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Doctoral icon Educational Leadership Ed.D.

The Ed.D. in educational leadership targets the professional needs of educational leaders whose long-term career goals include leading schools, school districts and other education agencies in a complex, highly competitive global environment.

The purpose of the program is to advance the development and practice of effective educational leadership by providing senior-level administrators with the following:

  • the knowledge and skills necessary to deal effectively with the complex issues facing education today
  • the methods of inquiry necessary to analyze current educational problems
  • the leadership skills necessary to direct the development and implementation of programs to address those problems and to disseminate the results in various professional and public forums
  • the knowledge and applied skills rarely provided in traditional advanced degree programs in educational leadership in an alternative format that meets the needs of senior-level administrators.
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Course description and classes

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Program Contacts

Program Coordinator Program Faculty
Dr. Nick Sauers
mailto:[email protected]

Traditional Ph.D. programs are most often designed to prepare scholars for teaching and research in academic settings. However, these traditional programs do not meet the professional needs of educational leaders whose long-term career goals include leading schools, school districts and other education agencies in a complex, highly competitive global environment. The professional doctorate in education (Ed. D.) with a major in educational leadership provides a rigorous degree program alternative to traditional Ph.D. programs.
The Ed.D. is open to applicants who hold a master’s degree or higher. While anyone holding a master’s degree or higher is welcome to apply, the program is designed with K-12 school and district administrators in mind.
Yes. The dissertation for the Ed.D. in educational leadership consists of 1) a comprehensive literature review manuscript that addresses a current issue in educational leadership policy and/or practice, and 2) a research manuscript that describes the results of an original, applied research project informed by the comprehensive literature review, described above. The two manuscripts are intended for an educational leadership and policy audience and are submitted for publication in the appropriate professional journals upon degree completion.
The program, delivered in a three-­year, closed cohort model, consists of 45 hours (15 classes) of course work and nine (9) hours of dissertation work for a total of 54 hours. Face­-to-­face residencies take place one Saturday a month.  Significant reading and written assignments as well as online discussion threads will provide continuous learning and feedback loops between residencies.

A sample program:

Year 1
Summer - EPRS 7920 Classroom Testing, Grading, and Measurement (3)
EPEL 9000 Concepts of Leadership and Research in Educational Leadership (3)
Fall – EPRS 8530 Quantitative Methods and Analysis in Education I (3)
EPEL 8500 Central Office Leadership (3)
Spring – EPRS 8500 Qualitative/Interpretive Research in Education I (3)
EPEL 8930 Applied Research (3)

Year 2
Summer - EPRS 8620 Educational Evaluation (3)
EPS 9990 Dissertation (3)
Fall - EPS 8360 Educational Policy Making and Analysis (3)
EPEL 9970 Advanced Seminar in Educational Leadership (3)
Spring - EPS 9990 Dissertation (3)
EPEL 8620 Psychological Aspects of Leadership (3)

Year 3
Summer - EPEL 8000 Research in Educational Leadership and Organization Change (3)
EPEL 8020 Leadership for Change in a Diverse Society (3)
Fall - EPEL 8330 Advanced Law, Policy, and Governance (3)
EPSF 8440 Curriculum Design and Analysis (3)
Spring - EPEL 8420 Advanced Instructional Leadership (3)
EPS 9990 Dissertation (3)

Candidates holding the performance-based specialist in educational leadership from Georgia State University will be able to transfer 18 hours (six courses) into the program.  Candidates holding the performance-based speicalist or performance-based add-on in educational leadership from other Georgia institutions may be able to transfer up to 18 hours into the program following a transcript and syllabi review.
The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership is NOT a certification program. For candidates who hold a clear renewable leadership degree in Georgia, (L-5, L-6, or PL-6), their certificate will be eligible to be bumped to the L-7 or PL-7 level upon program completion.
Candidates who aspire to the PL-6 certificate in educational leadership have two options. Either they can apply to the specialist in educational leadership, complete the 10 courses for the program, and then apply to the Ed.D. in educational leadership with the ability to transfer 6 courses from their original program into the Ed.D., or they can apply to the Ed.D. directly and add the additional program components onto the degree program. Either option would add four courses to the original 16 for a total of 20 courses (60 hours) plus nine hours of dissertation.

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  •     application deadlines
  •     application requirements
  •     how to apply

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