Educational Leadership (EdD)

Doctorate in Educational Leadership

Reich College of Education

Audrey Dentith, Program Director and Professor

The Reich College of Education offers the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership (Major Code: 702*/13.0401) with four concentrations:

  • Educational Administration (702D)
  • Educational Leadership, General (702C)
  • Expressive Arts Education, Leadership, and Inquiry (702G)
  • Higher Education (702F)
  • Reading and Literacy (702E)

The Doctor of Education degree (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership is designed for potential and practicing educational leaders who wish

  • to develop and refine their leadership capabilities in educational organizations. The goals of the program include:
  • to introduce students to the methodologies of critical analysis of educational theory and practices;
  • to engage students in disciplined inquiry in the field of education;
  • to prepare students for making contributions to educational theory and practice; and,
  • to prepare students to become leaders in the diverse world in which educational institutions exist.

The program requires a minimum of 60 semester hours beyond the student's master's degree. All students must take at least 48 semester hours of doctoral coursework (or a combination of doctoral coursework and approved Ed.S. courses), which includes: 36 s.h. of required core courses; two semesters of EDL 7900, Internship (3+3) to total 6 s.h.; and two consecutive semesters of EDL 7999, Dissertation (3+3) for a minimum of 6 s.h. The 12 semester hours in each concentration will be chosen by the student in consultation with an advisor and/or the Program Director. The 12 semester hours in the concentrations may be comprised of required courses for licensure, a set of related graduate-level courses, or a set of approved interdisciplinary courses.

Students who hold the Education Specialist from Appalachian: Students who hold an earned Ed.S. degree from Appalachian State University may be exempt from 18 to 30 semester hours of credit. The exemption is not automatic. Specific Ed.S. coursework that might substitute for doctoral coursework will be identified after evaluation of eligible courses by the Program Director or major advisor. All other degree requirements remain in effect. For further information on exemptions, contact the program director.

Qualifying Exam: The Qualifying Exam is required after the student has completed the 36 semester hours of required course work. The purpose of the Qualifying Examination is to enable students to continue the process that leads to the dissertation stage of the program.

Admission to Candidacy: Admission to candidacy to the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership occurs only after successful completion of the Qualifying Exam and Dissertation Proposal. Students may not begin dissertation research until admission to candidacy is approved.

Location of Program: This program is offered on campus in Boone in the format described in this Bulletin. Off-campus cohorts are started periodically, require that the applicants hold the Ed.S from Appalachian, and follow a part-time extended program format. For information on upcoming off-campus cohorts, please contact the Office of Distance Education:


Admission Requirements: Master's degree* from an accredited college or university or the Education Specialist from Appalachian; complete application to the Graduate School; official general GRE exam scores; a letter of application including reasons for the applicant's interest in the program. Applicants should arrange an interview with the Program Director in advance of submitting their completed application.

* Applicants for the Educational Administration concentration must hold a Master of School Administration from an accredited college or university or the Education Specialist degree in Educational Administration from Appalachian; and hold or be eligible to hold a current NC superintendent's license. Applicants who are not eligible to hold superintendent's licensure, but do hold one or more degrees leading to licensure in the public schools may either:

  • Apply for a Master's Degree in School Administration and then apply for the Doctoral Program upon receipt of the MSA, or
  • Have transcripts reviewed by the MSA coordinator. Courses needed to meet principal licensure requirements will be identified by the MSA program coordinator and will be taken in addition to, or as electives in, the Ed.D. program and will be listed in the Ed.D. program of study. The courses identified must be completed along with the required doctoral program courses to be eligible for licensure recommendation as a principal and superintendent upon completion of the Ed.D. degree.

To be considered for admission, applicants must meet the criteria for admission to the Graduate School. In addition, the program faculty will give preference to applicants who meet or exceed the following: GRE Writing test score of 4.0 or higher.

Location: On Campus and Off Campus; Off-Campus cohorts begin periodically, and follow a part-time extended format.

 Course Requirements for the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Semester Hours Required (minimum): 60
Required Courses
  • EDL 7011: Multi-Disciplinary Seminar on Emerging Issues I (3)
  • EDL 7012: Multi-Disciplinary Seminar on Emerging Issues II (3)
  • EDL 7020: Organizational and Systems Theory (3)
  • EDL 7025: Leadership in Organizations (3)
  • EDL 7030: Concepts and Constructs in Curriculum and Instruction (3)
  • EDL 7040: Educational Organizations and Technology (3)
  • EDL 7065: Writing for the Professional Educator (3)
  • EDL 7099: Professional Seminar (1+1+1=3)
  • EDL 7110: Survey of Research Methodologies in Education (3)
  • EDL 7160: Qualitative Research Methods (3)
  • EDL 7165: Quantitative Approaches in Non-Experimental Studies (3)
  • Select one of the courses below with advice and approval of an advisor:
    • EDL 7150: Inferential Statistics (3)
    • EDL 7180: Advanced Qualitative Research in Education (3)

Students are required to register for 3 s.h. of Dissertation for two consecutive semesters, followed by at least 1 s.h. for every semester thereafter until the dissertation is completed. (See index for policy on completion of thesis/dissertation.)

  • EDL 7999: Dissertation (6) -- minimum
Concentration (CHOOSE ONE)

Educational Administration Concentration (Code: 702D)
3 or 6 s.h. of EDL 7900: Internship

12 s.h. of coursework related to school administration. Approval of the plan of study is required from the school administration coordinator and the doctoral program director. Students seeking principal licensure must complete the coursework required to meet current NC Principal Licensure standards. Students seeking superintendent licensure must hold principal licensure and complete the coursework required to meet current NC superintendent licensure standards.

Educational Leadership, General Concentration (Code: 702C)
3 or 6 s.h. of EDL 7900: Internship
Select 12 or 15 s.h. from the following courses or other doctoral and graduate level courses with approval of the Doctoral Program Director.

  • EDL 7050: School Finance and Business Administration (3)
  • EDL 7120: Advanced Tests and Measurements (3)
  • EDL 7130: Multivariate Statistics (3)
  • EDL 7170: Program Evaluation and Policy Analysis (3)
  • EDL 7190: Research Design in Education (3)
  • EDL 7500: Independent Study (Students are limited to 6 s.h.)

Expressive Arts Education, Leadership, and Inquiry (702G)
3 or 6 s.h. of EDL 7900: Internship
The following two required courses:

  • HPC 6360: Therapy and the Expressive Arts (3)
  • HPC 6370: Intermodal Expressive Arts (3)

In addition, students will select 6 or 9 s.h. of additional courses from the following (or other graduate-level courses with the approval of the Doctoral Director):

  • HPC 5860: Dreamwork: Clinical Methods (3)
  • HPC 5870: Creative Process, Movement, and Therapy (3)
  • HPC 6340: Ecotherapy (3)
  • HPC 6350: Body/Mind (3)
  • HPC 6355: Mindfulness Based Counseling (3)
  • HPC 6365: Expressive Arts Summer Institute (3-9)
  • HPC 6366: EXA Child/Adolescents (3-6)
  • HPC 6380: Therapeutic Writing (3)
  • HPC 6390: Current Issues in Expressive Arts Therapy (3)

Higher Education Concentration (Code: 702F)
3 or 6 s.h. of EDL 7900: Internship
Select 12 or 15 s.h. from the following courses or other doctoral and graduate level courses with approval of the Doctoral Program Director.

  • HE 6090: Seminar in Adult and Developmental Education (3)
  • HE 6310: Critical Issues in Adult and Developmental Education (3)
  • HE 6320: Institutional Effectiveness (3)
  • HE 6330: Organizing for Learning and Diversity (3)
  • HE 6340: Policy Analysis in Higher Education (3)
  • HE 6350: Leading Organizational Change in Higher Education (3)
  • HE 6370: Designing Culturally Responsive Learning Environments (3)
  • HE 6840: Personnel Policy and Practice in Higher Education (3)

Reading and Literacy Concentration (Code: 702E)
3 or 6 s.h. of EDL 7900: Internship
Select 12 or 15 s.h. from the following courses or other doctoral and graduate level courses with approval of the Doctoral Program Director.

  • RE 6120: Psychological Processes in Reading (3)
  • RE 6568: Language and Linguistics in Reading (3)
  • RE 6735: Severe Reading Disability (3)
  • RE 6731: Advanced Issues in Literacy and Learning (3)
  • RE 7570: Administering Reading/Language Arts Programs: The Research Base (3)
  • RE 7710: Improving Reading/Language Arts Instruction in the Schools: Problem-Solving Seminar for Administrators (3)

NOTE: Students entering the doctoral program with an Ed.S. in Higher Education from ASU will have fulfilled the requirements for a concentration in Higher Education.

Other Requirements for the EdD in Educational Leadership (all Concentrations):

  • Dissertation: Required
  • Proficiency: None required
  • Candidacy: Required
  • Qualifying Exam: Required
  • Product of Learning: None required


  • As required by UNC Board of Governors policy, doctoral students must remain enrolled in at least one hour each Fall and Spring semester until graduation once 6 dissertation semester hours are completed.
  • The internship is typically a two-semester experience under the co-sponsorship of an appropriate educational agency and the Doctoral Program. The student will engage in activities designed to bring together the relationship of theory and practice associated with the student's intended concentration. Students may substitute 3 s.h. of internship for an additional 3 s.h. of elective courses with approval of the Program Director.
  • Courses marked with an * are required of all students who do not hold the MSA degree and/or principal licensure along with other required courses that may be identified based on review of the student's transcripts by the MSA program coordinator.
  • Courses marked with two ** are required of all students not currently holding a superintendent license along with other required courses that may have been identified based on a review of the student's transcript.

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