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Become a leader for the next generation with a doctorate in education

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Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

Expand and grow your leadership knowledge, skills and abilities with the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD). This EdD degree program will prepare you to strategically manage and lead complex educational organizations in the areas of budgeting, teacher management and operations.

When you enroll in our online doctorate in education, with annual on-campus residencies, you’ll quickly learn how you can grow as a leader who transforms institutions to meet the current and future expectations of education.

Please note that while the University of Phoenix doctoral education programs are regionally accredited, they are not designed to lead to educational licensure or certification.

This online program requires brief residencies in select locations. This program is not available to residents of all states. Please contact a University Enrollment Representative for details.

What you'll learn


The Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) will prepare learners to become transformational leaders who will strategically manage and lead complex educational organizations. Graduates will be educational practitioners who demonstrate analytical, critical, and innovative thinking to improve the performance of educational institutions. The Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership degree is consistent with the University's mission to educate working adults to develop the knowledge and skills that will enable them to achieve their professional goals, improve the productivity of their organizations, and provide leadership and service to their communities. T\r

he program is designed to emphasize leadership and to focus on applied research that improves educational environments. Program Goals Graduates of the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership program will be able to:\r

  •  Utilize and conduct research to evaluate and improve instructional and organizational processes.\r
  •  Provide instructional leadership to support and enhance the educational process.\r
  •  Incorporate knowledge of social, historical, and political theories and processes in educational decision making.\r
  •  Lead and manage the educational organization through transformation inherent in contemporary society.\r\r

    At no time in history has the need for quality education been greater. At the same time, educators face challenges unlike those faced by their predecessors. They must facilitate learning in culturally diverse classrooms; prepare students for jobs in a global, information-based economy; manage their classrooms, schools, and systems effectively and efficiently in the face of severe funding pressures; and produce all the other outcomes traditionally expected from educational institutions. It is clear that as the education system works its way through this period of radical change, leaders are needed who are capable of dealing with complexity in creative ways. Professional practice in this environment will require more sophisticated educational preparation for greater numbers of practitioners.\r

    The Ed.D. program has a 68-credit requirement that involves both residency and online modalities of instruction. The majority of the program will be delivered in an online, virtual classroom setting. In these courses, learners will work in a cohort of approximately 12 peers and will be required to spend approximately 25 hours per week on required coursework. Learners will attend 16 days in residency during the 3-year program. Year One begins with a 5-day residency; Year Two requires a 3-day residency; Year Three requires an 8-day residency. Attendance during all days of the residencies is mandatory. Please note that learners can expect residencies to occur during both week days and weekend days. The courses offered during residency sessions cover a variety of areas essential to the successful completion of this advanced degree program, including insights into dissertation preparation. Additionally, in the Year Three residency, learners will apply their knowledge to a comprehensive, collaborative case study. This case study is the University’s vehicle for assessing programmatic learning. Because of the nature and value of the information presented in the residency environment, learners must attend all residency sessions.\r

    The most important milestone of the Ed.D degree is the successful completion and oral defense of a significant, substantial, and independently completed doctoral dissertation that adds new information to the body of educational leadership knowledge. The dissertation provides the learner an opportunity to demonstrate mastery of the germinal and current literature in the field and express their competence in applying learning to actual educational issues. To ensure the quality of this effort, the program’s curriculum is designed to develop the student’s ability to create original solutions to complex issues and to carefully identify and apply the most appropriate research method for addressing these issues. Because of the highly independent nature of the program, learners must be self-disciplined and exceedingly motivated to earn this degree.  


How to customize your degree

Focus your educational journey even further. By adding one of the following areas of focus, you can better tailor your degree to your career, interests and the skills you want to learn.

Make an informed choice

We believe that students and families should be prepared financially for college and understand gainful employment opportunities before starting any program. So we want to ensure you have the information you need to make an informed choice - information like what it will cost, the skills you'll learn through your chosen program, and the types of occupations the program prepares you for.

View this program's gainful employment disclosures.

How to afford your degree

Find out how you may be able to lower your out-of pocket expenses and what options may be available to help you fund your education.

View tuition

How to get started

Talk with a representative to learn more about the admissions process and choose your degree program.

Some programs have additional requirements such as field experiences, clinical components or residencies that may last from three- to eight-days. Please contact a University enrollment representative for details.

The requires a minimum of credits, which may come from a combination of required and elective courses.

Admissions and program requirements vary by state. Please refer to the Academic Catalog for state and/or program specific information.

Core courses

How to customize your degree

Focus your educational journey even further. By adding one of the following areas of focus, you can better tailor your degree to your career, interests and the skills you want to learn.

Individual courses are also available.

When you need graduate-level college credit for continuing education or professional development requirements, consider enrolling in an individual course. Many of the same courses offered in our degree programs are also available for individual enrollment. It's great way to "test-drive" the University and get all the same services and support we offer in our degree programs.

Some programs have additional requirements such as field experiences, clinical components or residencies that may last from three- to eight-days. Please contact a University enrollment representative for details.

Make your enrollment decision easier with our tuition tool

From finding the right college to finding time for your other work and family responsibilities - we know you have a lot on your mind. That's why we offer the tools you need to better understand your financial commitment and the Finance Advisors who can help you understand your options.

How much will it cost?

Knowing your cost commitment up-front can help you successfully plan for your degree program.

Use our tuition calculation tool

Cash Plan

Review our Cash Plan, which gives you the option to pay course-by-course as you pursue your education.


Scholarships pay for tuition-related expenses and don't need to be paid back. Your advisor can help you find scholarships that you may be eligible for.

Federal Financial Aid Plan

Investigate federal financial aid options including government grants and loans. Your advisor will help you check your eligibility.

Third-party billing

Under the Third-Party Billing Plan, University of Phoenix directly bills an approved employer for a student's tuition. To find out if your company supports direct bill, speak to your human resources department or one of our advisors.

Need more information?

An advisor can help you review your options and choose the one that’s best for you.

How can I use my Military benefits?

Whether you're serving on Active Duty, are a member of the Reserve or National Guard, or are the spouse of a military member, you're eligible for a reduction in tuition. Our special military tuition rates combined with some of the resources below can help you get started in your pursuit of a degree.

The Federal Military Tuition Assistance Program

With federal military tuition assistance, you may receive 100% federal Tuition Assistance for your military service.

Montgomery GI Bill

At University of Phoenix, you can apply your Montgomery GI Bill®-Active Duty, or your Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve benefits to your educational costs.

Post 9/11 GI Bill

If you're a veteran or military servicemember who served a minimum of 90 combined days on active duty after September 10th, 2001, you may be eligible for Post 9/11 GI benefits. 

Active Duty Spouse Benefits

As a military spouse, you may be eligible for financial assistance that can help you pursue your degree.

Benefits of this degree program

  • In-depth exploration of leadership

    Learn to strategically manage and lead even the most complex educational institutions by growing your skills and abilities in areas such as budgeting, teacher management and operations.

  • Interactive group discussion

    In online doctoral group discussions, you will interact with fellow learners and exchange ideas about research that centers on current industry challenges.

  • Dissertation Chair

    Under the guidance of a Dissertation Chair who has experience in your field of study, you will complete original research for your dissertation.

  • Residencies

    For three-to-eight days, you will network and study with professionals in your field, interact with faculty and prepare your dissertation. As part of the residency requirement (available in select cities), field experiences and clinical components may also be required.

  • Doctoral Success Orientation

    This three-day, no-cost online training lab gives you a tour of the University's online learning platform and educational resources before you begin your first course.

Is this the right program for you?

Talk to a representative who specializes in the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership degree to make sure this program fits your specific needs. You can also get to know University of Phoenix by checking out the Phoenix Prep Center.

Title II Reports for Indiana

University of Phoenix provides information about students who complete our teacher-preparation programs. For more information, review the institution and program report card.

Start your journey now

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The School of Advanced Studies

Earning a doctoral degree is a significant milestone in your educational and professional career — and an opportunity to make an impact in your community.

Our educational model

Our doctoral programs combine group discussions, residencies and the dissertation process to help you expand your understanding of how leaders can influence change through research.

The dissertation

The culmination of your doctoral degree uncovers new knowledge through original research and applies the models, theories and skills you will have learned in your coursework.