Ed.D. in Educational Leadership

The doctoral program (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership provides the highest professional degree available to candidates who aspire to leadership positions in Education, primarily in K-12 settings.  The degree involves successful completion of a prescribed curriculum of both required and elective courses in professional studies, theory, and research methods up to a minimum of 60 hours of graduate credit. The doctoral degree is awarded upon successful completion of coursework, as well as successful completion and defense of a dissertation, which is a major independent research project carried out under the supervision of faculty advisors.

Graduates of the doctoral degree in Educational Leadership will have acquired the knowledge and skills to lead K-12 school systems and act in a leadership and consulting capacity in diverse educational organizations that serve students. The doctoral program focuses on developing leader-scholars who are prepared to effectively lead educational organizations by (a) supporting professional development for instructional improvement; (b) effectively allocating resources for student learning; (c) applying evidence-based practices in educational research and program evaluation through sound research design and interpretation; (d) interpreting laws applicable to the administration of  K-12 schools; and (e) advocating for sound policies that support the success of all students.

Admission to the doctoral program in Educational Leadership is competitive.  Applicants are encouraged to take the time to submit ALL required materials and prepare a high-quality personal statement for admission consideration. 

The Educational Leadership program utilizes a cohort model where individuals are admitted as a group, called a cohort.  Cohort members take their courses together and follow the same course degree plan for all required core courses.  Cognates or electives may vary from those of other cohort members. A select number of applicants (12-15) are admitted to each cohort.

Application Deadlines

Cohort Classes Begin Application Deadline
Educational Leadership (K-12) Summer (June) March 1

Applicants seeking admission to the doctoral program in Educational Leadership must submit the following to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  1. Graduate Admission Application
  2. Application fee
  3. Official transcript from the baccalaureate degree granting institution
  4. Official transcript(s) showing receipt of a master's degree in a related field from an accredited institution
  5. Resume (with description of education, work history, leadership experiences, and at least 3 professional references)
  6. Application Essay. Not to exceed 1,800 words.  Please, address these specific questions in your essay:
    a) What are some highlights of your professional career?
    b) What are some experiences that highlight your leadership strengths?
    c) What are your professional goals?
    d) What reasons do you have for pursuing a Ed.D. in Educational Leadership (K-12) at Sam Houston State University?

Note: Applicants selected after the initial screening will be invited for an interview.

Applicants should hold a master's degree in a related field, and the student's graduate GPA should be 3.5 or higher. In addition, three years of full-time professional experience in a credible school or agency is preferred.

The program requires a minimum of sixty hours of graduate credit, successful passing of a comprehensive examination, and completion of a dissertation.

After the completion of twelve to eighteen semester hours of doctoral level coursework in the program, each student will be evaluated. A doctoral program committee will review the student's academic progress, interpersonal skills, and motivation to determine whether the student should continue with the program. 

A comprehensive examination will be taken after the completion of forty-two hours of required coursework. Students must be enrolled during the semester the comprehensive examination is taken. After successful completion of the comprehensive examination, the student will be admitted for candidacy for the degree and may defend the dissertation proposal after completing the proposal course.

Ed.D. in Educational Leadership
Leadership Core
EDLD 7331Leadership Theory/Application3
EDLD 7332Instr Theory/Applications3
EDLD 7333Societal Factors Affecting Ed3
EDLD 7337Academic Writing & Research3
EDLD 7338Organztnl Behavr & Thry In Edu3
EDLD 7361Program Evaluation in Educ3
EDLD 7370Education Policy And Ethics3
EDLD 7088Spec Topics in Ed Leadership3
Research Tools
EDLD 7362Methods Of Educ Research3
EDLD 7372Qualitative Methodology3
EDLD 7365Applied Stats I for Ed Leaders3
EDLD 7368Applied Stats II for Ed Leadrs3
EDLD 7363Proposal Development3
Cognate
EDAD 6380Exec Ldrshp- Superintendents3
EDAD 6381Dist Business & Financial Mgt3
EDAD 6382Human Resource Management3
EDAD 6383Learner Centered Leadership3
Dissertation
EDLD 8033Dissertation9
Total Hours60

Note: The 12 hours of cognate can vary based on candidate interests and goals. Additional requirements are needed to obtain a Texas Superintendent certification.