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Harvard EdD=PhD???


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Hi, I just have some questions about HGSE... can you help me with that? Thanks!

I got into the doctoral program at HGSE, but the EdD degree does not make me feel comfortable. Although the webpage of HGSE, the potential advisor, and the current EdD student try to convince me that Harvard EdD=PhD, for some obvious reasons, I am not sure if I should believe their words wholeheartedly... Because when you grad, you need to step out that HGSE into the outer world, so I doubt how others would perceive this degree given by H. I know that some fellowships are limitted to PhD student only; and one of my friend who just finished her PhD at Berkeley GSE told me that EdD is not highly respected as PhD, and she doesn't percieve Harvard EdD as same as PhD...she also told me that EdD are more practice-oriented, and not easy in job hunting??

For some other obvious reasons, I know that it is dangerous to draw a conclusion when the info is from a small sample (only one, as my friend at Berkeley) or lack of diversity(only from the insiders of HGSE)....So, I just hope if you can tell me your perception about Harvard EdD, do you perceive it as same as PhD? Do you perceive the limitation for job hunting/looking for funding for a harvard EdD student?

Thanks !!!

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One way to settle your fears would be to Google C.V.s of people with EdDs from Harvard and see how their jobs stack up against others in their departments with PhDs.

The HGSE doctorate is an EdD for two reasons: 1) it was the first EdD offered in America in the 1920s, so there is the feeling of continuation and 2) only the GSAS at Harvard can bestow PhDs by university policy. I assure you that having the EdD from Harvard on your resume is just as powerful as a PhD from another school.

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This is the way I've come to see EdD vs. PhD:

The Ed.D is a practitioner's degree. People who get an EdD go on and work in the education field, usually in administration, government, or business.

The PhD is a research degree. People go on and do theoretical things, teach, and many go into the same fields as those with EdDs go to, but the degree's focus is on research.

That said, the EdD at Harvard is particularly research driven...Seeing how academia is PhDs are usually biased against EdDs I'd say if your long term goal is a faculty position, that's something to consider. To be fair, I've definitely seen a few higher ed faculty with the Harvard EdD sprinkled about the top programs.

I applied for the EdD but was offered the masters so I'm glad that's a choice I don't have to make!

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  • 2 months later...

Yes, Harvard Ed.D. = Ph.D.

Their Ed.D. is a very highly respected academic doctorate. And I know their Ed.D. acceptance rate is now around 7% (which is about the same as Harvard College admission rate); very difficult to get in. When they reject a doctoral application, they ask if you would be interested in a master's program instead. Their offer for master admission, even if you applied for the doctoral program, is then a polite circumlocution of rejection. (FYI, Harvard Ed.M.'s acceptance rate is around 50%).I did my Ed.M. at Harvard, so know a little bit about their doctoral program. I also heard that the research training required of their doctoral students is very rigorous and demanding. Overall, given that Harvard is usually ranked top in educational studies, a Harvard Ed.D. is one of the most respected research doctorates in the field (equivalent to, or much better than, education Ph.D.s from other universities).

Some Harvard Ed.D. holders are tenured professors even at non-education departments such as Stanford University's Business School or University of Chicago's Department of Sociology (U of Chicago is always ranked 1st in sociology). Some of them (whose concentrations are in counseling psych or developmental psych) got their jobs at psychiatry, pediatrics, and medical education departments at various medical schools including Harvard and Tufts meds. There is no doubt about the academic reputation of Harvard Ed.D. even outside of the field.

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