Philosophy & Structure

The University of Pennsylvania developed this program in conjunction with an advisory board, composed of industry leaders, to meet the needs of learning leaders.

The program is offered through the Graduate School of Education (GSE). GSE is recognized globally as being among the best within its respective field. Penn is uniquely able to offer a program that meets the profession's needs — in academics, logistics, and prestige.

An Executive Doctoral Program
The program is executive in nature. This intensive professional learning community meets for two separate weeks each semester, allowing students to continue working while they study. Using a blend of on-site classes, distance learning, and "field"-based projects, the University of Pennsylvania PennCLO Program offers the rigor of an Ivy League institution and the flexibility of an executive format.

The Ed.D. degree is conferred by the Graduate School of Education. Students that do not already hold a masters degree will have the option to complete a masters thesis while pursuing the doctoral degree.  They must successfully complete any three course blocks and the master's thesis course*.

Unlike most elite doctoral programs, a student's performance in the program determines his or her doctoral candidacy rather than standardized test scores. Once doctoral candidacy is approved, students take the remaining blocks and complete their dissertation.

The program — the only one of its kind among top-tier universities — will use a blended approach, reflecting the realities that individuals face on the job. It will use the students' expertise and experience to inform the curriculum. Students  are expected to ground their research in the workplace rather than in academia.

Class blocks meet from Sunday evenings through Friday afternoons six times per year, two weeks per block. Courses are held during the Fall, Spring and Summer sessions.    

*There is an extra fee associated with the master's degree.