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

Dr. Joshua Glazer, Dr. Diane Massell (Consortium for Policy Research in Education), and GSEHD doctoral candidate Matthew Malone (Education Administration and Policy Studies) published an article, "Charter Schools in Turnaround: Competing Institutional Logics in the Tennessee Achievement School District," in the March issue of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis. The article reports on findings from a four-year study of the Tennessee Achievement School District, Tennessee's state-wide initiative to improve its most under-performing schools.

GSEHD alumna/student Emily Dillard (Master's in Educational Technology Leadership and current Ed.D. student in Educational Leadership and Administration), Coordinator of Instructional Technology for Alexandria City Public Schools and president-elect of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Professional Learning Network for Leadership, moderated the first ISTE "edChat" on Twitter about ISTE Standard 1: Equity and Citizenship Advocate. #EdLeadersChat

Dr. Rebecca Thessin, Dr. Jennifer Clayton, and doctoral student Tamilah Richardson (Educational Administration) attended and presented at the University Council for Educational Administration conference in Houston, Texas. Dr. Thessin led a Critical Conversation on the topic of instructional and leadership coaching with Shelby Cosner (UIC) and Sarah Woulfin (UCONN). She also organized a symposium entitled, “System Support for School-Based Instructional Leadership: An Interactive Symposium” in which she presented a paper. Dr. Clayton presented a paper entitled, "Equity-Minded Leadership: How School Leaders Make Meaning of Building Mindsets and Practices." Tamilah Richardson gave a presentation entitled, “Exploring How to Mitigate the Early Career Minority Teacher Shortage Through Teacher Leadership.” They also collectively attended and facilitated the Leadership for School Improvement Business Meeting while they were in Houston.

GSEHD is the lead organization in the Education Consortium on Research and Evaluation (EdCORE), which recently completed a report on the use of student learning plans to ensure public school students in DC are on track to graduate. The report, “Personalized Learning Plans in DC: Options for a Pilot Project,” is a response to the State Board of Education (SBOE)’s recommendation to develop personalized learning plans for all DC public school students. The work was conducted under a contract with the Office of the District of Columbia Auditor (ODCA) by Dr. Elizabeth Grant and three GSEHD students: Autem Clay (Ed.D., Educational Administration and Policy), Aubrey DeBoer (master's, Education Policy) and Laura Groth (Ed.D., Educational Administration and Policy). EdCORE’s approach to the work was in the style of a research-practitioner partnership where the work addresses local needs in a local context and aims to improve the use of evidence in decision making.The DC City Council is currently considering a bill to create a long-term education research collaborative to serve local needs.

GSEHD doctoral student Charlene Evans-Smith (Ed.D., Educational Leadership and Administration) has been named the winner of the Consortium for Research on Educational Assessment and Teaching Effectiveness (CREATE) 2018 Achilles-Harper-Swenson Emerging Researcher Award.This award was given to her based upon the quality of her research, as well as her ability to speak to her research as scholars in the field asked her questions during the Doctoral Student Poster Session at the 2018 CREATE Conference in Virginia. The committee specifically shared her impressive competency in discussing the literature and her research in her poster entitled, "The Influence of Educational Supports for African-American Young Women in Intermediate Schools."