Doctor of Education in Educational Administration

College and Department vision of “We transform lives.” Specifically, the K-12 EAP’s mission is (a) to prepare leaders for public, charter, and private schools in Texas and the nation and (b) to prepare individuals to conduct research and/or teaching at a university, college, institute, or educational agency. As a result of these dramatic changes, the K12 EAP faculty is dedicated to attracting, mentoring, and preparing the "best, brightest, and culturally aware young leaders for key roles as superintendents, principals and university professors." To reach these goals, the faculty must nurture educational change agents who can focus on improving the technical core of teaching and learning and seek social justice for all students at all levels of education. It is important that the program meets the challenges of integrating theory and research as a resource that can be used to solve complex problems of administrative practice. The faculty members believe that both the school practitioner and the university professor must have skills in reflective practice and be prepared to integrate reliable formal knowledge with clinical knowledge, i.e., theoretical with craft knowledge.

If you want to work at the district level, we offer a K-12 Doctor of Education (EdD) in Educational Administration degree.  This allows you to be an administrator at the district level. The program’s format is a cohort model where students in lock step take classes together.  The rationale behind having a cohort model is to create a network of peers across the state of Texas. The Record of Study (ROS) is the culminating research problem of practice for candidates in the program. Work on the ROS is woven into the course of study and will address some aspect of school leadership, management, or instruction. The ROS will have a context of addressing social justice in public education. Candidates will choose from three ROS options: a comprehensive district analysis/redesign; journal-ready articles; or research following traditional dissertation guidelines.

 Upon successful completion of the program and approval of faculty, candidates will have completed the course requirements for superintendent certification in the state of Texas and will meet the State Board of Educator Certification (SBEC) standards for the superintendent certificate, should they choose to take the TExES exam.

Program Requirements

Student’s Advisory Committee

After receiving admission to graduate studies and enrolling, the student will consult with the head of his or her major or administrative department (or chair of the intercollegiate faculty) concerning appointment of the chair of the advisory committee. The student’s advisory committee will consist of no fewer than four members of the graduate faculty representative of the student’s several fields of study and research, where the chair or co-chair must be from the student’s department (or intercollegiate faculty, if applicable), and at least one or more of the members must have an appointment to a department other than the student’s major department. The outside member for a student in an interdisciplinary degree program must be from a department different from the chair of the student’s committee.

The chair, in consultation with the student, will select the remainder of the advisory committee. Only graduate faculty members located on Texas A&M University campuses may serve as chair of a student’s advisory committee. Other Texas A&M University graduate faculty members located off-campus may serve as a member or co-chair (but not chair), with a member as the chair.

If the chair of a student’s advisory committee voluntarily leaves the University and the student is near completion of the degree and wants the chair to continue to serve in this role, the student is responsible for securing a current member of the University Graduate Faculty, from the student’s academic program and located near the Texas A&M University campus site, to serve as the co-chair of the committee. The Department Head or Chair of Intercollegiate faculty may request in writing to the Associate Provost for Graduate and Professional Studies that a faculty member who is on an approved leave of absence or has voluntarily separated from the university, be allowed to continue to serve in the role of chair of a student’s advisory committee without a co-chair for us to one year. The students should be near completion of the degree. Extensions beyond the one year period can be granted with additional approval of the Dean.

The committee members’ signatures on the degree plan indicate their willingness to accept the responsibility for guiding and directing the entire academic program of the student and for initiating all academic actions concerning the student. Although individual committee members may be replaced by petition for valid reasons, a committee cannot resign en masse. The chair of the committee, who usually has immediate supervision of the student’s research and dissertation or record of study, has the responsibility for calling all meetings of the committee. The duties of the committee include responsibility for the proposed degree plan, the research proposal, the preliminary examination, the dissertation or record of study and the final examination. In addition, the committee, as a group and as individual members, is responsible for counseling the student on academic matters and, in the case of academic deficiency, initiating recommendations to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Degree Plan

Each student’s proposed degree plan will be individually designed on the basis of the student’s career objectives and the competencies associated with the professional role to which the student aspires. It will contain a minimum of 69 semester hours, including the following components:

  1. At least 6 semester hours of proseminars stressing the foundation concepts with which every EdD student should be familiar;
  2. A set of courses selected to prepare the candidate for a specific professional role within a field of specialization;
  3. One or more courses that develop basic understanding of the procedures and applications of research;
  4. At least one supporting field of 12 or more semester hours or two supporting fields of 9 or more semester hours each;
  5. A professional internship of at least 6 semester hours related to the professional role to which the student aspires;
  6. A record of study involving at least 12 semester hours of credit.

No changes can be made to the degree plan once the student’s Request for Final Examination or Request for Final Examination Exemption is approved by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

No credit may be obtained by correspondence study, by extension or for any course of fewer than three weeks duration.

For non-distance degree programs, no more than four courses may be taken by distance education without approval of OGAPS and no more than 50 percent of the non-research credit hours required for the program may be completed through distance education courses.

To receive a graduate degree from Texas A&M University, students must earn one-third or more of the credits through the institution’s own direct instruction. This limitation also applies to joint degree programs. 

The degree plan must be filed with the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies prior to the deadline imposed by the student’s college, and no later than 90 days prior to the preliminary examination.

Transfer of Credit

Courses for which transfer credits are sought must have been completed with a grade of B or greater and must be approved by the student’s advisory committee and the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. These courses must not have been used previously for another degree. Except for officially approved joint degree programs with other Texas A&M University System institutions, credit for theses or dissertation research or the equivalent is not transferable. Credit for “internship” coursework in any form is not transferable. Courses taken in residence at an accredited U.S. institution or approved international institution with a final grade of B or greater will be considered for transfer credit if, at the time the courses were completed, the courses would be accepted for credit toward a similar degree for a student in degree-seeking status at the host institution. Credit for coursework taken by extension is not transferable coursework in which no formal grades are given or in which grades other than letter grades (A or B) are earned (for example, CR, P, S, U, H, etc.) is not accepted for transfer credit. Credit for coursework submitted for transfer from any college or university must be shown in semester credit hours, or equated to semester credit hours.

Courses used toward a degree at another institution may not be applied for graduate credit. If the course to be transferred was taken prior to the conferral of a degree at the transfer institution, a letter from the registrar at that institution stating that the course was not applied for credit toward the degree must be submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Grades for courses completed at other institutions are not included in computing the GPR. An official transcript from the university at which transfer courses are taken must be sent directly to the Office of Admissions.


Preliminary Examination for Doctoral Students

The student’s major department (or chair of the interdisciplinary degree program faculty, if applicable) and his or her advisory committee may require qualifying, cumulative or other types of examinations at any time deemed desirable. These examinations are entirely at the discretion of the department and the student’s advisory committee.

The preliminary examination is required. The preliminary examination for a doctoral student shall be given no earlier than a date at which the student is within 6 credit hours of completion of the formal coursework on the degree plan (i.e., all coursework on the degree plan except 681, 684, 690, 691, 692, 693, 695, 697, 791, or other graduate courses specifically designated as S/U in the course catalog). The student should complete the Preliminary Examination no later than the end of the semester following the completion of the formal coursework on the degree plan.

Preliminary Examination Format

The objective of preliminary examination is to evaluate whether the student has demonstrated the following qualifications:

a.     a mastery of the subject matter of all fields in the program;

b.     an adequate knowledge of the literature in these fields and an ability to carry out bibliographical research;

c.     an understanding of the research problem and the appropriate methodological approaches.

The format of the preliminary examination shall be determined by the student’s department (or interdisciplinary degree program, if applicable) and advisory committee, and communicated to the student in advance of the examination. The exam may consist of a written component, oral component, or combination of written and oral components.

The preliminary exam may be administered by the advisory committee or a departmental committee; herein referred to as the examination committee.

Regardless of exam format, a student will receive an overall preliminary exam result of pass or fail. The department (or interdisciplinary degree program, if applicable) will determine how the overall pass or fail result is determined based on the exam structure and internal department procedures. If the exam is administered by the advisory committee, each advisory committee member will provide a pass or fail evaluation decision.

Only one advisory committee substitution is allowed to provide an evaluation decision for a student’s preliminary exam, and it cannot be the committee chair.

If a student is required to take, as a part of the preliminary examination, a written component administered by a department or interdisciplinary degree program, the department or interdisciplinary degree program faculty must:

a.     offer the examination at least once every six months. The departmental or interdisciplinary degree program examination should be announced at least 30 days prior to the scheduled examination date.

b.     assume the responsibility for marking the examination satisfactory or unsatisfactory, or otherwise graded, and in the case of unsatisfactory, stating specifically the reasons for such a mark.

c.     forward the marked examination to the chair of the student’s advisory committee within one week after the examination.

Preliminary Examination Scheduling

Prior to commencing any component of the preliminary examination, a departmental representative or the advisory committee chair will review the eligibility criteria with the student, using the Preliminary Examination Checklist to ensure the student is eligible for the preliminary examination. The following list of eligibility requirements applies.

  • Student is registered at Texas A&M University for a minimum of one semester credit hour in the long semester or summer term during which any component of the preliminary examination is held. If the entire examination is held between semesters, then the student must be registered for the term immediately preceding the examination.

  • An approved degree plan is on file with the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies prior to commencing the first component of the examination.

  • Student’s cumulative GPR is at least 3.000.

  • Student’s degree plan GPR is at least 3.000.

  • At the end of the semester in which at least the first component of the exam is given, there are no more than 6 hours of coursework remaining on the degree plan (except 681, 684, 690, 691, 692, 693, 695, 697, 791, or other graduate courses specifically designated as S/U in the course catalog). The head of the student’s department (or Chair of the Interdisciplinary Degree Program, if applicable) has the authority to approve a waiver of this criterion.

Report of Preliminary Examination

Credit for the preliminary examination is not transferable in cases where a student changes degree programs after passing a preliminary exam.

If a written component precedes an oral component of the preliminary exam, the chair of the student’s examination committee is responsible for making all written examinations available to all members of the committee.  A positive evaluation of the preliminary exam by all members of a student’s examination committee with at most one dissension is required to pass a student on his or her preliminary exam.

The student’s department will promptly report the results of the Preliminary Examination to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies via the Report of Doctoral Preliminary Examination form. The Preliminary Examination checklist form must also be submitted. These forms should be submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies within 10 working days of completion of the preliminary examination.

The Report of the Preliminary Examination form must be submitted with original signatures of the approved examination committee members. If an approved examination committee member substitution (one only) has been made, that signature must also be included, in place of the committee member, on the form submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. The original signature of the department head is also required on the form.

After passing the required preliminary examination for the doctoral degree, the student must complete the final examination for the degree within four calendar years. Otherwise, the student will be required to repeat the preliminary examination.

Retake of Failed Preliminary Examination

Upon approval of the student’s examination committee, with no more than one member dissenting, and approval of the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies, a student who has failed the preliminary examination may be given one re-examination. Adequate time must be given to permit the student to address the inadequacies emerging from the first preliminary examination. The examination committee must agree upon and communicate in writing to the student, an adequate time-frame from the first examination (normally six months) to retest, as well as a detailed explanation of the inadequacies emerging from the examination. The student and the committee should jointly negotiate a mutually acceptable date for this retest.  When providing feedback on inadequacies, the committee should clearly document expected improvements that the student must be able to exhibit in order to retake the exam.  The examination committee will document and communicate the time-frame and feedback within 10 working days of the exam that was not passed.

Final Examination for Doctoral Students

The candidate for the doctoral degree must pass a final examination by deadline dates announced in the “Office of Graduate and Professional Studies Calendar” each semester. The doctoral student is allowed only one opportunity to take the final examination.

No unabsolved grades of D, F, or U for any course can be listed on the degree plan. The student must be registered for any remaining hours of 681, 684, 690, 691, 692, 791 or other graduate courses specifically designated as S/U in the course catalog during the semester of the final exam. No student may be given a final examination until they have been admitted to candidacy and their current official cumulative and degree plan GPAs are 3.00 or better.

To be admitted to candidacy for a doctoral degree, a student must have:

1.       completed all formal coursework on the degree plan with the exception of any remaining 681, 684, 690 and 691, 692 (Professional Study), or 791 hours,

2.       a 3.0 Graduate GPA and a Degree Plan GPA of at least 3.0 with no grade lower than C in any course on the degree plan,

3.       passed the preliminary examination,

4.       submitted an approved dissertation proposal,

5.       met the residence requirements.

The request to hold and announce the final examination must be submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies a minimum of 10 working days in advance of the scheduled date. Any changes to the degree plan must be approved by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies prior to the submission of the request for final examination.

 The student’s advisory committee will conduct this examination. The final examination is not to be administered until the dissertation or record of study is available in substantially final form to the student’s advisory committee, and all concerned have had adequate time to review the document.  Whereas the final examination may cover the broad field of the candidate’s training, it is presumed that the major portion of the time will be devoted to the dissertation and closely allied topics. Persons other than members of the graduate faculty may, with mutual consent of the candidate and the chair of the advisory committee, be invited to attend a final examination for an advanced degree. A positive vote by all members of the graduate committee with at most one dissension is required to pass a student on his or her exam. A department can have a stricter requirement provided there is consistency within all degree programs within a department. Upon completion of the questioning of the candidate, all visitors must excuse themselves from the proceedings.

Report of Final Examination

The student’s department will promptly report the results of the Final Examination to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies via the Report of Doctoral Final Examination form. These forms should be submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies within 10 working days of completion of the final examination. The Office of Graduate and Professional Studies must be notified in writing of any cancellations.

A positive evaluation of the final exam by all members of a student’s advisory committee with at most one dissension is required to pass a student on his or her final exam. The Report of the Final Examination Form must be submitted with original signatures of only the committee members approved by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. If necessary, multiple copies of the form may be submitted with different committee member original signatures. If an approved committee member substitution (1 only) has been made, his/her signature must be included on the form submitted to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Record of Study

The EdD student will produce a major research document called a record of study. The research project may involve such topics as

  1. a field study on a problem of major proportions in time or extent;
  2. a curriculum development project validated through pilot and field testing; or
  3. action research on a curricular, instructional, supervisory or administrative problem based on empirical data.

The EdD student must have primary responsibility for the design and development of the research, and the record of study must be the sole and original work of the candidate.

Whatever the nature of the research project undertaken by the candidate, he or she will be required to prepare a record of study that explains and supports the activities undertaken in the project and supports its conclusions with adequate investigations, empirical data and a comprehensive bibliography. Procedures used in the student’s research will be described in sufficient detail for educators in other locations to apply or extend the procedures. All records of study should be characterized by accuracy of observation and measurements, thoroughness of analysis and synthesis, and accuracy and completeness of presentation.

Guidelines for the preparation of the record of study are available in the Thesis Manual which is available online at After successful defense and approval by the student’s advisory committee and the head of the student’s major department, a student must submit his/her record of study in electronic format as a single PDF file. The PDF file must be uploaded to the website Additionally, a signed approval form must be brought or mailed to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies. Both the PDF file and the signed approval form are required by the deadline.

Deadline dates for submitting are announced each semester or summer term in the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies Calendar (see Time Limit statement). These dates also can be accessed via the website

Before a student can be “cleared” by Thesis and Dissertation Services, a processing fee must be paid through Student Business Services. This processing fee is for the thesis/dissertation services provided. After commencement, dissertations are digitally stored and made available through the Texas A&M Libraries.

A record of study that is deemed unacceptable by the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies because of excessive corrections will be returned to the student’s department head. The manuscript must be resubmitted as a new document, and the entire review process must begin anew. All original submittal deadlines must be met during the resubmittal process to graduate.

Additional Requirements


The residence requirement for the EdD degree is 30 semester credit hours in resident study at Texas A&M University. Of these 30 semester hours, at least 18 must be taken as a full-time student. The residence requirement must be fulfilled within five consecutive calendar years. This requirement may be satisfied by a student who presents any combination of full-time study during summer sessions of at least five weeks duration and/or work as a full-time student during regular sessions which totals in the aggregate at least 18 semester hours, accomplished within a five-year period beginning with the first course proposed to apply to this requirement.

Students who are employed full-time while completing their degree may fulfill total residence requirements by completion of less-than-full time course loads each semester. In order to be considered for this, the student is required to submit a Petition for Waivers and Exceptions along with verification of his/her employment to the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies.

Continuous Registration

A student in a program leading to the EdD who has completed all coursework on his/her degree plan other than 692 (Professional Study) is required to be in continuous registration until all requirements for the degree have been completed. See Continuous Registration Requirements.

Internship or Practicum

Each EdD degree candidate will complete a university-directed internship in a professional employment setting with a minimum duration of 300 clock hours accrued at the rate of 10–40 hours per week. The internship will require of the student full participation and responsibility in experiences directly related to the student’s career specialization. Credit for the internship will not be given for a continuation of regular employment activities (e.g., continuing to serve as a junior college teacher or as an elementary school principal), but only for completing an entirely new work experience. The internship may be on a paid or unpaid basis, must be undertaken after the student has a degree plan on file, and must be supported by prior or concurrent coursework (usually toward the end of the degree program). Prior to its beginning, the internship must be approved in writing as to details by all members of the student’s doctoral committee. At the conclusion of the internship, a formal written summary of its nature and results must be approved by the student’s advisory committee.

 99-Hour Cap on Doctoral Degrees

In Texas, public colleges and universities are funded by the state according to the number of students enrolled. In accordance with legislation passed by the Texas Legislature, the number of hours for which state universities may receive subvention funding at the doctoral rate for any individual is limited to 99 hours. Texas A&M University and other universities will not receive subvention for hours in excess of the limit.

Institutions of higher education are allowed to charge the equivalent of nonresident tuition to a resident doctoral student who has enrolled in 100 or more semester credit hours of doctoral coursework.

A doctoral student at Texas A&M has seven years to complete his/her degree before being charged out-of-state tuition. A doctoral student who, after seven years of study, has accumulated 100 or more doctoral hours will be charged tuition at a rate equivalent to out-of-state tuition. Please note that the tuition increases will apply to Texas residents as well as students from other states and countries who currently are charged tuition at the resident rate. This includes those doctoral students who hold GAT, GANT, and GAR appointments of 20 or more hours and recipients of competitive fellowships who receive more than $1,000 per semester. Doctoral students who, after seven years of study, have not accumulated 100 hours are eligible to pay in-state tuition if otherwise eligible.

For count purposes, a year is counted as three semesters, normally fall, spring and summer. Using this system, a student is allowed 21 semesters as a G8 student to complete the doctoral degree before being penalized with the higher tuition rate. Any semester in which a G8 student is enrolled for a doctoral level course is counted.

The following majors are exempt from the 99-Hour Cap on Doctoral Degrees:

•    Biomedical Sciences
•    Biochemistry
•    Microbiology
•    Genetics
•    Toxicology
•    Nutrition Sciences
•    Community Clinical Psychology
•    School Psychology
•    Veterinary Pathobiology
•    Clinical Psychology
•    Counseling Psychology
•    Medical Sciences
•    Health Services Research
•    Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences
•    Epidemiology and Environmental Health
•    Oral Biology

The hour limit for these majors is 130 doctoral hours

Application for Degree

For information on applying for your degree, please visit the Graduation section.