Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Administration
Become a Change Agent for Education
Strong leadership, coupled with a deep understanding of how research, policy, and practice inform and disrupt educational systems, is necessary to transform our nation's multifaceted learning environments.
The doctoral program in Educational Leadership and Administration (ELA) prepares and develops scholar-leaders to become catalysts for change in diverse educational settings and contexts.
The ELA doctoral curriculum captures the program’s underlying values: leadership for equity, social justice, and school improvement. Tackling the pressing matters that school leaders face, our doctoral students apply theoretical, conceptual, and empirical knowledge to real-world problems of practice. They critique research, employ critical thinking and reflective practices, collaborate with peers, problem-solve, and analyze multi-source data.
Under the tutelage of professors who are staunchly invested in their growth, ELA doctoral students produce valuable research that positively impacts PreK-12 education. Graduates from ELA’s doctoral program move into leadership positions across local, state, and federal settings, where they advocate for and facilitate necessary educational change.
Work Together to Solve K-12 Challenges
Our rigorous cohort-based course content combined with research methods will engage you in critical problem solving, with four critical goals: Leadership for Equity and Social Justice, Leadership for School Improvement, Leadership for Change, and Research-based Practice and Practice-informed Research.
Whether your cohort is fully online or meets in our off-campus classrooms, the EdD is designed to accommodate the schedule of working educators. Online cohorts attend both weekly synchronous meetings and engage in asynchronous connections. Off-campus classroom cohorts attend weekend classes on select Friday evenings/Saturdays.
Develop Your Skills
Develop your leadership skills through coursework, seminars, research associations with faculty and self-directed activities.
Faculty Lead the Way
Engage with faculty who not only excel at teaching and research, but also challenge students to ‘go beyond,' provide mentorship throughout the program, and provide support to maximize your learning.
Whether attending off-campus or online, a GW education is unlike any other. GSEHD students benefit from our unique location in the heart of our nation’s capital and the University’s extraordinary access to diverse school settings, leading national archives and libraries, research opportunities, international organizations, and faculty who are published researchers and hold extensive practitioner experience.
Our diverse student body comes together from across the country and around the globe, bringing a wide range of professional experience, skills, and enriching knowledge.
Doctor of Education (EdD) in the Field of Educational Leadership and Administration
-VSTC Campus (Ashburn)
Cohorts are recruited for admission in Fall and Spring
- Our Mission
The Educational Leadership and Administration program in K-12 Education develops educational leaders to thoughtfully lead schools and educational organizations in an ethically grounded manner and with a focus on equity. Our program develops graduates who understand how research and practice mutually inform each other and who apply those understandings in educational settings, in the context of an increasingly globalized system of schooling. Doctoral students will be challenged to think critically, collaborate, use reflective practice and communicate effectively in preparation to transform educational settings. By preparing our graduates to be scholar-leaders and school and system leaders, our graduates are ready to apply findings from educational research and to utilize local evidence to improve learning for students directly in K-12 settings.
The following requirements must be successfully fulfilled: A minimum of 48 credits, successful completion of a comprehensive examination, an approved dissertation proposal, and the defense of an original dissertation.
Course List Code Title Required EDUC 6116 Introduction to Educational Statistics EDUC 8120 Group Comparison Designs and Analyses EDUC 8122 Qualitative Research Methods EDUC 8240 Organizational Theory and Leadership in Education EDUC 8268 Leadership Theory for Education EDUC 8270 Fundamentals of Educational Planning EDUC 8271 Education Policy for School Leaders EDUC 8276 Seminar: Administration and Supervision EDUC 8277 Advanced Instructional Leadership for School Improvement EDUC 8280 Critical Review of Educational Leadership Literature Advanced Research 3 credits of Level B Research Methods coursework in consultation with advisor. Dissertation EDUC 8998 Pre-Dissertation Seminar EDUC 8999 Dissertation Research (taken for a minimum of 12 credits) An approved dissertation proposal is required. Comprehensive Examination Successful completion of a comprehensive examination is required.
GSEHD’s Office of Admissions invites you to apply for a spot in our program. Please review the following admission and financial information.
Ready to take the next step in your career? Review our step-by-step guide to applying to GSEHD >
To learn more about the program, admission process, and upcoming events, please connect with the GSEHD Admissions Team at email@example.com or 202-994-9283.
|Apply Now||Schedule Consultation with Admissions Counselor|
To be considered for admission, applicants must submit the online application form as well as the following required supporting documents. There is no application fee.
Prerequisite: Master's Degree
- Transcripts from all previously attended colleges or universities
- Statement of Purpose (500-750 word essay): Please address the following topics:
- Your rationale for seeking further qualification in the field of Educational Administration at GW.
- What knowledge, skills, dispositions, or experiences in leadership will you bring to the program? What has prepared you to assume an administrative role?
- Evidence of equity-focused teaching or leadership experiences in your own professional setting.
- Areas for growth you will seek to acquire during the program to prepare to be an effective educational leader.
- Scholarly writing sample, which includes (a) references and citations to peer-reviewed work or legal documents; (b) analysis of a problem related to educational leadership, administration, law, or policy; and (c) academic formatting and style, which includes but is not limited to APA
- Two Letters of Recommendation (one that speaks to the applicant’s writing and analysis capacity and another that speaks to the candidate’s contributions to teams)
Interview may be required
*Additional application requirements may exist for international applicants.
For more information on any of these requirements, please visit our Admissions FAQs page.
Next Enrollment Term: Spring 2024
|Priority Deadline||Aug 1||Nov 1|
|Round 1 Deadline||Sept 15||Dec 15|
|Round 2 Deadline||Nov 1||Jan 16|
|Round 3 Deadline||Dec 15||March 1|
|Round 4 Deadline||N/A||May 1|
|Round 5 Deadline||N/A||June 15|
Being part of the program has been a life-changing opportunity. I have grown and continue to develop professionally and socially due to the meaningful learning I experienced. I entered the program with limited clarity and focus on my professional goals. However, as a result of the time devoted to deeper learning, I now see where I can make a difference in my educational community.
DR. NATASHA SAUNDERS (EdD '23)
Coordinator for Secondary English Language Arts, Fairfax County Public Schools
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Services, top K-12 elementary leaders earned a median $98,980 annual salary in 2021, with jobs in the field expected to grow 6% by 2031.1
1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Top Executives,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/top-executives.htm (visited May 25, 2023).
- ELA Career Opportunities
Our graduates are leading in schools and districts across the nation. They serve as:
- District Coordinators for Special Education
- Assistant Superintendents
- University Professors
- Principals and Assistant Principals
- Senior Literacy Specialists
- Chief Human Resources
- Development Officers
- Potential Employment Settings
- Public, private or charter PK-12 schools
- Higher education institutions
- Government departments or agencies
- Consulting organizations
As a student in this program, my knowledge and skills as a school leader grew tremendously and assisted me in ensuring the school communities I served positively moved the needle for student achievement. The faculty and staff were experienced and knowledgeable and helped prepare me for my prospective role as a K-12 school leader. I established meaningful relationships with peers and faculty who served as accountability partners and offered a wealth of feedback and support.
DR. SHANTE ONIYIDE (EdD '22)
Principal, Hampton City Schools