Admission Requirements

requirementsThe International Education specialization in the Educational Leadership doctoral concentration leads to an Ed.D. degree. It is designed for professionals with extensive relevant field experience. Successful applicants will be able to demonstrate a professional commitment to working in education and career goals that are congruent with the program.

Students need to complete an application and submit the required materials to be considered for admission. The Office of Graduate Admissions is available to assist students throughout the application process.


Program Requirements

The Ed.D. program can be fulfilled by completing 62 credits while continuously enrolled. Continuous enrollment encompasses enrollment in online courses representing minimum 9 credits every semester (fall, spring and summer) and the summer residency courses during each academic year for a period of three years.

1. Educational Leadership Strand (30 credits)

  • Program Development and Curricular Theory (6 Credits)
  • Funding & Procurement (6 Credits)
  • Organization Theories and Management (6 Credits)
  • Program Evaluation and Human Relations (6 Credits)
  • Law & Policy (6 Credits)

2. Research and Analysis Strand (9 Credits)

  • Introduction to Research (3 Credits)
  • Quantitative Research (3 Credits)
  • Literature Review (3 Credits)

3. Postsecondary Experience (2 Credits)

  • Supervised Practicum (2 Credits)

4. International Education Specialization (9 Credits)

  • International Education – Concepts & Theories (3 Credits)
  • Culture, Society, and Education in International Contexts (3 Credits)
  • Comparative Education (3 Credits)

5. Dissertation Preparation Strand (6 Credits)

  • Comprehensive Exam (3 Credits)
  • Proposal Defense (3 Credits)

6. Elective Courses (3 credits)– Select One

  • Ethical Issues in International Education (3 Credits)
  • Qualitative Methods (3 Credits)
  • Mixed Methods (3 credits)

7. Doctoral Residency Course (3 Credits)


Dissertation and Residency Requirements

Residency Requirements

A substantial period of residence must be included in a doctoral program to provide significant faculty-student interaction, opportunities for exposure to and engagement with cognate disciplines and research scholars working in those disciplines, and significant face-to-face peer interaction among graduate students. Residency is established through continuous enrollment, fall, spring, and summer with 1 Credit for the weeklong Doctoral Residency course in each summer semester. Therefore, for three consecutive summer semesters students attend a weeklong residency on the University of Bridgeport’s main campus in Connecticut. This period of residence allows for meaningful face-to-face peer interaction among graduate students. The residency requirement is also intended to provide the opportunity to strengthen the mentor-apprentice relationship between faculty and students. For instance, it will allow time for in-depth and direct faculty support of students with their dissertation research. Overall, the residency ensures that doctoral students contribute to and benefit from the complete spectrum of educational, professional, and enrichment opportunities provided on the University of Bridgeport campus.


Comprehensive Examination and Dissertation Proposal

All matriculated doctoral students wishing to become doctoral candidates must pass the EDLD 845 course inclusive of the written comprehensive examination. The comprehensive exam consists of: (a) one research methodological question; (b) one program focus question, and (c) one area of specialization question related to the students’ dissertation topic. Questions for the comprehensive examination are created by doctoral faculty with input from the student to rigorously assess mastery and knowledge garnered during coursework. The comprehensive examination also gauges the student’s potential for independent dissertation research. Students should take the exam after all coursework has been completed.

Doctoral students who passed their comprehensive examination can consequently enroll in the EDLD 846 course inclusive of the defense of the dissertation proposal.

The UB Doctoral Guidelines are derived from standard practices among universities, libraries, and publishers. The student, their committee, and the School of Education expects careful attention to APA 6th style and format in the proposal document. The proposal includes the student’s statement of a research problem and the chosen method of investigating it. The proposal is the first step toward completion of the dissertation, which is an original contribution to one’s field of study. The study may be applied research; it may be experimental, quasi-experimental, or non-experimental in its design; it may include quantitative, qualitative, action, mixed or critical methodology.

The dissertation proposal is an overview of the student’s ideas for their dissertation. The purpose for the dissertation proposal is to state the problem, purpose, research questions, outline the method and procedures to conduct the research project. The proposal draft will include a graphic depiction of the methods proposed and a time line for completion of the dissertation proposal including literature review and Institutional Review Board approval. Discussing the research proposal in draft format with a potential committee chair, other potential committee members, and peers will enable the student to obtain advice early in the dissertation process as to the suitability of the topic and as to whether or not the research questions, method, and procedures are logical, appropriate, and sound.


Dissertation – Doctoral Candidacy

Once the student has successfully passed the Comprehensive Examination (EDLD 845) and completed the Dissertation Proposal (EDLD 846), they are eligible to apply to be a Doctoral Candidate. The student should submit the form “Admission to Doctoral Candidacy” to the Program Director. This designation is conveyed to the student by an official letter from the School of Education. Doctoral Candidacy allows the student to register for dissertation advising (EDLD 850), which is a 0-credit course but is deemed to be full time. Once students are advanced to candidacy, they must be enrolled in EDLD 850 continuously for dissertation advising and supervision until graduation. If the student is not advanced to candidacy within five years from the time of admission to the doctoral program, the student should be dismissed from the program. The dissertation committee is composed by three faculty members.


Completion of Doctoral Degree

The degree must be completed within five years of the date from which the student started coursework in the doctoral program. In exceptional cases, the department may recommend that the Dean grant an extension of this limit.



  • Office of Graduate Admissions
    126 Park Avenue
    Bridgeport, CT 06604

  • (203) 576-4552


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