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 21 credits in required courses, 12 credits of research coursework, 15 credits in dissertation courses, and successful completion of the comprehensive examination.

Core Courses

EDUC 6116Introduction to Educational Statistics
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
6 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
(202) 994-7576
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 2018 (Ashburn Campus) and Spring 2019 (Hampton Roads Center)
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 (unofficial)
  • 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 page.

Transformation Begins Here

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

In the News

Dr. Rebecca Thessin, Dr. Jennifer Clayton, and GSEHD alumna Dr. Kim Jamison (Ed.D., Educational Administration) recently published an article in the Journal of Research on Leadership Education entitled, “Profiles of the Administrative Internship: The Mentor/Intern Partnership in Facilitating Leadership Experiences.”

GSEHD alumnus Dr. Sean Bulson (Ed.D., Educational Leadership) has been named one of three finalists for the position of Superintendent of Schools for Cecil County Public Schools in Maryland.

GSEHD doctoral candidates Lauren Hunter Naples and Heather L. Walter (Special Education and Disability Studies) co-presented their poster "Using a Mixed Methods Research Design to Examine Special Education Teacher and Student Wellbeing through the Dual-Factor Model of Mental Health" at the U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Education Research Day Conference. In their post-conference statement, they wrote: "The conference offered wonderful opportunities to experience the diverse work of other graduate students from across the country and provided invaluable contacts and connections for our future endeavors. We were able to gain essential knowledge of the national priorities and trends in educational research, while sharing our own unique work."

In addition, the following GSEHD doctoral candidates also presented at the conference:

  • Binyu Yang (Curriculum and Instruction) - "College Students’ Self-Regulation in Online Vocabulary Learning Courses"
  • Chelsea Manchester (Counseling) - "Transition to Old Age: How Do Sexual Behaviors and Personality Contribute to Successful Aging?"
  • Isaac Agbeshie-Noye (Higher Education Administration) - "Branding and Organizational Culture at Historically Black Colleges and Universities"
  • Justin Jacques and Yoonsuh Moh (Counseling) - co-presented "A Latent Class Analysis of Suicide Risk Behaviors in College Students" and "The Impact of Sleep Quality on College Student’s Academic Success when Controlling for Symptoms of Depression, Anxiety, and Substance Use: A Quantitative Study"
  • Tamilah Richardson (Educational Administration and Policy Studies) - "How Early Career Minority Teachers’ Decisions to Remain Committed to or Exit the Profession are Impacted by Individual Perceptions of Teacher Leadership Experiences"

The dissertation written by GSEHD alumna Dr. Wendy Cauley (Ed.D., Educational Leadership and Policy Studies) is this year's AERA Learning and Teaching in Educational Leadership (LTEL) SIG Kottkamp Award Winner. Her dissertation is entitled "Data Use: Administrators' Perspectives." The award committee listed the dissertation's clear alignment with LTEL's mission and the relevancy of the topic to leadership preparation as some of the strengths.

GSEHD alumnus Dr. Shawn Joseph (Ed.D., Educational Administration and Policy Studies) was named a Champion of Civility for February 2018 by The Tennessean. Dr. Joseph, Director of Metro Nashville Public Schools, received the honor alongside Nashville-Davidson County Juvenile Court Judge Sheila Calloway. Dr. Joseph and Judge Calloway care deeply about seeing children thrive in school and life and, hopefully, avoid coming through Judge Calloway's court. They are advocates for investing in the social and emotional learning needs of children, in addition to their academic needs. On February 7, Dr. Joseph and Judge Calloway published an op-ed entitled "We fail Nashville's youth if we only focus on academics."