Ed.D. in Educational Leadership

Experienced. Expert. Equity-driven.

Earn your doctorate from Washington’s premiere Ed.D. program. Learn from faculty with more than 30 years of experience and be networked to hundreds of alumni transforming education across the state and nation.

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The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership prepares practitioner-scholars for effective and meaningful leadership in a variety of educational settings. Course instructors are highly experienced school professionals and nationally recognized academic scholars. Program content is practical and scholarly; it blends issues important to practicing educational leaders with scholarship that analyzes and addresses these issues. Post coursework, students produce a dissertation that studies and addresses a contemporary problem of practice in K-20 schools.

State-wide program delivery

Courses originate on one of the WSU campuses (Pullman, Spokane, Tri-Cities and Vancouver) and are available to students at all other WSU campuses via WSU’s videoconferencing system. Some courses may be taught using a hybrid model or augmented through on-line and/or alternative forms of videoconferencing. Attending classes synchronously via Zoom might be possible for students who live 25+ miles from a WSU campus. Further details can be found in the application packet (PDF) or program handbook (PDF).

Program requirements, schedule and time to completion

The program requires a minimum of 72 semester credits which includes 42 credits of graded coursework (14 classes) (PDF). Upon completion of graded coursework, students must successfully pass a Preliminary Exam before advancing to candidacy for the Ed.D. degree. The exam is designed to assess knowledge the student has gained while completing coursework, and it is a measure for determining whether the student is adequately prepared to complete the dissertation. More information about program milestones can be found in the program handbook (PDF).

The program is designed as a part-time program for working professionals. During the fall and spring semesters, courses are offered one night per week (per class) in the evening from 5:45 – 8:30 p.m. Summer classes (required) are typically taught using a hybrid schedule, which would include a combination of videoconference class sessions, online activities, and one or more face-to-face weekend sessions on a WSU campus.

Students enrolled in two classes each semester will finish the coursework portion of their program in two and a half years. Students making continual progress could complete the degree in four years, though it is common for students balancing educational, professional, and personal demands to finish in four to five years. The maximum time to complete is 10 years.

Application and admission

The Ed.D. program is based on a cohort model, with new cohorts beginning once each year in August. The priority application deadline is February 1, and late applications will be accepted on a space-available basis through April 1. Students are encouraged to contact an Academic Coordinator to verify deadlines before submitting an application.

Students must apply to the WSU Graduate School and submit a departmental application (PDF). GRE scores are not required. Please note that the Ed.D. program does not offer teaching or research assistantships.

NOTE: Degree and certification programs in Educational Leadership do not accept state of Washington tuition waivers. This includes the following graduate programs: Ed.M., M.A., Ed.D., and Ph.D., as well as these certification programs: principal, program administrator, and superintendent.

Useful links for current students and program faculty