Doctor of Education

Program Description

This program provides current and aspiring administrative and instructional leaders in diverse settings (e.g., education, health, non-profits, public and private organizations, and agencies, etc.) with the attitudes, knowledge, experience, and skills needed to transform organizations through the effective use of human and technological resources.

This three-year program requiring completion of 13 8-week, 3 credit courses and a 12 credit dissertation representing a total of 51 credits (a maximum of 12 credits can be transferred from a post-Master’s program). The program (including dissertation) will be completed entirely online with no residency requirement.

Program Goals

  • Prepare leaders who are future-focused and capable of fostering innovation and change.
  • Promote a continuing cadre of educators who maintain active connections and collaboration with one another, with schools, communities and professional groups.
  • Establish a higher education program that is technologically sophisticated, educationally effective and academically rigorous.
  • Build a national reputation based upon action research.
  • Provide each candidate with a carefully selected faculty mentoring team contributing actively to the candidate’s progress with their program of study, their research, and their dissertation, beyond what is usually available with a single advisor. 

Curricular Requirements

Core Courses Credits
EDU 801 - Preparation for Transformative Leadership 3
EDU 802 - Qualitative Research Methods 3
EDU 803 - Interpreting Empirical Data 3
EDU 807 - Enacting Transformative Leadership Through Research 3
EDU 808 - Using Theory to Guide Research 3
EDU 809 - Conceptualizing Applied Research 3
EDU 810 - Ethical Leadership 3
EDU 812 - Dissertation Seminar I 3
EDU 813 - Dissertation Seminar II 3
EDU 814 - 817 - Dissertation 12
Electives (12 credits required) Credits
EDU 804 - Technology and Educational Transformation 3
EDU 805 - Managing Change 3
EDU 806 - Policy Analysis 3
EDU 811 - Diagnosing Organizational Dynamics 3

Academic Policy

Minimal Grade Standard and Academic Progress

Candidates may proceed to subsequent courses in the curriculum with one Low Pass grade. A second Low Pass (or below) course grade may result in termination from the doctoral program. For those needing to report course completion status to employers, a Pass equates to a B or better.

Program Progression

The UNE Doctor of Education program is designed for students to earn their doctorate within a three-year period.  Those individuals who do not complete the program within this timeframe are afforded the opportunity to continue work on their dissertation by enrolling in a series of one-credit continuation courses which provide continued access to faculty and the full resources of the university provided to all enrolled students and doctoral candidates. This enrollment keeps students in active status and on the path to graduation, increasing the likelihood they will complete the Ed.D. program within the mandatory five-year period. 

Timeline for Completion

A student who has not completed the Doctor of Education program within five (5) years will be administratively withdrawn from the program and be required to apply for readmission.


Students may stop out of their program for up to two semesters. Students need to coordinate stop-outs in advance with their assigned student support specialist, and stop out time is considered part of the time allotted to complete the academic program. Application for readmission is not necessary if the student returns as planned. However, the student who does not return at the specified time or who exceeds two semesters of stop out will be administratively withdrawn and will be subject to readmission procedures. Readmitted students are subject to the re-admittance term’s catalog (this may mean that policies and/or program requirements have been changed or been updated since previous admission, and should be reviewed for potential impact on degree requirements, time to complete the degree, and degree planning).


Students who have been withdrawn from the program for any reason must reapply if they wish to continue their studies. The application procedures, academic policies, and program requirements that are in effect at the time of readmission will apply. Students who re-enroll following withdrawal will have their previous coursework evaluated for applicability to the existing academic requirements. Coursework that is more than five years old may not be accepted for credit in the program. 

Students who have been administratively withdrawn from the program may petition for re-admission after a full semester has elapsed. The petition letter must provide a justification for re-admission that addresses how past issues have been resolved and will not re-occur. The letter should be sent electronically to the Education Program Director prior to applying for re-admission.

Dismissal from the Program

Termination from the Program may occur when the Education Program Director becomes aware of one of the following:

  • Surrender of a teacher license in any jurisdiction for disciplinary reasons.
  • Documented academic dishonesty (Note this also includes course online postings and email communications with faculty and staff. Students are advised that their behavior while participating in the program should exemplify the ethical behavior of a professional educator with respect to all communications.)
  • Academic failure (see “Minimal Grade Standard and Academic Progress”).

Learning Outcomes

  • Participate fully and responsibly in supportive and action-based learning environments of authentic value for colleagues in K-12 education, community college, health, business, and other sectors.
  • Develop and utilize transformative institutional processes to foster, assess the results, and respond to the reported analysis for continued systemic change. 
  • Use technology for research collaboration and dissertation development among colleagues and faculty (e.g., web/videoconferencing).
  • Fully utilize an integrated curriculum that fuses discreet elements of each candidate’s program of study into a coherent whole.
  • Fully utilize online search tools and databases to identify research studies and other relevant resources.
  • Participate in virtual seminars and conferences building a professional learning community.
  • Employ problem and case-based learning strategies extensively in courses and dissertation. 
  • Write and successfully defend a field-based dissertation. 

Transfer Credit

Upon acceptance, students may apply to transfer up to four, 3-credit courses (maximum of twelve credits) into the Doctor of Education program.

To request consideration for transfer credit, a student must provide an official transcript. Transfer credit is awarded at the discretion of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies based on specific program details listed below. Requests for approval of transfer credit should be submitted to, and will be granted at the discretion of, the Program Director.

Transfer courses must:

  • Be classified as graduate, post-Master’s level.
  • Be taken at a regionally accredited institution.
  • Be worth 3 credits.
  • Have been taken within five years of application.
  • Have been completed with a grade of “B” or better.
  • Be equivalent to one of the required program courses or an elective course that meets the goals of the student's education.


Admissions Requirements

  • A Master's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, or its equivalent.
  • Graduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better
  • Computer with an internet connection, including the hardware and software requirements described in our Technical Requirements. Must also possess sufficient computer skills to navigate the internet as all classes are accessed 100% online.

Application Process

  • Completed online application:
  • Submission of the non-refundable application fee
  • Current Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Application Essay
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts reflecting conferral of a master's degree from a regionally accredited institution. All transcripts are to be submitted from the original institutions.

Note: Transcripts for any coursework appearing as transfer credit on the transcript of the conferred degree can be waived if the coursework is unrelated to the degree being sought. The program admissions committee defines all coursework not eligible for waiver.


  • Applications for admission are accepted through UNE’s online application only. Detailed instructions are included in the online application.
  • Official transcripts, as well as other documents to support the application, must be submitted to the College of Graduate and Professional Studies, 716 Stevens Ave, Portland, ME, 04103
  • Students are admitted to the Doctor of Education program six (6) times a year: Summer A and B, Fall A and B, Spring A and B.
  • Applications received and completed by the respective deadlines will be given full consideration. Applications submitted and/or completed after the deadline will be reviewed for the next available term.
  • Admissions are rolling and decisions are made by the program admissions committee throughout the cycle.
  • International applicants and applicants with international degrees must have their transcripts evaluated for degree and grade equivalency to that of a regionally accredited US institution. See International Admissions
  • All applicants to UNE must be able to understand and communicate in English to be admitted to the university. UNE accepts several methods of English Proficiency, see International Admissions.
  • If an applicant cannot prove English Proficiency in another way, scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) are required and must be submitted as a part of the completed application. 

For additional information on the admissions process and requirements, please access the Doctor of Education website.


The Doctor of Education program and the EdD Admissions Committee in collaboration with the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies Admissions reserve the right to make exceptions to the admissions criteria and to make changes or exceptions to policies and procedures, on a case by case basis, when it deems such a decision is necessary and appropriate.

Financial Information

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees for subsequent years may vary. Other expenses include books and housing. For more information regarding tuition and fees, please consult the Financial Information section of this catalog.

Detailed information and applications are available on request from the Financial Aid Office. Call (207) 602-2342 or visit the Financial Aid website.

Notice and Responsibilities Regarding this Catalog

This Catalog documents the academic programs, policies, and activities of the University of New England for the 2021–2022 academic year. The information contained herein is accurate as of date of publication April 30, 2021.

The University of New England reserves the right in its sole judgment to make changes of any nature in its programs, calendar, or academic schedule whenever it is deemed necessary or desirable, including changes in course content, the rescheduling of classes with or without extending the academic term, canceling of scheduled classes or other academic activities, in any such case giving such notice thereof as is reasonably practicable under the circumstances.

While each student may work closely with an academic advisor, he or she must retain individual responsibility for meeting requirements in this catalog and for being aware of any changes in provisions or requirements.

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