This week Harvard University announced it is shuttering its 90-year-old Ed.D. program, which was the first such program in the United States. Instead, it will now be offering a Ph.D. in education.
The Harvard Ed.D. is a rigorous research degree. Yet, this institution has decided that the Ed.D. degree is now beyond redemption and will move to offering the Ph.D. in education. As someone who has voiced strong concern regarding the Ed.D., especially those fast-tracked programs in educational administration/leadership, I view this “closing” as Harvard conceding to the larger intellectual reality. The Ed.D., even when it is a research degree offered by one of the top universities in the world, is beyond redemption.
It will be interesting to see if and how other research institutions react to this development. But my own take is that the Ed.D. is now increasingly on intellectual and institutional life support–at least at research institutions.