Ed.D. in Educational Leadership

The doctoral program in Educational Leadership provides the highest professional degree available to canidates who aspire to leadership positions in education, primarily in K-12 settings.  The degree includes a prescribed curriculum of required and elective courses for a minimum of sixty hours of graduate credit. The doctoral degree is awarded upon the successful completion of this coursework and the completion of a major research project resulting in the presentation and defense of a dissertation.

Graduates of the doctoral degree in Educational Leadership will have the knowledge to apply administrative theory to the instructional leadership function; Plan and administer the curriculum of a school system; set goals, assign responsibilities, and verify how well resources are allocated and utilized in instructional improvement; use appropriate communication and interpersonal skills in consultation and evaluation; interpret the laws applicable to the administration of the K-12 schools; design educational research and interpret results; and apply evaluation processes for program improvement. 

Admission to the program requires devoting a significant amount of time to the program. The inability to devote the required time will require the individual to drop out of the program.

The Educational Leadership program follows a cohort model where individuals are admitted to a specific group, called a cohort, and are required to take their coursework at the same time as the other individuals in the 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 and writing sample exercise.

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 his/her 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.

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
EDAD 6380Exec Ldrshp- Superintendents3
EDAD 6381Dist Business & Financial Mgt3
EDAD 6382Human Resource Management3
EDAD 6383Practicm For Superintendents I3
EDLD 8033Dissertation9
Total Hours60

EDLD 8033 must be taken at least three times for a minimum total of nine hours. Once enrolled in this course, the student must enroll in it until graduation.

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