Doctor of Education in the Field of Educational Leadership and Administration

Strong leadership, as well as a deep understanding of curriculum, assessment, and teacher development, is necessary in transforming our nation's schools and districts.

The doctoral program in Educational Leadership & Administration offers a premier degree preparing candidates to achieve high-level success in a K-12 school setting. With an emphasis on promoting high student achievement through teacher mentoring, problem-solving, and data analysis the Educational Leadership and Administration program will prepare you for a leadership position in a school setting of your choice. Researchers and practitioners who aspire to high levels of responsibility in educational organizations will develop leadership skills through coursework, seminars, research associations with faculty, and self-directed activities.

This academically rigorous program prepares graduates for leadership responsibilities within all facets of the educational arena. Graduates have become principals, assistant principals, program directors, instructional coaches, deans, and superintendents.

Why a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Administration?

Convenient Schedule: Designed to accommodate working educators, the Educational Leadership and Administration program will advance your career options while deepening your expertise. Expert faculty and a comprehensive curriculum will prepare you for leadership roles in education and related fields.

Faculty: Faculty members associated with this Ed.D. specialization have extensive professional practitioner experience at the local, state, national, and international levels.


A minimum of 48 credits, successful completion of a comprehensive examination, and an approved dissertation proposal.

Required Courses (30 credits)

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)

3 credits of Level B Research Methods coursework in consultation with advisor.

Dissertation (15 credits)

EDUC 8998 Pre-Dissertation Seminar
EDUC 8999 Dissertation Research (12 credits minimum)
Approved dissertation proposal required

Comprehensive Examination

Successful completion of comprehensive exam required.

Total = 48 Credits


Career Outlook

“The design of this program allowed me to be an effective principal of an award winning urban school, while simultaneously completing a terminal degree at a top university. The balance of rigor, collegiality, and relevance is without peer. The respect given to a GW doctorate was very influential to my appointment as superintendent of schools."
~Dr. Ronald G. Taylor, Superintendent, Willingboro Township School District, NJ, Ed. D. Educational Administration & Policy Studies

Our graduates are leading in schools and districts across the nation. They serve as District Coordinators for Special Education, Assistant Superintendents, Superintendents, University Professors, Principals, Assistant Principals, Senior Literacy Specialists, Chief Human Resources, and Development Officers.


Program Entry: Fall, Spring
Prerequisites: Master's Degree or similar
Campus: Online, Alexandria, and Ashburn/VSTC

Application Requirements

  • Online Application
  • Resume
  • 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 in your own classroom or across multiple classrooms.
    • Areas for growth you will seek to acquire during the program to prepare to be an effective school leader.
  • 2 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)
  • Transcripts
  • Standardized Test Scores (GRE or MAT) not required
  • 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
  • Interview may be required

*Additional application requirements may exist for international applicants

For more information on any of these requirements, please visit our Admissions FAQ page.


Applications are now being accepted for Fall 2023. We encourage you to apply as early as possible.

Priority Deadline Nov 1
Round 1 Deadline Dec 15
Round 2 Deadline Jan 16
Round 3 Deadline March 1
Round 4 Deadline May 1
Round 5 Deadline June 15


For more information, contact the GSEHD Admissions Team at or 202-994-9283.

Apply Now   



Clayton, Jennifer Professor, Educational Administration
Jamison, Kimberly Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership and Administration
Nganga, Christine Associate Professor, Education Administration
Sherrill Linkous, Kelly Assistant Professor, Educational Administration
Shirrell, Matthew Associate Professor, Educational Leadership and Administration
Tekleselassie, Abe Professor, Educational Administration
Thessin, Rebecca Associate Professor, Educational Administration
Trimmer, Leslie Assistant Professor of Practice, Education Administration

Transformation Begins Here

Learn more about the Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Administration program. Complete the form linked below or contact the GSEHD Admissions Team at 202-994-9283.

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