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 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 pre-dissertation writing and dissertation courses, and successful completion of the comprehensive examination.

Core Courses

EDUC 6116 Introduction to Educational Statistics
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

Research Methods

EDUC 8120 Group Comparison Designs and Analyses
EDUC 8122 Qualitative Research Methods
EDUC 8100 Advanced Qualitative Research Methods*

* students who desire to complete a quantitative dissertation may substitute the appropriate Advanced Research Methods class online or on the main Foggy Bottom campus

3 credits from the following:
EDUC 8100 Experimental Courses
EDUC 8130 Survey Research Methods
EDUC 8131 Case Study Research Methods
EDUC 8140 Ethnographic Research Methods
EDUC 8142 Phenomenological Research Methods
EDUC 8144 Discourse Analysis
EDUC 8170 Educational Measurement
EDUC 8171 Predictive 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 8998 Pre-Dissertation Seminar
EDUC 8999 Dissertation Research (12 credits minimum)

Approved dissertation proposal required
Successful completion of comprehensive exam required


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

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) are optional
  • 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.

We encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible.  Applications for the Spring 2023 online cohort are being accepted. The next deadline to apply is September 15th. If you have questions about the application process, please contact our Admission Office at or at 202.994.9283.