Doctoral Programs FAQ

Doctoral Programs FAQ

Why earn your doctorate at the IU School of  Education?

  • We offer 28 Ph.D. and Ed.D. degrees, led by world-renowned faculty!
  • Our Ed.D. degrees offer flexibility for working professionals, with several online and in-person/hybrid programs.
  • We offer a variety of funding opportunities for Ph.D. students, including fellowships, research and teaching assistantships.
  • Indiana University Ph.D. students can double major, earning two Ph.D.s with one cross-disciplinary dissertation.

Ph.D. or Ed.D.?  Which is right for you?

Regardless of the degree you choose, you will be taught by top faculty in your field. 

Consider an Ed.D. if you want to:

  • Work full time while pursuing your degree.  
  • Learn with a cohort of other working professionals in your field.
  • Leverage research to solve pressing, practical problems in whatever career you pursue.

Consider a Ph.D. if you want to: 

  • Be a full-time student in beautiful Bloomington, Indiana
  • Work closely with faculty as you engage in research, teaching, and other scholarly activities on campus.
  • Advance your field through research, whether you land in academia, industry, or other educational settings.

Both Ed.D. and Ph.D. students complete coursework and a dissertation.  What’s the difference between an Ed.D. and Ph.D. dissertation?

  1. Motivation
    Ed.D. dissertations tend to be motivated by the need to address a problem that arises from practice, while Ph.D. dissertations tend to be motivated by the need to address a gap in the research literature.
  2. Focus
    Ed.D. dissertations tend to be bounded in terms of context and generalizability, as they focus on a problem in the student’s local context. Ph.D. dissertations contribute new knowledge to their field of study.
  3. Relation to existing research
    Ed.D. dissertations draw upon existing research to frame a theory of improvement and/or address a local problem and improve practice. While the ultimate goal of many Ph.D. dissertations is to improve practice, the dissertation tends to contribute more directly to enhancing theory and knowledge in the field.