Jan 21, 2019  
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Doctoral Programs in Education

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Director of Doctoral Programs
John Gleason, Ed.D.

Office: The Benoit Education Center
Phone: (603)897-8592
Email: jgleason@rivier.edu

Doctoral Programs at Rivier University began in 2008 with the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership and Learning, Ed.D. In 2013 the Doctoral Program in Counseling and School Psychology, Psy.D., was inaugurated. Each of these degree programs builds on the strengths of programs and faculty in order to offer the terminal degree in their respective fields. The goal of each program is to offer students opportunities to continue their education at the most advanced level of doctoral education. The doctoral programs parallel the structure and organization of doctoral study, that is, with core classes in each field designed to advance knowledge, provide for specialization and elective courses based on the student’s interest and research, include a written and oral comprehensive examination designed to demonstrate the student’s acquired knowledge and scholarship, and require dissertation research.

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program in Leadership and Learning combines quality nursing education with the strengths of leadership and learning to offer a specialization in Nursing Education. This set of specialization courses within the doctorate in leadership and learning is designed for working professionals who hold a master’s degree in nursing who have an interest in learning, research, and advancing their knowledge about leadership in teaching, human growth and development, and the policies and practices that enhance learning. The nursing education specialization includes courses and content that help qualify nursing professionals to become faculty in the critical need area of education.

Students are encouraged to study the two programs and the options that they afford in doctoral study. The program directors are available to advise on the appropriate program of study for prospective doctoral students.


To satisfy program requirements, each student must perform the following:

  • Maintain continuous enrollment until the dissertation defense;
  • Complete course work and dissertation research and writing leading to dissertation defense;
  • Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher;
  • Take both an oral and a written comprehensive examination;
  • Submit and defend the dissertation proposal to the dissertation committee;
  • Complete all program requirements and the dissertation within seven years from the first semester of enrollment. To continue in the program past seven years requires the student to apply for an extension that includes a timeframe for completion of all requirements, and the expected date for graduation.

Admission Requirements

An applicant for the doctorate must meet the following requirements:

  • Baccalaureate and Master’s degrees, EdS or C.A.G.S. from an accredited College or University;
  • Grade point average: 3.25 or higher in graduate level courses at the 500 level or above;
  • Documentation of at least three years of relevant professional experience; and
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores on the verbal, quantitative, and analytic writing sections within the last five years.

Application Procedure

The items below must be submitted by the applicant to the Office of Graduate Admissions, Rivier University, 420 South Main Street, Nashua, NH 03060:

  • A completed doctoral application; available online at www.rivier.edu/edd and received by midnight on February 15;
  • A $100 application fee;
  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions where the student has received degrees and taken courses;
  • A personal statement of purpose for doctoral study that states the applicant’s (a) personal and professional experiences and how they relate to the doctoral program; (b) rationale for pursuing the doctoral program; (c) a statement of a research, problem or question(s) to pursue through the doctoral study and are interested in researching; and, (d) the ways in which doctoral study will contribute to your personal and professional goals and plans.
  • Three letters of recommendation from persons who can speak to the following areas:  (a) one recommendation from present or former employers who can address the applicant’s professional experience and leadership potential; (b) one recommendation from a current or former professor or  colleague who can discuss the applicant’s ability and potential for advanced course work, scholarship, and research; and (c) one recommendation from someone who can speak to the applicant’s personal and professional character.

After all application materials have been received, the applicant may be contacted to schedule a formal interview with the admissions committee. When a decision is reached, student will be notified by letter.

Transfer Credits

At the time of admission, the applicant may transfer up to 9 post-graduate credits at the 500 level or above into the doctoral program provided that (a) the transferred credits were earned at an accredited college or university; (b) a grade of B or better is received in all courses for which transfer is requested; (c) the course (s) were completed within the past ten years; and, (d) a degree or certificate has not been awarded for the courses or credits. The applicant identifies the courses to be transferred and specifies the ways in which the course(s) are consistent with their doctoral program of study and related to the content or research methods associated with their dissertation. The program director or divisional chair must review and approves the transfer requests.

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