Program Overview

Curriculum Overview

The doctoral degree has a minimum 60 credit hour requirement. The core curriculum is 36 credit hours. Additionally, the program requires 12-15 elective credit hours, 3-6 internship credit hours, and 6 dissertation credit hours. 48 hours of coursework must be at the 6000 or 7000 levels.

For students entering the program with an Ed.S. earned from Appalachian State University, up to 30 credit hours may be waived toward the required 60 credit course hours. More information regarding the Ed.S can be found in the Program Concentrations sections. 

Program Concentrations

Six concentrations are available to students. Internships are required for each concentration unless they are waived by the Ed.S. During the first year of the doctoral program, students should develop a preliminary plan for their electives. Students should also meet with the Graduate Program Director in their selected doctoral concentration area to guide planning for electives and internships.

Concentrations Offered

Cohort Structure

The cohort model of education is central to the Doctoral Program. Students acquire skills in using research to understand organizational and social issues, with a growing capacity for leading adaptive, sustainable, and just change. Through a selective admissions process, cohort members are chosen from a diverse cross-section of educational leadership settings. The cohort structure allows for the integration of educational scholarship and practice in a supportive, collegial environment. Cohorts are located both on and off of Appalachian’s main campus.  

Delivery Platforms

To accommodate working students, the core curriculum classes are offered in the evenings two nights each week for two academic years -- including summer sessions.  Online courses involve both synchronous and asynchronous classwork. The scheduling of elective courses varies by individual and concentration.