School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Rebecca M. Lunde


Dissertation, Doctor of Education, Doctor of Philosophy, Mixed-Methods Research, Qualitative Research, Quantitative Research


Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Leadership | Higher Education | Other Education


This study was a trend analysis of the choices made by doctoral candidates in the state of Virginia who sought degrees in the field of education. It analyzed frequencies of degree types (EdD degree compared to the PhD) and research methodologies (quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods). This research is important because no such study has been done since 1994. The information will be useful to both those who lead doctoral programs and to people who seek to understand philosophical implications and practical applications of these degree and methodology types. The purpose of the study is to bring up to date existing studies of doctoral dissertations. Using the theoretical framework of requisite decision modeling, this quantitative study of archived data determined that there are statistically significant trends in doctoral candidates’ choices of degree and research methodology in the state of Virginia in the time span of the study. One hundred thirty dissertations published in the state of Virginia were randomly selected from the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global database for each of the years 2007, 2012, and 2017. This research employed content analysis and trend analysis methods.