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Doctoral Programs

Doctoral Programs

Join a world-class community of scholars and education leaders exploring new frontiers in learning and teaching.

Doctoral study at Harvard means full immersion in one of the world's most dynamic and influential intellectual communities. At the Harvard Graduate School of Education, two distinct doctoral programs leverage the extraordinary interdisciplinary strengths of the entire University.  The Doctor of Education Leadership (Ed.L.D.) prepares experienced educators for system-level leadership roles in school districts, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and beyond; and the Doctor of Philosophy in Education (Ph.D.) empowers cutting-edge interdisciplinary research informed by the cognitive sciences, economics, medicine, the humanities, and more. 

Doctor of Education Leadership (Ed.L.D.)

The Doctor of Education Leadership (Ed.L.D) is a three-year, practice-based program designed to produce system-level leaders in American pre-K-12 education. The Ed.L.D. curriculum mines the vast intellectual and professional resources of HGSE, the Harvard Business School, and the Harvard Kennedy School, and includes a 10-month residency in the third year.

Doctor of Philosophy in Education (Ph.D.)

The Doctor of Philosophy in Education (Ph.D.), offered jointly with the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, provides unrestricted access to faculty and resources at all Harvard graduate and professional schools. This five-year Ph.D. is ideal for conducting groundbreaking interdisciplinary research that directly informs and impacts education practice and policy.

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Please note: The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) enrolled its final cohort in Fall 2013 but continues to equip graduates with the knowledge and skills to have a broad impact in the worlds of policy and practice.

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree prepares education scholars and leaders for the 21st century. The program provides rigorous research training that equips graduates with the knowledge and skills to have broad impact in the worlds of policy and practice. Working with premier faculty in the field, students conduct cutting-edge research that addresses the most pressing problems in education. Graduates often assume roles as university faculty, senior-level educational leaders, policymakers, and researchers.

Research-Based Doctoral Degrees at the Harvard Graduate School of Education

In the fall of 2014, HGSE transitioned from conferring a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) to conferring a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Education. The Ph.D. in Education, a joint degree offered in collaboration with the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, replaced the Ed.D. degree to better signal the research emphasis that has characterized the program since its inception in 1921, and to strengthen ties with academic departments across Harvard University.

Graduates of the Ed.D. and Ph.D. in Education programs receive equally rigorous scholarly training. The requirements for both degrees include coursework that develops both knowledge that reflects the interdisciplinary nature of education and expertise in the range of quantitative and qualitative methods needed to conduct high-quality research. Guided by the goal of having a transformative impact on education research, policy, and practice, our graduates focus their independent research in various domains, including human development, learning and teaching, policy analysis and evaluation, institutions and society, and instructional practice. Graduates of both programs have and will assume roles as university faculty, researchers, senior-level education leaders, and policymakers.