The Executive Doctorate is a full-time Ed.D. program delivered in an executive-style format which allows students to keep their current full-time jobs while in the program. Although various technologies are employed to facilitate collaborative learning and communication, this is not an online degree – all coursework takes place on the Penn campus in Philadelphia. Each cohort of students is supported by a program coordinator who facilitates all logistics and hospitality arrangements, in addition to distributing course materials and information notices and serving as a one-stop liaison to other university offices and resources.
The program consists of six consecutive terms, starting in a late summer term and culminating in a spring term commencement two years later. All students must transfer the equivalent of a year of graduate coursework from a previous master’s degree, first professional degree, or other doctoral degree. Students take a heavy load of coursework in The First Year, while also developing a dissertation proposal. The second summer is a study abroad experience, taking place in a one- to two-week trip overseas. Coursework continues in The Second Year, though at a lighter pace to allow students time to complete their research and dissertation drafting – culminating in a dissertation defense in the middle of the spring term.
Student accommodations are typically at The Hilton Inn at Penn, a AAA-rated Four Diamond hotel only a block from the Graduate School of Education. The Inn at Penn provides high-speed wired/wireless Internet connections, a business center, meeting rooms and lounges, a fitness room, Penne Restaurant and Wine Bar, and other amenities. Executive Doctorate classes are usually held in the GSE Conference Center, with breakfast, lunch, breaks, and some dinners catered on-site. Additional dinners, often with faculty or visiting lecturers, are provided at a wide range of Philadelphia’s finest restaurants. Students are responsible for travel to and from Philadelphia, but all other costs for lodging, meals, and local transportation during class sessions are included in the tuition and program fee.