Woman studying at computer

Six common questions about CityU’s Ed.D. in Leadership

Earning a doctorate – the highest academic degree that can be awarded – is a significant achievement. It represents expertise in a discipline and an ability to create and apply new knowledge.

If you’re considering pursuing a doctoral degree, you likely have a few questions. To help answer those, we talked with the Associate Program Director for City University of Seattle’s Doctor of Education in Leadership, Dr. Joel Domingo.

  1. What is the difference between a master’s and a doctoral degree?
    “At the master’s level you’re expected to demonstrate mastery of your subject,” Dr. Domingo said. “At the doctoral level, you are helping to craft and create knowledge. Your dissertation is evidence of that ability.”
  2. What is the difference between a Ph.D. and an Ed.D.?
    “The two degrees are academically equivalent; a Doctor of Philosophy vs. a Doctor of Education. The general difference is that a Ph.D. focuses on producing research, and an Ed.D. focuses on applying research to solve problems. A Doctor of Education is an applied doctorate.”
  3. How long does it take to complete CityU’s Doctor of Education in Leadership?
    “The program was designed to be adaptable and flexible for people with outside responsibilities, so it depends on how you pace yourself. It typically takes three to four years.”
  4. How difficult is a doctoral program compared to master’s-level programs?
    “You’re going to work hard, but we make sure students know they’re supported and see the roadmap ahead. Every student gets a roadmap of the program when they begin so they can anticipate when they’ll finish.”
  5. What is the dissertation process like?
    “We ask students from the beginning what they’re interested in and might like to focus their dissertations on. This is a leadership degree, so their coursework will help shape and form their thinking on their topics. It’s an evolving process. In the dissertation phase, students work together with their dissertation committees, and students and their dissertation chairs work together on goals. The dissertation has mile markers for progress; it is six quarters and six phases. The final phase is the dissertation defense where they tell about their journeys.”
  6. What makes a successful student?
    “Good grades [in previous academic coursework], the ability to think with ambiguity, the ability to be disciplined, resilient, self-reflective and the desire to learn and change. We focus on preparing students with the knowledge and skills to be effective leaders who can be transformative, to think outside the box with creativity and innovation.”

About CityU’s Doctor of Education in Leadership

CityU’s Ed.D. in Leadership develops professionals into leaders and equips them with the knowledge and skills they need to address contemporary leadership challenges. The program allows students to choose between four concentrations, including the option to focus on their specific interests through specialized study. In addition, the flexibility of online coursework allows students to plan their studies around their schedules.

To learn more about the Ed.D. in Leadership, please contact an enrollment advisor by email or at 888-422-4898.