Doctorate in 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 offered on weekends 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.


Educational Leadership and Administration: a minimum of 48 credits, including 24 credits in core courses, 9 credits of research coursework, 15 credits in dissertation courses, and successful completion of the comprehensive examination.

Core Courses

EDUC 6116Introduction to Educational Statistics
EDUC 8240 Organizational Theory and Leadership in Education
EDUC 8268Leadership Theory for Education
EDUC 8270Fundamentals of Educational Planning
EDUC 8271Education Policy for School Leaders
EDUC 8276Seminar: Administration and Supervision
EDUC 8277Advanced Instructional Leadership for School Improvement
EDUC 8280Critical Review of Educational Leadership Literature

Research Methods

EDUC 8120Group Comparison Designs and Analyses
EDUC 8122Qualitative Research Methods
3 credits from the following:
EDUC 8100Experimental Courses
EDUC 8130Survey Research Methods
EDUC 8131Case Study Research Methods
EDUC 8140Ethnographic Research Methods
EDUC 8142Phenomenological Research Methods
EDUC 8144Discourse Analysis
EDUC 8170Educational Measurement
EDUC 8171Predictive Designs and Analyses
EDUC 8172 Multivariate Analysis
EDUC 8173 Structural Equation Modeling
EDUC 8174 Hierarchical Linear Modeling
EDUC 8175 Item Response Theory
EDUC 8177 Assessment Engineering


EDUC 8998Pre-Dissertation Seminar
EDUC 8999Dissertation Research (12 credits minimum)

Approved dissertation proposal required
Successful completion of comprehensive exam required

Associate Professor
(757) 269-2203
Assistant Professor
(757) 269-2229
Assistant Professor
‭(571) 553-3772
Assistant Professor
(202) 994-4515
Associate Professor
(202) 994-0132
Assistant Professor
(202) 994-1342
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 2019 (Alexandria), Fall 2020 (Ashburn Campus)
Prerequisites:Master's Degree
Campus:Alexandria Campus, Virginia Science & Technology Campus, and Hampton Roads Center

Application Requirements

  • Online Application
  • Resume
  • Statement of Purpose
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation (must be academic)
  • Transcripts
  • Standardized Test Scores (GRE or MAT)
  • Application Fee

*Additional application requirements may exist for international applicants

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

Transformation Begins Here

Learn more about the Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Administration program located on campus (202) 994-0491.

In the News

GSEHD alumnus Dr. Ronald Taylor (Ed.D., Educational Leadership and Administration) has been named the Superintendent for the South Orange-Maplewood School District in New Jersey, effective July 8, 2019. Dr. Taylor started his career as a kindergarten teacher. During his years as an educator he was an assistant principal in the DC Public Schools (DCPS) as well as an award-winning principal in DCPS, before moving to a Regional Superintendent role in Newark. He joined Willingboro (NJ) as Superintendent eight years ago where his research-based, data-driven approach resulted in bringing academic and operational stability to Willingboro, according to officials.

GSEHD alumnus Dr. Eric A. Levine (master's in Special Education and Ed.D. in Educational Leadership) has been named the new President and CEO of CooperRiis, a residential mental health treatment community in North Carolina. Dr. Levine is the former Executive Director of ClearView Communities, a residential treatment program in Frederick, MD, for adults with serious and persistent mental health challenges.

GSEHD doctoral student Natasha Saunders (Educational Leadership and Administration) published a book review in Education Review entitled "Review of Pushout: The criminalization of Black girls in schools."

GSEHD alumna Dr. Kimberly Hough (Ed.D., Education Administration and Policy) has been selected as the next Superintendent of Academy School District 20 in Colorado, the region’s second largest district. Dr. Hough has been assistant superintendent for human resources and talent development in the Loudoun County School District in Ashburn, VA, for the past six and a half years. She’s worked 24 years in education. While at the Loudoun County School District, Dr. Hough led a team that planned and staffed 12 new schools and hired more than 850 teachers and 2,900 fulltime, part-time, hourly, and substitute staff during a single year. She also increased diversity in new employees by 23 percent, developed recruitment programs to serve higher-poverty schools within an affluent district and proposed budget reallocations to increase services in cost-effective ways.

Dr. Andrea Whitmarsh (Ed.D., Educational Leadership and Administration) has been named the 2018-19 Regional Superintendent of the Year for Region 5, which consists of 20 school divisions in Virginia. Dr. Whitmarsh has served as Superintendent of Greene County Public Schools for the past 16 years in various roles, including elementary school principal, director of student accountability and achievement, assistant superintendent, and, most recently, superintendent since 2013.