Ed.D. in Secondary and Middle Grades Education


Develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to serve as a learner-centered specialist engaging in scholarly inquiry and research and deepen your expertise in a chosen area of study.

The Ed.D. in Secondary and Middles Grades Education is designed for candidates who possess a teaching certificate and hold a Specialist degree in a Georgia Professional Standards Commission recognized area of certification. This program of study thus provides the skills necessary to synthesize theory and practice through further examination of theoretically-based curriculum development, understanding of global education issues, and inquiry into making education equitable, democratic, humane, and socially just.

Why choose the Ed.D. in Secondary and Middles Grades Education at KSU?

The Ed.S. in Secondary and Middles Grades Education is fully embedded into the Ed.D. program. Those students who complete the Ed.S. in Secondary or Middles Grades Education at Kennesaw State University may apply their entire program of study to the Ed.D. Those students who have completed their Ed.S. at another institution will be eligible to have their transcripts analyzed and can possibly receive up to 17 hours credit toward the Ed.D.

Degree Highlights

  • Program: Doctoral
    Credit Hours: 66 (36 beyond Ed.S)
    Format: Online
    Completion Time: 3.5 to 4 years
  • Five content areas in Secondary Education:


    Four content areas in Middle Grades Education:

    Language Arts
    Social Studies

  • Prepares you to enhance your content and instructional expertise and strengthens your ability to improve student learning. 

    All degrees are approved for certificate upgrades by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.

  • Focuses on learner-centered curriculum and instruction in the content areas.

    Small class sizes and individualized learning.

  • Designed to advance middle grades and secondary teachers’ content knowledge and knowledge of diverse adolescent learners.

    Coursework from Ed.S. may be transferred into the Ed.D. in Secondary and Middle Grades Education program.

Sample Courses

  • EDRS 9300: Research Seminar: Conceptual Frameworks & Research Design
    This seminar will assist the doctoral candidate in conceptualizing, identifying the components of, and articulating the emerging conceptual framework of their dissertation. Under the guidance of the course professor and in consultation with their dissertation chair, the candidate will emerge from the course with a draft his/her conceptual framework which includes the purpose and rationale for his/her research as well as a draft of the theoretical underpinnings of the research described through a review of literature followed by preliminary research questions or hypotheses for his/her dissertation.
  • EDSM 8901: Seminar I: Trends & Issues in Middle & Secondary Education
    The course is taken in the first semester of the program and is designed to assist advanced graduate students in developing an understanding of seminal research, contemporary trends, and emerging issues related to teaching and learning in secondary and middle grades settings. The course is designed to assist advanced graduate students in conceptualizing their final capstone project and developing a plan for its completion.
  • EDSS 8600: Critical Analysis of Contemporary Issues in Social Studies Education
    This course provides a critical analysis of contemporary issues in social studies education theory, research, and practice mainly as identified and discussed in recent scholarly research published in recognized journals, books, and standards adopted by state and national committees or councils for the social studies or social science fields.
  • EDUC 8100: Advanced Study of Learning
    The course deepens experienced educators’ knowledge of research-based best practices in diverse classrooms. This is an advanced course with in-depth study of classic and current research on learning theories and related topics in educational psychology as they relate to teaching and learning in schools. Focus is on those theories and research which have transformed and are reforming educational practice.
  • ENED 9400: Designing and Conducting Research in English/Language Arts Education
    Teacher leaders (graduate students enrolled in the course) will read, analyze, and apply seminal and current research in the field of English/Language Arts Education, and design an applied research study related to English/Language Arts Education in P-12 and/or higher education settings. The project may be one that the teacher leader carries out in a workplace setting or may serve as a pilot study for the dissertation.
  • MAED 8900: Research Methods and Critique in Mathematics Education
    This course is designed to survey, from an advanced point of view, research methods used in mathematics education by examination of important research in mathematics education. Students will analyze, summarize, and critique published research. Students will also have an opportunity to read extensively the literature relevant to their proposed dissertation research and focus the research questions for their dissertation.

Admission Requirements

Must possess the following beyond the general KSU Graduate College Admission Requirements:

  • Degree – Specialist’s degree in professional education or a related field.
  • Certificate – Uploaded to graduate application. Valid clear, renewable Georgia teaching certificate. Or out-of-state equivalent, in the teaching field and grade level for which the applicant is applying. To print a copy of your clear, renewable Georgia teaching certificate, you may log into your MyPSC account.
  • Employment – To facilitate candidates’ field experiences, current full-time employment as a professional educator is preferred.
  • Experience – Minimum of THREE (3) years of professional teaching administrative experience (or a combination thereof), in a P-12 education setting.
  • Writing Sample – Uploaded to graduate application. Research Response & Analysis writing sample. The applicant will select from two recent research articles in their area of content expertise and provide a 3-5 page written response to the article. Click here for the specific instructions.
  • GPA – Competitive Graduate GPA will be utilized with other admission criteria to determine program eligibility.

To complete the Ed.D. in Secondary and Middles Grades Education, candidates must:

  1. Complete a minimum of 66 hours of approved graduate coursework, including:
    • 15 credit hours in Education and Research Core courses;
    • 36 credit hours in Area 1 Teaching Field Pedagogy and Area 2 Teaching Field Content courses;
    • 6 credit hours in cognate/guided electives; and
    • 9 credit hours in dissertation.
  2. Complete a minimum of 49 semester hours of the total 66 hours in full standing at Kennesaw State University.
  3. Meet KSU's requirements for satisfactory graduate student performance and for graduation, as outlined in the Academic Policies section of the KSU Graduate Catalog.

There is also the opportunity to earn an endorsement while pursuing the Ed.D. degree.

Download the Program of Study (PDF)


November 1 for admission for the SPRING semester - ALL documents must be submitted by deadline date.

Contact Us

For more information about this degree program, please call 470.578.6314 or email eddsmge@kennesaw.edu. For more information on graduate admissions, please email educ_grad@kennesaw.edu.