Western Education's  EdD | Field of Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice

You are invested in issues of social justice and human rights. Now, take your critical reflexivity to the next level with our Doctor of Education in the Field of Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice to realize action-oriented social change. 

The EdD allows you to use professional knowledge and expertise, which you can combine with academic knowledge, to integrate equity and inclusive principles in your professional practices.  

The degree is offered in a cohort setting, which means you will study with the same group of students during the three years. This gives you the opportunity to develop a professional networking group where you can learn from and with each other. 


Human Rights focus

Real-world application

Study online

Finish in three years

Carlyn Tancioco

What I like about my EdD program is the diversity of my cohort. I love engaging in rich and fulsome dialogue with my classmates from different professions and industries.

Carlyn Tancioco, Graduate 2021

Beyond the program details


See the requirements and deadlines section of the apply page for updates on cohorts with space availability. (Pending program approval

Applicants are required to submit a Statement of Intent, 3 letters of recommendation (from academic and/or professional supervisors, or equivalent), transcripts, a Writing Sample, and a current resume or CV. Please review the links to additional information about the Statement of Intent and the Writing Sample before submitting an application to the EdD Program.

For admission to the EdD in Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice Program, successful applicants typically have  

  • Master's degree in education and/or related fields  
  • Minimum GPA of 3.5. Typically an "A" standing (80%) or equivalent in previous graduate work.
  • Minimum three years of work experience in education and/or related fields.  
  • A commitment to addressing Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice is clearly demonstrated in the Statement of Intent. 
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must furnish evidence of their proficiency in the use of the English language. For more information go to the requirements and deadlines section of the apply page. 

*Please note: If your Master’s Degree was your Program of Initial Teacher Education which certified you to teach in the K-12 system, it is considered equivalent to a Bachelor of Education, rather than a graduate degree. This type of Master’s is not eligible for admission to the EdD Program. 


Program information is subject to change. Full-time tuition amounts are set each year by Senate and then published on the Office of the Registrar's Fees Schedules web page. Full-time fees are paid per term (Fall, Winter, Summer) not by course.

For questions about fees, including how to pay fees and the methods of payment that are accepted, students should go to the Student Financial Services pages of the Office of the Registrar's web site or contact Student Financial Services (Office of the Registrar) at 519-661-2100.


The Faculty of Education recognizes the financial commitment required to pursue professional graduate studies.

Since the majority of our programs are fully online, we offer students flexible learning that allows them to fund their education by remaining in their current employment.  Some employers offer subsidization or time release opportunities for the professional learning of their employees. As a result, internal funding is not available for these programs.

There are also many external funding opportunities for competitive candidates in our professional programs. for an additional list of over 30 external awards (see more information below). Also, visit online sites that contain numerous award opportunities.

Please note that students must apply for these awards individually. Read the qualifications carefully, and contact the award provider for more criteria and award information. Some application support is available from the Research Office for research-based awards only.

Many private financial institutions offer financing options (with particular rates and payment plans) to full-time students. Please contact a representative of your preferred financial institution for more information.

Provincial governments offer a variety of loan programs to help students finance their studies. Ontario residents may be eligible to apply for OSAP.

The Government of Canada's CanLearn website provides a listing of contact information for the offices of all government student financial assistance programs. Please visit CanLearn to find your province or territory listing. The Government of Canada implemented the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) to encourage higher education and training. The LLP allows you to withdraw up to $10,000 a year from your registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance training or education for you or your spouse or common-law partner. For further information on this plan, visit the government's LLP website.


Fully online and hybrid professional programs will provide students with synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities. 

Online and onsite courses are available via the Sakai OWL platform. Your Western University login and password is required to access the course (your Western email without the @uwo.ca and its accompanying password) are required to access to Sakai OWL can be found here: Sakai OWL. Access to a course in Sakai OWL is typically opened the first business day of each term. Please note that although your own access may be granted prior to the first business day, course content may not be posted until closer to the scheduled course start.  

For online courses, students are required to have access to the following: 

  • High speed Internet access 
  • Access to a computer that enables connection to outside websites (flexible firewall restrictions) 
  • Multimedia playback capabilities (video/audio) 
  • WebCam 
  • Computer capable of running a recent version of Internet Explorer, Safari, or Firefox; and/or Cisco MOVI client for PC or Mac 
  • Audio headset and microphone for computer 

Program information


The EdD in Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice is designed to enhance both professional knowledge and expertise in equity, diversity, social justice, and human rights education. It builds on Western’s successful MPEd program in Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice Education and is informed specifically by equity and inclusion policy mandates related to professionals such as those in K-12, higher education, as well as community contexts in Canada. This doctoral degree provides students with frameworks that enhance critical reflexivity with respect to realizing action-oriented social change in educational institutions.

As well, it seeks to support educators and leaders in integrating equity and inclusive principles into their practice as professionals, and allows a research-based focus on teaching, curriculum, community engagement, and governance. The program provides a space to address current and topical social justice concerns such as those related to race, gender, sexuality, Indigeneity, and disability, and which are informed by an understanding of intersectionality, that are relevant to a wide range of professionals who are committed to enacting and infusing equity into their everyday practices. Students are encouraged to reflect on the multiple and intersectional dimensions of educational inequities as they relate to their own lives and professional practices. The program culminates in conducting a project that is designed to enhance professional learning and to deepen understanding of enacting the principles of equity and inclusion. 


The EdD program is composed of 33 credits of sequential, fully online courses and a final Dissertation in Practice research project. Course and program work takes place year-round, typically allowing students to complete the program in three years. (Exceptions include parental leave, etc.)  

This program values the knowledge and experience that students bring to this course-based program, and actively seeks to apply what students learn in coursework to their professional practice.  

To promote effective adult and online learning, the EdD program prioritizes teamwork, collaboration, and networking within and beyond the program. Students in this program may expect regular group activities, peer-to-peer learning, and synchronous (live remote) instructional sessions. 

This program of study is organized as a cohort model. Approximately 20 students will form each cohort. This cohort structure provides ongoing support within the course work, enabling students to develop a professional community of practice. To ensure the integrity of the cohort model, continuous enrollment is required, and will necessitate that students complete all the required courses within the timeframe stipulated. 


The EdD in Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice is well-suited for a wide range of education professionals with concerns for enacting principles of equity, inclusion, social justice, and human rights. 

Please note that the EdD degree alone does not qualify you to teach in the K-12 school system in Canada or to become faculty at higher education organizations.  


The primary objective of the EdD in Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice is to prepare thoughtful, reflective, and capable professionals. The program is committed to ensuring excellence, equity, and social justice in education.

The program's concentration on equity, diversity, social justice, and human rights in education exposes students via their coursework to cutting edge research and emphasizes the application of theory to practice. Students are encouraged to apply their research and theoretical knowledge in their professional roles.  


The EdD is designated as a full-time program. Full-time status requires that students complete four half-courses in one year. Students complete the equivalent of 11 half courses during the program. This is a full time, three-year program of study, which requires significant demands on students’ time. It is common for students to spend 15-20 hours or more every week on their EdD studies, throughout the year. Applicants must be prepared to meet these demands should they be accepted into the EdD Program. Continuous enrollment is a requirement until all program requirements are met.  Full-time students have access to all student services. See SGPS (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) for details. 


Cohort Model

This program of study is unique due to its cohort model for course progression. Approximately 20 students are admitted to each cohort. This cohort structure provides ongoing support throughout course work, enabling students to develop a professional community of practice. To ensure the integrity of the cohort model, continuous enrollment is required, and will necessitate that students complete all the required courses within the timeframe stipulated. 

Student Engagement

Students engage in learning together through regular synchronous learning sessions over platforms such as zoom, through peer discussions, presentations, and collaborative peer review opportunities. Asynchronous learning involves individual reflective practices, assignment completion, and scholarly reading and writing.

Course Progression

Students progress through 11 half courses over 9 full terms, for 3 years. 

Year 1 - Students complete one half course (0.5) in Fall term (12 weeks in length), one half Course (0.5) in Winter term (12 weeks), and 2 half courses (0.5) in the Summer term (eight weeks sequentially).   

Year 2 - Students complete one half course in Fall (12 weeks in length), one half course in Winter (12 weeks) and 2 half courses (0.5) in the Summer term (eight weeks sequentially).   

Year 3 - Students complete one course in Fall (12 weeks in length), one course in Winter (12 weeks). The Dissertation in Practice is submitted and evaluated in the final summer term. Continuous enrollment is required during all terms until completion.  


EdD Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice Course Descriptions

Dissertation in Practice

The Dissertation in Practice is the final milestone in the EdD program. In the EdD Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice, the Dissertation in Practice is designed to enhance professional learning and to deepen understanding of enacting the principles of equity, diversity, social justice, and human rights with regards to students’ own practice or understanding. EdD students engage in evaluating and assessing the broad implications of understanding and applying educational knowledge to particular educational contexts, and they engage in and reflect on the scholarship of the production, legitimation, and mobilization of knowledge.

Students who complete this Dissertation in Practice will:

  • Engage in significant learning, which goes beyond simply incorporating new information into previously existing schemata (e.g., challenges students’ beliefs and assumptions to such an extent that they commit to arguments not previously considered);
  • Share in learning that can make a productive and positive impact on practice (i.e., driven by an authentic Problem of Practice and used by practicing professionals) through various forms of systematic review; and
  • Manage a variety of forms of information and diverse venues of communication (e.g., publications and other forums for communication).

Program Distinctiveness

There are many reasons why Western Education’s Doctor of Education in Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice is distinctive among doctoral programs in Canada. Here are our top reasons! 

  • Practice-focused for the good of society– At the highest level, our program focuses on areas of study that make positive change in education for the goal of achieving a more just and equitable society. 
  • Work improvement and career advancement – Graduates will be qualified for a variety of formal and informal professional roles in various public or private contexts.  
  • Best in value – Current fees make this program among the least expensive fully online EdD programs in Canada, especially among Tier I Canadian universities. 
  • Personalized learning opportunities– Enjoy highly-tailored learning, researching, and problematizing that focuses on identifying an equity concern affecting your professional practice.  
  • Fully online coursework, yet highly collaborative program – Our online delivery offers highly engaging distance learning opportunities, including regular synchronous meetings. Collaboration and networking are key to the success of students in our program, and our cohort model guarantees plenty of opportunities for interaction with peers. We use technology in thoughtful ways to improve student learning, while developing your technology skills as well!  
  • Engaged faculty – Learn from a diverse range of faculty members with considerable research and practice experience in many areas of equity, diversity, social justice, and human rights. 
  • Comprehensive student support – Expert resources are available to support students with their academic writing and other learning needs, all at a distance.
  • High levels of student retention – Since 2013, our EdD programs have 90% student retention rate. 
  • Opportunities through consortium membership with the Carnegie Project for the Education Doctorate, a knowledge forum on the EdD designed to increase rigorous as well as program applicability for working professionals. We are one of two Canadian members of CPED, and can guarantee a distinctive degree that is deeply influenced by evidence-based design principles. 

Faculty Members

Program Manager

Phillipa Myers

Program Coordinators

Wayne Martino

Goli Rezai-Rashti 


Bathseba Opini

Erica Neeganagwedgin 

Instructional Faculty 

Shirin Abdmolaei

Jennifer Ingrey 

Diana Kuhl  

Allison Segeren