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Doctoral Programs: The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership

PhD in Education

Is there an order in which I should be taking my courses? Can I make any changes to that order?

You should follow your Degree Audit for your program course sequence, from top to bottom. Should you have any questions about possible adjustments to your sequence, please contact your Student Success Advisor. Please know that many courses have prerequisites associated with them, so requests to alter sequence may not be possible.

You will not follow the sequence outlined in the Program of Study you received from admissions; this document lists courses by type and not sequence.

Students must have their prospectus approved and their dissertation committee approved before being able to take their advanced research course.

Note: If you are in the Educational Technology or Leadership, Instruction, and Innovation specializations you will have specialization courses mixed in with your core and foundational courses.

How many courses do I take each quarter?

Course-based Programs

  • Course-based students are advised to take two courses per quarter. Students may drop to one class at a time and should speak to their advisor. Once at the specialization course stage, students will also be registered for a 0-credit, 0-tuition fee EDUC 8900: Dissertation Companion course along with another credit-bearing course.
  • When at dissertation stage the course-based students will take EDUC 9001: Dissertation to complete their dissertation.​

Do I find my own dissertation committee?

Course-based students are assigned a mentor for EDUC 8900: Dissertation Companion by their program coordinator. This mentor can become your dissertation chairperson, but you will have to complete the official dissertation committee nomination process in order to nominate this faculty member to a specific role on your dissertation committee. You will also locate the member of your committee who will serve as the methodologist.

Please visit the Center for Research Quality’s PhD Dissertation Process and Documents page for a copy of the Committee Member Nomination Form and the Dissertation Guidebook.

Alongside which course should I finalize my dissertation committee nominations?

Course-based students should complete the nomination process alongside their six specialization courses and the dissertation companion course.

Who can I talk to about licensing questions related to my program?

If you have any questions related to licensing and your Walden program, please contact educlicensure@mail.waldenu.edu or your state’s licensing board.

How long are my courses?

All courses in your program are 11 weeks in length.

What is EDUC 8900 (Dissertation Companion)?

Course-based students only:

The purpose of the Dissertation Companion is to assist doctoral students in making steady progress toward completion of their degree. The instructor of record for a section of the companion is the chair of the dissertation committee. Section participants are the students working with the faculty mentor at the early stages of their dissertation. The companion provides a forum for ongoing exchange of ideas, input, and feedback between the students and the dissertation chair as the students complete the coursework for their PhD in Education and prepare to begin their dissertation. Students will work on the prospectus in the 8900 course and formulate their dissertation committee (chair and member). Students are registered for the dissertation companion for three quarters while taking their 6 specialization courses.

Can I change my specialization or add a second one?

Students can only have one specialization.

It is recommended that course-based students only change their specialization while working on their core or foundational courses as there is a risk of courses not transferring from one specialization to another.

Please contact your Student Success Advisor for more information related to changing your specialization.

Do I need to initiate registration for my courses?

If you are a course-based student, you will register yourself using the Degree Audit in your myWalden portal for the core/foundational courses. You will need to contact Student Success Advising to request registration for your specialization courses.

After the first term of dissertation registration, students will be automatically registered for their dissertation courses, provided no holds are on a student’s record.

My Degree Audit says a class is “Unavailable” – what does that mean?

All core and foundational courses are available every term. If your Degree Audit says unavailable, that likely means it is not available for self-registration. Please email studentsuccess@mail.waldenu.edu to request assistance in registering for the courses.

Some specialization courses are on a course rotation, so they may not be offered that quarter. Please email your Student Success Advisor for course availability and assistance with registration.

Is there an honor society for my program? How can I join or who can I contact?

There are two honor societies for the the Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership: Kappa Delta Pi and Phi Delta Kappa. For more information about these societies please visit the Student Organizations website

Are there any assessments I have to pass before moving forward in my program (Vantage writing assessment, Adequate Academic Progress, etc.)?

Yes, PhD Education students have to take and pass the Vantage Writing Assessment (done during their first course EDUC 8110 or EDUC 8002). If you happen to fail this course, you will be required to take a free writing course (CAEX 6000g: Graduate Writing: Evaluative and Persuasive Composition Skills) during your second quarter. You will need to take the writing course until you pass it and will be automatically registered for this course if you need it. You are able to continue in your program courses while you are taking CAEX 6000g.

Do I need to purchase my own books?

You will need to purchase your own course materials each term and can do so using the View Course Materials link located beneath each of your courses on the homepage of your myWalden portal.

How long will it take me to complete my degree?

While each student’s progress through the program will vary, depending on his or her specific situation (transfer of credit into the program, any course retakes, if he or she should take any Leaves of Absence, etc.), there is a general expectation of how long the program will take. Please see below for more information.

Course-based programs:

  • If you take your courses two per quarter it will take you around 2.5 years to finish your courses before starting your minimum of 5 quarters (1.25 years) of dissertation. If you take courses one at a time, you will lengthen the amount of time you spend in the program accordingly.
  • Two courses at a time – 1.5 years to finish core, 3 quarters (or 9 months) to finish spec courses, dissertation is a minimum of 5 quarters (though it typically takes longer). Taking courses 1 at a time or repeating courses will mean it will take longer to complete the course portion of the program.​

Please know that, while you are required to complete a minimum of 5 quarters of your dissertation course, it usually takes students more than the minimum to complete the dissertation itself. Please work closely with your committee members when it comes to questions about your progress in your dissertation.

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Students who started their EdD program before August 2015 run on a semester calendar and will have different program requirements than those who started August 2015 or later. Please ensure you are referring to the correct questions for your program.

Is there an order in which I should be taking my courses?

Your course sequenced is outlined for you on your Degree Audit and the Program of Study sent to you with your admission letter.

Should you have any questions about possible adjustments to your sequence, please contact your Student Success Advisor. Please know that many courses have prerequisites associated with them so a petition to request to alter the course sequence may not be approved.

How many courses do I take each semester?

You will take one 16-week course each semester, until you get to your final content course (which will vary by specialization). At this time you will take EDUC 8081: Completing the Prospectus alongside your last content course.

Do I find my own doctoral study committee?

In your Research and Practice Course (the specific course number varies by specialization), you will complete a committee assignment form and from this form program leadership will assign your committee.

Who can I talk to about licensing questions related to my program?

You should refer to your state’s department of education website for more information. You may also contact educlicensure@mail.waldenu.edu for more information regarding your program and licensure.

How long are my courses?

Your courses are all 16 weeks in length.

Can I change my specialization or add a second one?

You are able to change your specialization by emailing your Student Success Advisor for assistance. Student Success Advising recommends making any specialization changes prior to starting your spec courses as they may not transfer between specializations.

Do I need to initiate registration for my courses?

You will be automatically registered for your courses each semester by our Registrar’s Office provided you do not have any holds on your account that may prevent registration. If you are not registered at least 4 weeks prior to the next term start and you do not have a hold on your account, please contact Student Success Advising for assistance in getting registered.

My Degree Audit says a class is “Unavailable” – what does that mean?

When a Degree Audit says that a course is unavailable it means that course is currently not available for online registration. It does not necessarily mean that registration for that course is not possible. If a course shows as unavailable in the Degree Audit, please send a request to Student Success Advising who can verify the availability of the course and process your request if the course is available.

Is there an honor society for my program? How can I join or who can I contact?

There are two honor societies for the Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership: Kappa Delta Pi and Phi Delta Kappa. For more information about these societies please visit the Student Organizations website

Are there any assessments I have to pass before moving forward in my program?

You will have to take and pass the Vantage Writing Assessment (which is done during either EDUC 8110 or EDUC 8002). If you fail this assessment, you will be required to take one or two writing courses, as determined by your score. You will need to take the writing course until you pass it and will be automatically registered for this course if you need it. You are able to continue in your program courses while you are taking these courses.

Students who started their EdS program August 2015 or later run on a quarter calendar and will have different program requirements than those who started before August 2015. Please ensure you are referring to the correct questions for your program.

Is there an order in which I should be taking my courses?

Your course sequenced is outlined for you on your Degree Audit and your Program of Study from Admissions, given to you as part of your admission to the program. Should you have any questions about possible adjustments to your sequence, please contact your Student Success Advisor. Please know that many courses have prerequisites associated with them so a petition to request to alter the course sequence may not be approved.

How many courses do I take each quarter?

You are automatically registered for two courses each quarter. If you need to drop the second course, please email your Student Success Advisor.

Note: If you are using financial aid to pay for your program please contact the Financial Aid (finaid@mail.waldenu.edu) to learn about how adjusting your course load for a term will impact your aid eligibility.

Do I find my own doctoral study committee?

In your Research and Practice Course (the specific course number varies by specialization), you will complete a committee assignment form and from this form program leadership will assign your committee.

Who can I talk to about licensing questions related to my program?

You should refer to your state’s department of education website for more information. You may also contact educlicensure@mail.waldenu.edu for more information regarding your program and licensure.

How long are my courses?

Your courses are all 11 weeks in length.

Can I change my specialization or add a second one?

You are able to change your specialization by emailing your Student Success Advisor for assistance. Student Success Advising recommends making any specialization changes prior to starting your spec courses as they may not transfer between specializations.

Do I need to initiate registration for my courses?

You will be automatically registered for your courses each quarter by our Registrar’s Office provided you do not have any holds on your account that may prevent registration. If you are not registered at least 4 weeks prior to the next term start and you do not have a hold on your account, please contact Student Success Advising for assistance in getting registered.

My Degree Audit says a class is “Unavailable” – what does that mean?

When a Degree Audit says that a course is unavailable it means that course is currently not available for online registration. It does not necessarily mean that registration for that course is not possible. If a course shows as unavailable in the Degree Audit, please send a request to Student Success Advising who can verify the availability of the course and process your request if the course is available.

Is there an honor society for my program? How can I join or who can I contact?

There are two honor societies for the Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership: Kappa Delta Pi and Phi Delta Kappa. For more information about these societies please visit the Student Organizations website.

Can I change to the EdS program?

Yes, you can change to the EdS program by contacting your Student Success Advisor.

Education Specialist (EdS)

Students who started their EdS program before August 2015 run on a semester calendar and will have different program requirements than those who started August 2015 or later.

Is there an order in which I should be taking my courses? Can I make any changes to that order?

Your course sequenced is outlined for you on your Degree Audit and the program of study (POS) you received when you were admitted. Should you have any questions about possible adjustments to your course sequence, please contact your Student Success Advisor. Please know that many courses have prerequisites associated with them, so a petition to request to alter sequence may not be approved.

How many courses do I take each semester?

Most students will take one 16-week course each semester until they get to their final content course. At this time, they will take EDUC 8081: Completing the Prospectus alongside their specific content course (the content course varies depending on your specific specialization within the EdS program).

Students in the Curriculum, Instruction, and Professional Development, and the Educational Leadership and Administration (Principal Preparation Program) will have eight-week courses with two courses per semester.

Who can I talk to about licensing questions related to my program?

You should refer to your state’s department of education website for more information. You can also contact educlicensure@mail.waldenu.edu for more information regarding your program and licensure.

Can I change my specialization or add a second one?

If you wish to change your specialization within the EdS program, you will need to apply for the new specialization using the Apply for New Program link in your myWalden portal. Once you’ve submitted your application for the program, you’ll work with an Enrollment Specialist to enroll in your new program.

Do I need to initiate registration for my courses?

You will be automatically registered for your courses each semester by our Registrar’s Office provided you do not have any holds on your account that may prevent registration. If you are not registered at least 4 weeks prior to the next term start, and you do not have a hold on your account, please contact Student Success Advising for assistance in getting registered.

My Degree Audit says a class is “Unavailable” – what does that mean?

When a Degree Audit says that a course is unavailable, it means that course is currently not available for online registration. It does not necessarily mean that registration for that course is not possible. If a course shows as unavailable in the Degree Audit, please send a request to Student Success Advising who can verify the availability of the course and process your request if the course is available.

Is there an honor society for my program? How can I join or who can I contact?

There are two honor societies for the Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership: Kappa Delta Pi and Phi Delta Kappa. For more information about these societies, please visit the Student Organizations website. (http://www.waldenu.edu/experience/resources/organizations)

Are there any assessments I have to pass before moving forward in my program?

Students in the Education Leadership and Administration (Principal Preparation) program do not complete the Vantage Writing Assessment.

Students in all other EdS programs are required to complete and pass the Vantage Writing Assessment. Please contact your Student Success Advisor for more information regarding this requirement.

Does my program have a field placement?

If you are in the Education Leadership and Administration (Principal Preparation) program, a field placement is required of their program. Please contact the Field Experience team for any additional questions related to field placement requirements.

Students in other EdS programs do not have a field placement required of their programs.

Students who started their EdD program before August 2015 run on a semester calendar and will have different program requirements than those who started August 2015 or later. Please ensure you are referring to the correct questions for your program.

Is there an order in which I should be taking my courses? Can I make any changes to that order?

Your course sequenced is outlined for you on your Degree Audit and the program of study (POS) you received when you were admitted. Should you have any questions about possible adjustments to your course sequence, please contact your Student Success Advisor. Please know that many courses have prerequisites associated with them, so a petition to request to alter sequence may not be approved.

How many courses do I take each quarter?

You are automatically registered for two courses each quarter. If you need to drop the second course, please email your Student Success Advisor.

NoteIf you are using financial aid to pay for your program please contact the Financial Aid (finaid@mail.waldenu.edu) to learn about how adjusting your course load for a term will impact your aid eligibility.

How long are my courses?

Your course will be 11 weeks in length.

Who can I talk to about licensing questions related to my program?

You should refer to your state’s department of education website for more information. You can also contact educlicensure@mail.waldenu.edu for more information regarding your program and licensure.

Can I change my specialization or add a second one?

You are able to change your specialization by emailing your Student Success Advisor for assistance. Student Success Advising recommends making any specialization changes prior to starting your spec courses as they may not transfer between specializations.

Do I need to initiate registration for my courses?

You will be automatically registered for your courses each quarter by our Registrar’s Office provided you do not have any holds on your account that may prevent registration. If you are not registered at least 4 weeks prior to the next term start, and you do not have a hold on your account, please contact Student Success Advising for assistance in getting registered.

My Degree Audit says a class is “Unavailable” – what does that mean?

When a Degree Audit says that a course is unavailable, it means that course is currently not available for online registration. It does not necessarily mean that registration for that course is not possible. If a course shows as unavailable in the Degree Audit, please send a request to Student Success Advising who can verify the availability of the course and process your request if the course is available.

Is there an honor society for my program? How can I join or who can I contact?

There are two honor societies for the Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership: Kappa Delta Pi and Phi Delta Kappa. For more information about these societies, please visit the Student Organizations website. (http://www.waldenu.edu/experience/resources/organizations).

Can I change to the EdD program?

Yes, you can change to the EdD program by contacting your Student Success Advisor.