Doctor of Education

EdD in Educational & Professional Practice, Social Emotional Learning (SEL)


Our doctoral program is designed to prepare professionals to advocate for, design, practice, administer and lead SEL programs in K-12 educational institutions, higher education, and community organizations. Through a transdisciplinary curriculum that includes shared seminars in a diverse learning community, and individualized work within the SEL specialization, students will become acquainted with SEL research and scholarship, explore the diverse topics possible under this heading, consider the importance of emotional intelligence competencies for all stakeholders, and the assessment and evaluation strategies needed for the sustainability of SEL programs. Students will develop and practice their own SEL skills as a foundation for their leadership in this field. This degree is offered in an online, low-residency format.

Program Overview

The Doctor of Education in Educational and Professional Practice is intended for professionals who use educational practices in the service of social, economic, and environmental justice, in schools and beyond. The program is designed with working adults in mind. Classes are offered online, with a four-day, face-to-face residency each July on one of our campuses. A new cohort will enter the program each summer term, and if you take two courses each term, you should be able to complete the degree in three years. You will study with an accomplished, diverse, and caring faculty who will guide you through a transdisciplinary curriculum that integrates scholarship and practice. Your culminating project will be a dissertation that establishes your place among scholar-practitioners who seek to infuse educational practice in schools, communities, in national and global settings with the essential competencies and processes of social-emotional learning.

Social Emotional Learning Specialization

In partnership with Six Seconds, The Emotional Intelligence Network, we are excited to present a specialization in Social Emotional Learning, the process through which young people and adults develop a set of skills for becoming emotionally literate and able to combine thinking and feeling to make optimal decisions, deepen and maintain healthy relationships, solve problems, and reach personal and collective goals. SEL also comprises the strategies and processes for promoting and infusing SEL into the fabric of an educational community. Educators who practice and promote these SEL competencies enable students to learn, grow, and thrive with more positive social behaviors, increased academic performance, and greater engagement with peers and adults. Longitudinal studies affirm that SEL programs promote positive youth development, with student outcomes reflecting school, career, and life success, along with commitment to community. The field of social emotional learning has blossomed over the past several decades and is increasingly recognized as an essential component of education in K-12, higher education, and community settings. This SEL specialization will lay the groundwork for educators in school and community-based organizations and independent SEL consultants to advocate for, develop, implement, and assess social emotional learning instruction, curriculum, policies, and procedures using evidence-based tools listed in the RAND and CASEL assessment guides. Acknowledging that the scope of SEL is broad, the SEL specialization allows for much flexibility in focus while maintaining consistency and rigor with a deep inquiry into the broad range of SEL scholarship and practice. All students in the SEL specialization will:

  • develop as scholars, practitioners and changemakers;
  • evaluate program impact using normed and validated assessments;
  • design custom SEL interventions, applicable in all learning settings; 
  • apply the benchmarks for SEL implementation, which include all students and adults developing SEL skills, SEL integrated into classrooms to enhance academic learning and the whole school using SEL to build a thriving learning community; and 
  • explore the intersectionality of SEL with equity, cultural competence, and social justice.

Throughout the program, students will continue to develop and deepen their own SEL skills for greater self-awareness, intentionality, and purpose, essentially “walking the talk.” Through assessments, self-reflection, and cohort discussion, students will develop their own SEL competencies, allowing for more meaningful relationships with their own students and colleagues, reducing stress and burn-out, and modeling SEL behaviors and attitudes for students and the community. The specialization may be composed of seminars and individualized study. You may also choose to take courses in other Antioch programs and to transfer in credits from previous graduate work. Each student’s dissertation topic will fall within their chosen specialization. Click here for Curriculum Info and Course Descriptions

Residency Information

Residencies for the EdD program are held on the first Saturday of each term.

In-Person Residencies
July 11-14, 2024Columbus, Ohio
July 10-13, 2025TBA
Future Waldorf CohortsTBATBA
Future Humane Education ResidenciesTBATBA
Virtual Residencies
Residency TermApplication DeadlineDatesLocation
Spring 2024December 2, 2024January 2, 2024Virtual
Summer 2024April 4, 2024May 4, 2024Virtual
Fall 2024July 24, 2024August 24, 2024Virtual


Admissions Criteria

Antioch’s student population is richly diverse, which creates a learning climate unique to the degree. To be successful in this program, you will have a minimum of five years’ professional experience, either before or after your Master’s work. Regardless of your formal position, you must be able to envision yourself as an education change agent in whatever setting you work. Although you must hold a Master’s degree, your degree does not need to be in Education. You should have an interest in using your EdD to advance study about educational practice in your field and should be able to identify a specialty focus for your doctoral work. You may be able to transfer in up to 12 credits of prior Master’s or post-Master’s graduate study in that specialization, either from Antioch or another accredited university.*

How to Apply
  1. Complete the online admissions Portfolio, which is comprised of the following elements:
    1. Online Application , which provides the most recent information about your education, professional experience, references, and other personal data.
    2. Official transcripts from all colleges or universities where you earned a degree or certificate. Both undergraduate and graduate school transcripts must arrive at the Office of Admissions in a sealed envelope or sent via secure transcripts email service.
    3. Two letters of reference. These references should be from persons who are or have been in a position to evaluate your work. At least one must be an academic reference such as an instructor or program administrator who can speak to your academic promise as a doctoral student. Your recommenders can submit their letter electronically using the online application or send a signed, sealed copy directly to Admissions.
    4. Resumé/CV
    5. Personal statement. Your statement of about 1000 words should describe (a) how your education and experiences to date have prepared you to pursue for this Ed.D., (b) what you want to accomplish professionally through this degree, and (c) how the degree will help you achieve their long-term professional goals. Please also indicate which specialization you would like to pursue, understanding that this choice may change during the program.
    6. Work sample. This should be one piece of professional or academic work that you think is representative of your finest efforts. It might be a published essay or a chapter of a book, a curriculum, a grant proposal, a business plan, a strategic plan, a newsletter, or other types of documents. The submitted document should not exceed fifteen pages in length. If your document is longer, please excerpt the most relevant section.
    7. There are additional requirements for International applicants
  2. Submit a non-refundable $50 application fee.
  3. If selected, interview with an EdD faculty member or director via phone or Skype.

The EdD does not require the GRE or any other standardized test for admissions. *Pursuant to Ohio Department of Higher Education regulations, only graduate credits in excess of 30 applied toward the master’s degree may be eligible for transfer. Please submit all materials to: Antioch University Admissions Office 900 Dayton Street Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387 –OR– [email protected] All application materials submitted become part of an applicant’s file and cannot be returned.


SemesterApplication DeadlinesStart Dates
Summer AApril 1June 25
Spring ADecember 18January 6

Technology Requirements

Students in this program participate in online learning activities organized within small- and large-group learning communities. Antioch University Online is a 100% online learning environment, and therefore, in addition to having the traditional learning skills, students are expected to have basic technological skills, compatible computer hardware, operating system, and internet connectivity upon entrance into the program. LEARN MORE


Graduate Degree Tuition

EdD in Educational & Professional Practice$1064 per semester hour
View the Cost of Attendance Components
Student fees information LEARN MORE

Financial Aid

Many AU students finance their education through some form of financial aid. You may not be sure which federal, state, public, and private aid packages – such as loans, scholarships, and grants – are right for you. Our staff is here to help you, so you can focus on what’s most important: beginning your academic program at AU. LEARN MORE

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