Ed.D. in Educational Leadership

Program Description | Admission | Degree Requirements | Courses

Program Description

The doctoral program in Educational Leadership provides the highest professional degree available to students who aspire to leadership positions at the school or college/university level. The degree includes a prescribed curriculum of required and elective courses for a minimum of sixty hours of graduate credit. However, the doctoral degree is awarded both on the basis of successful completion this coursework and the completion of a major research project resulting in the presentation and defense of a dissertation.

Graduates of the doctoral degree in Educational Leadership will have the knowledge to apply administrative theory to the instructional leadership function; set goals, assign responsibilities, and verify how well resources are allocated and utilized in instructional improvement; plan and administer the curriculum of a school system; use appropriate communication and interpersonal skills in consultation, counseling, and evaluation; interpret the relationships among federal, state, and local education agencies and the laws applicable to the administration of the schools; design educational research and interpret results; and apply data to educational processing capabilities and leadership functions


Admission to the program requires devoting a significant amount of time to the program. The inability to devote the required time will require the individual to drop out of the program.

The Educational Leadership program follows a cohort model. This means that individuals are admitted to a specific group, called a cohort, and are required to take their coursework at the same time as the other individuals in the cohort. In the event of emergencies that require individuals to drop out of the normal schedule, they may be required to join another cohort with a different schedule.

Application Deadlines

Cohort Classes Begin Application Deadline
Higher Education Administration Spring (January) October 1
K-12 Administration Summer (June) March 1

Applicants seeking admission to the doctoral program in Educational Leadership must submit the following directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  1. Graduate Admission Application
  2. Application fee
  3. Official transcript from the baccalaureate degree granting institution
  4. Official transcript(s) showing receipt of a master's degree in a related field from an accredited institution
  5. Official GRE scores taken within the last 5 years
  6. Resume (with description of education, work history,m leadership experiences, and at least 3 professional references)
  7. Personal statement. Not to exceed 1,800 words.  Please, address the following:

    a) What are some highlights of your professional career?
    b) What are some experiences that highlight your leadership strengths?
    c) What are your professional goals?
    d) What reasons do you have for pursuing a doctoral degree?

Note: Applicants selected after the initial screening will be invited for an interview and writing sample exercise.

Applicants should hold a master's degree in a related field, and the student's graduate GPA should be 3.5 or higher. In addition, three years of full-time professional experience in a credible school or agency is preferred.

Degree Requirements

The program requires a minimum of sixty hours of graduate credit, successful passing of a comprehensive examination, and completion of a dissertation.

After the completion of twelve-eighteen semester hours (two-three semesters) of doctoral level coursework in the program, each student will be considered for full admission to candidacy. A doctoral program committee will review his/her academic progress, interpersonal skills, and motivation to determine whether the student should continue with the program. After full admission to the program, the student’s doctoral dissertation committee will be assigned by the Director of Doctoral Studies and the Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership.

A comprehensive examination will be taken after the completion of forty-two hours of required coursework. Students must be enrolled during the semester the comprehensive examination is taken. After successful completion of the comprehensive examination, the student may defend the dissertation proposal.

Ed.D. in Educational Leadership

1 EDLD 7110 must be taken three times for a total of three hours.
2 Selections must be made in consultation with the Graduate Advisor.
3 EDLD 8033 must be taken at least three times for a minimum total of nine hours. Once enrolled in this course, the student must enroll in it until graduation.
Ed.D. in Educational Leadership
Course Name Hours
Specified Courses (36 credit hours)
Choose all from:
EDLD 7110 Doctoral Studies in Educational Leadership1 3
EDLD 7331 Leadership Theory and Applications 3
EDLD 7332 Instructional Theory and Applications 3
EDLD 7337 Academic Writing and Research 3
EDLD 7338 Organizational Behavior and Theory 3
EDLD 7370 Education Policy and Ethics 3
EDLD 7336 Educational Leadership Internship 3
EDLD 7362 Methods of Educational Research 3
EDLD 7363 Proposal Development and Application 3
EDLD 7372 Qualitative Methodology 3
COUN 7373 Statistical Methods for Counselor Education Research 3
COUN 7374 Multivariate Methods for Counselor Education Research 3
Specialization (15 credit hours)
Choose five from: 2
EDLD 7335 Conflict Management for Contemporary Education 3
EDLD 7333 Societal Factors Affecting Education 3
EDLD 7334 Issues in Contemporary Education 3
EDLD 7387 Doctoral Field Studies in Educational Leadership 3
EDLD 7361 Program Evaluation in Education 3
HIED 7376 Higher Education Curriculum 3
Applied Leadership in Higher Education 3
HIED 7374 The College Student 3
HIED 7375 Higher Education Finance 3
HIED 7378 Higher Education Law and Governance 3
EDAD 6380 Executive Leadership for Superintendents 3
EDAD 6381 District Business and Financial Management 3
EDAD 6382 Human Resource Management 3
EDAD 6383 Practicum for Superintendents 3
Dissertation (9 credit hours)
Choose all from:
EDLD 8033 Dissertation3 9
Total 60


Educational Leadership (EDLD)
Counseling (COUN)
Education Administration (EDAD)
Higher Education Administration (HIED)

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