Reimagine Education and Drive Progress with an Ed.D. in Educational Practice

The Doctor of Education program (Ed.D.) with an emphasis in Educational Practice provides an accelerated doctoral experience that is intended for practitioners who want to build professional connections and transform educational practice. This program emphasizes action research, which allows students to apply their learning to real-world educational practices. The program is structured to leverage the benefits of this collaborative and action-oriented approach to help students achieve their doctoral goals more efficiently and effectively.



Program type:

Doctorate, EdD


On-Campus, Online

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Doctor of Education, Educational Practice

Students are admitted to the EdD program and simultaneously to a Learning Community of Practice that is formed around a central theme. The learning communities typically begin during the fall semester and members of the learning community advance through the program together as a cohort and complete the degree requirements within 3 to 3½ years. A Dissertation in Practice is the culminating capstone project.

There are Learning Communities that offer the collaborative dissertation option to investigate a high-impact Problem of Practice. The research experience would encompass the scholarly process of conducting research and possibly working with community stakeholders and reviewing extant data related to the Problem of Practice.

More information about each pathway is available in the degree information section below.

Outcomes and Career Outlook

  • Design equitable, ethical, and socially just solutions to complex problems in educational practices.
  • Apply educational practice knowledge to positively impact individuals, families, organizations, and communities.
  • Collaborate effectively with diverse communities and build partnerships through strong communication skills.
  • Integrate practical and research knowledge to conduct systemic and systematic inquiry in educational practice.
  • Create solutions to problems of practice by using professional knowledge and practices related to educational practice.
  • Develop and participate in communities of practice, recognizing their value and function.
  • Utilize critical reflective practice to implement change in professional practice and educational practice organizations.

This program is not aligned to state certification standards.

Employment of Education Practitioners is projected to grow up to 4% to 2030, with a median annual salary of $98,490, according to wage and employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics


Median annual salary


Employment growth by 2030

Career Opportunities

  • Director of Academic Affairs
  • College/University President
  • Training & Development Manager
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Curriculum Developer
  • Grant Writer
  • Education Policy Analyst
  • Educational Researcher
  • Director of Education
  • Chief Learning Officer
  • Director of Learning & Development


Applicants should be admitted to the Graduate School. Additional requirements for admission to the EdD program:

  • Submit the EdD Supplemental Application
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose – In the statement of purpose please describe how the EdD Degree aligns with your career and professional goals and why you would like to pursue your chosen Learning Community.
  • Submit a current professional resume/CV.
  • Attend an interview with the mentor team.

International students are required to document English proficiency by providing scores from an internationally accepted standardized examination before a decision is made on admission.

Application Deadline

Application materials should be submited by February 15 for a fall cohort start.


College Access, Career Readiness and Student Services in Higher Education

The College Access/Career Readiness and Student Support Services in Higher Education Learning Community is a 100% online learning program that is committed to student immersion in high-impact educational practice. We will explore systems thinking, strategic planning, leadership, collaboration strategies and more to understand the intersectionality among these components and their impact on sense-making within educational institutions. These efforts contribute to the development of philosophical ideologies that shape organizational identity, culture and institutional priorities. Deepening our understanding of the interaction among such organizational efforts will inform our work as we contemplate the philosophical underpinnings that serve as the foundation for the student services profession and promoting student success in educational institutions.

We will specifically explore how organizational ideologies, institutional priorities and culture impact college access and student services in K-12 and postsecondary institutions. Holistic student support and promoting student success is at the core of the mission of all educational institutions. A unique and dynamic synergism will be operationalized if all educational systems are aligned to support the work and collaboration of practitioner professionals across all educational systems who advocate for student support and success.

There will be a targeted emphasis on an interconnected systems approach relative to K-12 and postsecondary educational systems and academic and student affairs professionals, as well as pre-collegiate preparation, student support services and college access/transition, equity and affordability. If you are a Practitioner-Leader who would like to enhance your career as an educational professional to solve organizational issues that impact student success and the student services professional, you have arrived!

Who should apply?

Current and aspiring practitioners who are interested in a staff position, middle-level management or an executive role in 2- and 4- year colleges and universities and/or have an interest in college access; and K-12 practitioners interested in pre-collegiate preparation and college access for K-12 students who will pursue postsecondary education attainment

NOTE: Administrative certification is not affiliated with this program.

Career Options

The available possible career options would include the following roles in K-12 education and postsecondary education, with the addition of leadership positions in higher education, student services, and college and career readiness.


  • K-12 College and Career Coach
  • Child Advocacy, Victimization, and Trauma Support Professional (for K-12 and Postsecondary Students)
  • College Readiness Advocate (College Bound/AmeriCorps, Wyman Center, College Advising Corps)
  • Educational Liaison for K-12 and Postsecondary Education
  • Independent College and Career Readiness Professional (Private Practice)

Postsecondary Education:

  • Precollegiate Programming (TRIO, Bridge, Talent Search, Upward Bound, etc.)
  • Student Services Staff and Administration (Multicultural Student Services, Precollegiate Programs, Residential Life, Financial Aid, Student Activities, Student Conduct, Admissions and Recruitment, Disability Access Services, etc.)
  • Academic Affairs (Academic Advising, Registration, Student Conduct, Research Compliance, Grants and Contracts, Alumni Development and Fundraising, Institutional Research, Faculty Development and Support, etc.)
  • College Access Policy Development Professional (with State and Federal Agencies such as MDHEWD and Office of Postsecondary Education)

Plan of study

Review Full Degree Requirements

Non-Missouri Residents: Prospective students are responsible for reviewing the NC-SARA state authorizations page to see if this program is offered in their state throughout their program and to review the licensure or certification requirements for the state in which they reside.

Connect with likeminded business students and professionals though one of our student organizations.

Career Services - Students have access to professional career counselors who can assist in everything from resume development and interview preparation to lining up an internship or connecting you with your next fulltime career. UMSL alumni also enjoy high quality, lifelong career management programming, services, events and resources to assist in all phases of career development.

Research - There are many opportunities for graduate students to showcase their research including our annual Graduate Research Fair, which is open to students from all graduate programs. Doctoral and thesis master’s students can also compete in the Three Minute Thesis challenge to be evaluated by a panel of judges for a chance to win cash prizes.