The required courses for the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership are listed below. Up to 30 hours of doctoral courses may be waived if you have earned an Ed.S. Please contact the Program Associate for details regarding waived courses. Course descriptions may be found in the Graduate Bulletin at

All coursework, including electives, must be complete prior to registration for EDL 7999: Dissertation Research. Students are not permitted to be in elective coursework while they are registered for EDL 7999: Dissertation Research. If a student has not completed all coursework prior to Proposal/Prospectus defense, then they will have to finish coursework before they are permitted to register for EDL 7999: Dissertation Research. 

Core Courses (33 Credit Hours)

Foundational and Professional Coursework (21 Credit Hours)

  • EDL 7011: MultiDisciplinary Seminar on Emerging Issues I (3 CH)
  • EDL 7012: MultiDisciplinary Seminar on Emerging Issues II (3 CH)
  • EDL 7020: Organizational and Systems Theory (3 CH)
  • EDL 7025: Leadership in Organizations (3 CH)
  • EDL 7030: Concepts and Constructs in Curriculum and Instruction (3 CH)
  • EDL 7040: Educational Organizations and Technology (3 CH)
  • EDL 7065: Writing for the Professional Educator (3 CH)

Research Coursework (12 Credit Hours)

  • EDL 7160: Qualitative Research Methods (3 CH)
  • EDL 7165: Applied Quantitative Approaches in Education I (3 CH)

In addition to EDL 7160 and EDL 7165, students will select two of the courses below:

  • EDL 7175: Applied Quantitative Approaches in Education II (3 CH)
  • EDL 7530-7549: Special Topics in Doctoral Research (3 CH)
  • EDL 7180: Advanced Qualitative Research in Education (3 CH)

Electives (15-18 Credit Hours dependent on internship hours)

Electives are selected in consultation with the Concentration Advisor and/or Doctoral Program Director. Students must choose from the list corresponding to their concentration on pages 22-25 or receive approval before enrolling in an elective course. Electives must be graduate level (5000, 6000, or 7000 level) and advance the student’s academic goals in relation to the student’s concentration and program of study.

Elective credit hours may be waived for students who have completed an Ed.S. degree. Please reach out to the Program Associate for details regarding waived courses.

Holding Course: GRD 7989 (No Credit Hours Earned)

Doctoral students are required to maintain continuous enrollment during the academic year (Fall and Spring semesters) for the entirety of the program. Enrollment is not required during summer after core courses have been completed. GRD 7989 is a non-credit earning, fee bearing course intendend to maintain enrollment after coursework. 

A student must register for GRD 7989 after completion of all coursework. GRD 7989 is used primarily during the Qualifying Examination (QE) process and is always used during the proposal/prospectus process. The only time that a student does not have to register for GRD 7989 during the QE is when the student is completing their QE simultaneously with the final semester of their coursework or during their internship. If a student is working on their QE after coursework is complete, a student must be enrolled in GRD 7989. 

To register for GRD 7989, the student will need to reach out to the Program Associate  for the CRN. Continuous enrollment is required to stay in the program. If enrollment is dropped, a student is not guaranteed to be readmitted to the program. 

Internship: EDL 7900 (3-6 Credit Hours) 

Students complete either 3 or 6 credit hours of EDL 7900: Internship. One semester of EDL 7900 equates to 3 credit hours. If a student only completes 3 credit hours of internship, an appropriate 3 credit hour elective must be substituted. Please see the Internship page for more information. 

All students are required to complete an internship unless they have their internship credits waived at the beginning of the Doctoral Program. 

Independent Study: EDL 7500 (1-3 Credit Hours)

An Independent Study is an opportunity for a doctoral student to complete more intensive and focused coursework around a topic not already presented in another doctoral course. It is not a required course.

In order for an Independent Study to be an approved elective that counts towards a student’s Program of Study a student must submit a syllabus no later than 3 weeks before the start of the semester in which a student wishes to complete the Independent Study.

The syllabus must contain the following:

  • Name of student and faculty member
  • Semester of study
  • Title of the course (all Independent Studies are EDL 7500)
  • Purpose of the course
  • Course objectives and outcomes
  • Major assignments and readings
  • Required university syllabus policies (found on the academic affairs website)

Syllabi must be submitted via email to the Director of the Doctoral Program with the faculty member supervising the Independent Study and the Program Associate copied on the email message.

Dissertation Research: EDL 7999 (6-9 Credit Hours)

Upon completion of all coursework, electives, and an approval of a proposal/prospectus, a student must register for 3 credit hours of EDL 7999: Dissertation Research for two consecutive semesters. A student must have at least 6 credit hours of EDL 7999 in order to graduate. After two consecutive semesters of EDL 7999 as a 3 credit hour course, the student will register for 1 credit hour of EDL 7999 if they need more time to complete the dissertation. The student can register for up to three semesters of EDL 7999 at 1 credit hour. After three semesters of EDL 7999 at 1 credit hour, the student will register for GRD 7989 until they can defend.

If applicable, a student must be registered in order to graduate for that semester; if the deadlines are missed for defense, the student will have to register for another semester even if a defense has already happened.

Please note: a student must have an approved IRB in order to register for EDL 7999. For more information, see the EDL 7999: Dissertation Research page.