for educational practitioners seeking relevant and advanced study that will make them more thoughtful teachers and better informed decision makers. Students study both classic and leading contemporary thought taken from educational and philosophical literature. The program draws on intellectual sources and scholarly disciplines, including curriculum theory, history, law, and philosophy.


About the Doctor of Education Program

The Doctor of Education program consists of a cohesive interdisciplinary curriculum specifically tailored to the needs and career goals of the individual student. The Doctor of Education degree at Harrison Middleton University is unique in the way our program is delivered—entirely at a distance—and because of the flexible and individualized approach, students are able to create their own programs of study.  In this way, the manner in which the student fulfills the degree requirements can be tailored to each student’s educational and career goals.

Graduates of the Doctor of Education program will be able to think, speak, read, and write in a broad manner about the field of education and related topics, demonstrating a breadth of knowledge, intellectual maturity, and initiative that can be applied to a range of future endeavors.

*View our admission criteria for Harrison Middleton University programs.


Program Objectives

Upon successful completion of the Doctor of Education program, students will have met the following objectives:

  • Design, implement, and complete a self-directed doctoral program of study in education and the humanities.

  • Demonstrate facility with the methods of inquiry-based discussion by formulating interpretive questions and taking part in course discussions.

  • Think critically about ideas in the humanities and Western thought and engage in rigorous discussion about fundamental questions of education and human existence.

  • Demonstrate a coherent and comprehensive knowledge of today’s education and the state, the educational responsibility of the family and the state, the economic support of educational institutions, and the political regulation and censorship of education.

  • Evaluate, synthesize and articulate the major literature, theories, practices, problems, and ethical issues discussed in their coursework.

  • Communicate effectively with clarity and sophistication in written and oral form in a variety of settings; utilize logical coherence and consistency, and the proper use of evidence and citations, in order to develop a unique, creative, and feasible solution to a specific educational problem.

  • Present evidence of sustained and significant intellectual inquiry in the form of extensive legal research of the applicable education laws and regulations, both federal and state, and as a result of that research apply solutions to a specific educational problem.


Program Outcomes

  • Written assignments—Upon completion of the program the student will have prepared for each discussion by formulating original interpretive questions and selecting passages for textual analysis that explore the course texts, considering multiple possibilities of meaning in a way that is relevant to the study of education.

  • Discussions—Upon completion of the program the student will have participated in inquiry-based discussions, answering and elaborating upon his or her interpretive questions in order to develop initial thoughts and reactions, clarify ideas, and build a network of interpretive possibilities.

  • Essays—Upon completion of the program the student will have composed end-of-course essays that demonstrates graduate-level writing skills, an understanding of the course texts, and an original interpretive stance on some aspect of those texts.

  • Comprehensive examinations—Upon completion of the program the student will have participated in two rounds of comprehensive oral examinations with a panel of faculty members, demonstrating facility with the concepts and texts relevant to his or her program of study as a result of both advance preparation and spontaneous analysis in response to prompting.

  • Office Memorandum of Law—Upon completion of the program the student will have conducted extensive legal research of the court cases, laws, regulations, and rules both federal and state; written a legal opinion sharing the findings of the research; and finally, planned, developed, conducted, interpreted, and applied the research to an applied project which proposes a solution to a significant educational issue or problem.

  • The Capstone—Upon completion of the program the student will have proposed, planned, and executed an applied project that applies the knowledge and skills acquired in coursework to a project of interest, making an original contribution to the field of education.

  • Capstone defense—Upon completion of the program the student will have presented an oral or written Capstone defense to the members of his or her Instructional Team, demonstrating the merit of the Capstone itself as well as proficiency in the necessary communication skills.

Program outcomes promote the development of critical thinking, ethical reasoning, social responsibility, global citizenship, civic engagement, and lifelong learning.



Program of Study

This first required course for the Doctor of Education program, The Great Conversation: The Cornerstone Course, is specially designed to guide the student through the process of designing her or his program of study. Students are introduced to the process of inquiry used at the university by learning how to write effective interpretive and evaluative questions, which prepares students for the in-depth discussions that follow in this course and throughout their studies in the doctoral program. Students learn how to use available resources from the Great Books of the Western World, Oxford University Press, Penguin Modern and Nonfiction Classics, and W.W. Norton and Company in order to get the most out of their doctoral studies research. Finally, students choose additional coursework and begin preliminary work towards planning the appropriate legal research for designing their applied project.

The best way for students to develop a sophisticated knowledge of education is through a careful examination of the ideas, topics, and subtopics discussed in works that are central to the field, whether classical or modern. By using a combination of primary source documents and legal documents – federal and state laws, regulations and rules – the Doctor of Education program ensures that students acquire the breadth of knowledge that is the hallmark of an excellent liberal arts education while exploring the current educational environment.

In addition, students are required to do comprehensive legal research in preparation for designing the Capstone. After completing the coursework and the legal research, students are required to report their findings and propose recommendations for addressing an issue or problem in an office memorandum of law. Upon approval, students then execute their plan for a Capstone.

The Doctor of Education program consists of sixty (60) credit hours beyond the master’s degree. The Doctor of Education program includes The Great Conversation: The Cornerstone Course (4 credit hours), twenty-three (23) credit hours of prescribed courses in education, twenty-four (24) credit hours of student-designed courses, one (1) credit hour for legal research and office memorandum of law, and eight (8) credit hours for the Capstone. Doctoral students also complete two oral comprehensive examinations.


Program Requirements

  • EDU 720: The Great Conversation: The Cornerstone Course ~ 4 credit hours

  • Concentration One ~ 23 credit hours

  • Oral Comprehensive Examination ~ Part One

  • Concentration Two ~ 24 credit hours

  • Oral Comprehensive Examination ~ Part Two

  • EDU 721: Legal Research and Office Memorandum of Law ~ 1 credit hour

  • EDU 722: Doctor of Education Capstone ~ 8 credit hours

*Doctor of Education course descriptions may be found in the HMU Catalog