Ed.D. Educational Leadership

Ed.D. in Educational Leadership
Ed.D. in Educational Leadership

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  • Application requirements: Online application, official undergraduate and (if applicable) graduate transcripts, minimum GPA of 3.0 (undergraduate)/ minimum GPA of 3.6 (graduate), GRE/MAT scores, two letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.
  • Deadline(s): January 15 for Fall start
  • Course Requirements: 20 courses (60 credits)
  • Typical Course Load: Fall (2 courses), Spring (2 courses), Summer (1-2 courses)
  • Time to Completion:  4-5 years depending on course loads
  • Alumni Current Positions: Graduates work as K-12 school administrators, heads of community organization/institution, researchers and leaders in a government agencies

The doctorate of Educational Leadership program is designed to provide candidates with several avenues of study to enable them to reach their career goals, whether that be as a top K-12 school administrator, the head of a community organization or institution, a researcher investigating the best practices in the field or a leader in a government agency.  

The doctoral program allows for a variety of paths so that students can work toward their Ed.D. and their Superintendent Certification or Principal Certification simultaneously. Students collaborate with their faculty advisor to build the program of studies that best meets their needs and are supported along the way to make sure they have the research skills to complete their dissertation. 

Doctoral students complete 60 credits (post master’s) in such areas as organizational leadership, school-community relations, school law and ethnics, Special Education law, policy and politics in public education, data-based decision-making and curriculum design. Full-time and part-time options are available and most classes are held in the late afternoon and evening for the convenience of working professionals. 

Lehigh’s innovative faculty include leaders with years of experience as school administrators and teachers as well as professors who are at the forefront of research on best practices in education. Students benefit, not just from faculty expertise, but also in learning from each other about issues and strategies in the field. 

Those seeking to apply should complete an online application and submit official undergraduate and graduate transcripts. A minimum grade point average of 3.0 is required for undergraduate work and 3.6 for graduate work. 

They should also provide their GRE or MAT test scores from within the last five years, two letters of recommendation, with at least one from a faculty member of an accredited academic institution, an acknowledgement of understanding of the College of Education policy on clearances and a personal statement on their career objectives and work experience.  

The deadline to apply is Jan. 15 for a summer or fall semester start. 

Curriculum for the Doctoral (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership (60 Credits)

* Courses required for the Pennsylvania Superintendent Letter of Eligibility.

Section A - Organization and leadership (9 cr.)
EDL 400 Organizational Leadership and Change Management * 3
EDL 405 The Principalship II (or advisor-approved organizational leadership course) * 3
EDL 485 The Superintendency (or advisor-approved organizational leadership course) * 3
Section B - Leadership Functions (21 cr.)
EDL 476 School Resources Management * 3
EDL 477 Seminar in School-Community Relations * 3
EDL 479 School Law and Ethics * 3
EDL 432 Special Education Law 3
EDL 481 Policy and Politics in Public Education 3
EDL 488 Program Evaluation 3
EDL 470 Special Topics in Educational Leadership (management focus) 3
EDUC 495 Independent Study in: (with subtitle) (leadership-functions focus) 3

OR other advisor-approved leadership functions course

Section C - Curriculum and Instruction (12 cr. minimum)
EDL 467 Supervision and Professional Development * 3
EDL 468 Applied Learning Theory for School Leadership * 3
EDL 420 Data Based Decision Making 3
EDL 422 Curriculum Management for the School Executive 3
EDL 470 Special Topics in Educational Leadership (curriculum focus) 3
EDL 450 Curriculum Design in a Global Society 3

OR other advisor-approved curriculum and supervision course

Section D - Addressing the Needs of Diverse Learners (6 cr. minimum)
EDUC 471 Diversity and Multicultural Perspectives * 3
SPED 332 Education and Inclusion of Individuals with Special Needs in K-12 3
EDL 430 Development and Administration of Special Education Programs 3
EDL 434 Leadership and Management of Special Education Programs 3
Section E - Research and Measurement (6 cr.)
EDUC 408 Introduction to Statistics 3
EDUC 409 OR EDUC 405

Analysis of Experimental Data OR Qualitative Research Methods

EDL 470 Special Topics in Educational Leadership (Introduction to Doctoral Research I) 3
EDL 470 Special Topics in Educational Leadership (Introduction to Doctoral Research 2) 3
EDL 489 Doctoral Seminar in School Administration 3
EDUC 496 Doctoral Research Seminar 3
May be selected from courses offered in the College of Education, as well as other related disciplines.
(Approval of Advisor required)
Dissertation: Candidates for the Ed.D. are required to present a dissertation prepared under the direction of a professor.
Concentrated Learning Requirement: This requirement is intended to ensure that doctoral students spend a period of concentrated study and intellectual association with other scholars. Two semesters of full-time Lehigh Graduate study or 18 credit hours of study, either on or off campus, must be completed within a 15-month period.

The comprehensive examination for Educational Leadership consists of  a take-home exam requiring students to conduct a comprehensive review of the literature on a critical issue facing school leaders and policy makers.  With three months to respond, students will submit a paper no longer than 12 pages excluding references. The exam will be offered twice a year, Fall and Spring semesters.

In order to qualify to sit for the exam, students must have no open incompletes other than for EdL 489 or Educ 496, and must also have passed EdL 470 with grades of B- or better.

Click here to view the course catalog which provides descriptions of the courses. 

"Challenging discussions on relevant topics paired with the opportunity to work with stellar local educators and professors make the Educational Leadership program an incredibly valuable experience."

Elizabeth Babbin, Ed.D, Educational Leadership '18

Application Requirements & Deadlines