Ed.D. Program (PK-12) Frequently Asked Questions

Application Questions

Prospective students complete a California State University application and submit a department/program application to the Educational Leadership Department. Full information and links to the university and program applications can be found at the College of Education Admissions website

Letters of recommendation should come from professionals who are fully informed about your work, including areas where you have provided leadership.  Recommendations can be either professional (e.g., current employer) or academic (e.g., professor from previous degree).

No. The GRE is no longer required by SDSU for Graduate Admission.

The university-established minimum GPA is 2.85 for domestic applicants and 3.00 for international applicants. If you don't meet the GPA criteria, you may still be accepted but be on probational acceptance.
Writing plays a significant role within the program and authoring a dissertation is a significant undertaking with regard to writing. Your writing sample will serve to demonstrate your abilities as a writer. Our preference is for the sample to be academic writing.  For example, a paper or research project from your previous graduate work.  If such evidence is unavailable, you should consider a professional writing example.  This might be something you produced on-the-job (e.g., WSCUC report, program review or evaluation, training materials). Applicants are advised to avoid more informal forms of writing, such as school newsletters, web-posted communications, and the like.  In sum, we appreciate reviewing a formal example of your writing, and an example that is academic writing—or as close to academic writing as possible.
Students applying to College of Education programs can skip certain sections of the CSU Apply application.  Please review guidance posted here for specifics about what information must be included, and what information can be skipped: https://education. sdsu.edu/academics/how-to- apply/tips-completing-cal- state-apply

Financial Matters Questions

Cost is dependent on how many semesters you are enrolled.  The number of semesters is dependent on both coursework and dissertation progress.  Current Ed.D. tuition is available at the SDSU Tuition and Other Fees page in the “Ed Doctoral” column: 

Once you have completed the application process, you can also submit an application for financial aid.  Information is available at the SDSU Financial Aid & Scholarships' FAFSA page.

The majority of students who apply financial aid to this program do so with student loans.  The department and college have limited scholarship money; applications tend to be competitive.  Once you have completed the application process, you can also submit an application for financial aid and search opportunities both inside and outside the university.  Information is available at the SDSU Financial Aid & Scholarships' FAFSA page: https://sacd.sdsu.edu/financial-aid/financial-aid/how-to-apply

We encourage potential students to also review the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program from the Federal Government to explore eligibility and terms: https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/public-service

Scholarships may be available, based on your unique qualifications. The best place to review scholarship availability is via the university financial aid resource, AidLink.
The Ed.D. PK-12 program is largely comprised of, and therefore geared toward, working professionals.  We typically do not offer graduate assistantships in this program. 

Program Questions

Classes for the traditional San Diego cohort typically meet at Health Sciences Middle and High College in central San Diego.  In addition, most courses have an online component where Zoom is used for online meetings.

In our traditional three-year program, classes typically meet one night a week, from about 5 PM until 9 PM.  In addition, there are occasional Saturday seminars.  In the second year, you will typically follow the same schedule, although the number of classes is usually slightly reduced, due to independent dissertation work.  In the third year, the number of classes remains about the same as year two.

The Ed.D. is a cohorted program.  We accept between 12-30 students into the traditional cohort each year.  In some years, multiple cohorts are established.  Classes may consist of a single cohort, or a combination of cohorts that represent multiple years.  Class size is dependent on the number of students recruited into a cohort and whether or not a particular course involves combined cohorts.

There will be a predetermined course sequence for each cohort.  Classes and schedules for each semester are established well in advance. Space in class is reserved for each student during registration; students are fully responsible for registering for all required classes. Necessary codes for enrolling in classes are typically sent out via email prior to registration times.

As a past NISL participant, it is possible to complete the program in as little as two years (six or seven semesters). This type of accelerated timeline is largely predicated on meeting the dissertation work deadlines, which means making rapid, high quality progress in each phase of the dissertation.  Some students (NISL and non-NISL) require additional semesters as a result of their own amount of progress on the dissertation.  We are very supportive at each stage of writing—but, ultimately, progress is fully dependent on the student. This is understandable, since each student has different life experiences and responsibilities which impact his or her work.

Typically, we can only run an independent, geographic-specific cohort with 15 or more students.  We established a Pomona cohort in 2019, but that is a one-time cohort and it will not reoccur unless there are the minimum required number of students.  We are exploring the possibility of a cohort in Orange County or the Inland Empire for the 2020 admission cycle.  We are happy to work with potential students to recruit others in your area, if you think there would be the required number.