Jul 19, 2024  
2024-2025 Southeastern University- Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Southeastern University- Graduate Catalog


Doctor of Philosophy in Education, Organizational Leadership

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The PhD Program
The Philosophy of Education degree provides advanced development of skills necessary for serving in leadership roles in educational and business careers. Courses prepare students for academic and research positions in higher education or other organizations. PhD graduates may serve as thought leaders, consultants, professors, or researchers. A PhD in Education is focused on conducting original research, data analysis, and theoretical development. This degree is research-oriented, designed for those looking to pursue scholarly work and publishing.

The following five foundational fluencies, which are core principles of the program, are taught and assessed throughout the program:

  • analytic inquiry
  • advanced quantitative and qualitative research
  • communication
  • evaluation
  • servant leadership

The Doctor of Education program is a non-licensure program. If students wish to obtain any state certification, they will need to contact their state department of education for specific requirements and applications.

Program Summary
Total Credits - 60 Credit hours with four components:
Doctoral Core (15 hours)
Research Core (9 hours)
Advanced Research Core (6 hours)

Concentration (18 hours)

Dissertation (a minimum of 12 hours)

Program Length - 3-4 years

  • Coursework - one eight-week course at a time
  • Dissertation - Students need a minimum of 12 dissertation credits, and continuous enrollment is required. Students may take a maximum of 18 dissertation credits.

Program Delivery

  • Three 16-week semesters each calendar year (Fall, Spring, and Summer) are broken into 8 week terms for courses.
  • Hybrid model with mostly online courses. Two courses require a three-day face-to-to face intensive.
  • Two three-day intensive courses are required and will be completed on campus either in February or June corresponding to students’ cohort start date
  • Comprehensive exam during the last semester of course work (Students may not advance to doctoral candidacy until they have passed the comprehensive exam and successfully completed all doctoral-level courses)   
  • Dissertation proposal defense (on campus or from a remote location). PhD students will develop or test a theory or study a research problem in their profession. PhD students examine questions that contribute to the discipline of education A PhD dissertation is steeped in theory and has a broad cultural or social significance.
  • Dissertation defense (on campus or from a remote location)

Entrance Requirements

All the components listed below are required and will be utilized by the College of Education Ed.D. Committee to make an admittance decision. Other requirements are detailed on the application. Applicants are considered on a case-by-case basis, and the decision of the committee is final.

  • Regionally accredited graduate degree with at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Current professional vita
  • Christian faith statement (two- to three-page essay)
  • Minimum of three full-time years of successful experience in a related field
  • Scholarly writing sample: minimum of five pages (Examples: articles, graduate research papers/assignments, published work, etc.)
  • Two letters of recommendation
    • One professional recommendation
    • One personal recommendation
  • Background check consent form
  • For non-native English speakers a current TOEFL score at the mean level or higher

Failure to meet one of the standards may not immediately disqualify a candidate depending upon the strength of the other components. For example, an applicant with a 3.5 GPA but only two years of experience may still be considered by the Ed.D. admissions committee.   

International Students 

International students applying for admission to any Southeastern University graduate program must meet all normal requirements for admission to those programs.

Additional requirements are as follows:

  • Course-by-course transcript evaluation completed through a third-party such as www.jsilny.com or www.wes.org. This is required in order to confirm the completion of your undergraduate degree outside the United States.
  • If you live in a country where English is not the primary language, we would then require either the TOEFL exam with an IBT: 76 or higher, or the IELTS with a band score of 6.0 or higher.

* If the program is an online or hybrid program, you do not need the passport, visa, or support letter documents because our international students do not come to the US for online or hybrid courses. However, please include your transcript evaluation if your previous degree is from a non-American university.

Contact the program chair for information about how the face-to-face intensives can be handled differently for international students.

Other Policies

Non-Degree Seeking Students

Students may take up to 9 hours as a non-degree seeking student. A student accepted with a non-degree classification must comply with pre-requisite requirements.

This classification may appeal to students who already hold a graduate degree and need further graduate hours to qualify for teaching a specific discipline at the university level. Specific concentration courses may be especially helpful for this goal. 

Taking courses as a non-degree seeking student may also appeal to individuals who are not yet sure if a doctoral degree is their goal but desire to explore the possibility. Contact the graduate admissions office for details on admissions criteria and pre-requisite requirements for the courses desired.

Transfer Credits

For complete information regarding transfer credits, see “General Conditions for All Credit Transfer” in the Academic Chapter of the Graduate Catalog. In the PhD program, a maximum of 15 credits (or 25% of the total credits) of graduate coursework from accredited universities may be transferrable to a student’s doctoral program according to the following requirements:

  • The courses are doctoral level courses at 6000 level or above;
  • The courses are earned at an accredited university;
  • The courses are less than seven years old;
  • The courses are relevant to the coursework at SEU; and
  • The advisor approves the transfer based on information provided by the student in the course substitution form.

The College of Education Doctoral Committee will evaluate the transcript and award transfer credit based on a case-by-case basis. The College of Education Doctoral Committee has determined that once a student begins PhD coursework at SEU, no transient credit (future courses taken at another university) will be allowed. The student must request an evaluation of transfer credit as soon as possible so the determination of transfer credit can be completed before the end of the student’s first semester of enrollment in the program.

Advanced Standing

Upon evaluation of special circumstances, a student who has been accepted without provisional status and who has an earned EdS or higher degree from a regionally accredited institution may be accepted into the PhD program with an advanced standing (AS) classification. AS students may be eligible for exemption for up to 30 credits. AS students must complete a minimum of 30 hours at SEU (including dissertation) in order to earn the PhD. The transfer credits must comply with the requirements for transfer credits (See Transfer Credit section in the Graduate Catalog)

Continuous Enrollment

Once a student enters the dissertation phase (marked by the first enrollment in EDUC 9012), the student must stay continuously enrolled each semester (Spring, Summer, and Fall) until the dissertation has been successfully defended.

The minimum GPA requirement is 3.0. Grades of less than C- will not be counted toward degree completion.

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