The Doctoral Program In Educational Leadership

The Doctoral Program 

The Ed.D. is designed for future and practicing educational leaders who wish to develop and refine their leadership capabilities in educational organizations.

Goals of the Program

  • Introduce students to the methodologies of critical analysis of educational theories and practices
  • Engage students in disciplined inquiry in the field of education
  • Prepare students for making contributions to educational theory and practice
  • Prepare students to become leaders and change agents in diverse educational settings

Program Characteristics

  • Access to faculty in varying disciplines
  • Applied practice in community research via an internship
  • Cohort structure

Cohort Structure

The cohort model of education is central to the Doctoral Program. Students acquire skills in using research to understand organizational and social issues, with a growing capacity for leading adaptive, sustainable, and just change. Through a selective admissions process, cohort members are chosen from a diverse cross-section of educational leadership settings. The cohort structure allows for the integration of academic scholarship and practice in a supportive, collegial environment. Cohorts are located both online and on Appalachian's main campus. 

Program Concentrations

*The Dual Ed.S./Ed.D. degree track is only offered with Educational Administration or Higher Education Administration.

Curriculum Overview

The doctoral degree has a minimum 60 credit hour requirement. The core curriculum is 36 credit hours. Additionally, the program requires 15-18 elective credit hours, 3-6 internship credit hours, and 6 dissertation credit hours. 48 hours of coursework must be at the 6000 or 7000 levels.

For students entering the program with an Ed.S., up to 30 credit hours may be waived toward the doctoral required 60 credit course hours. For students entering with a Master’s degree, the total 60 credit hours are required. More information regarding the Ed.S can be found in the Program Concentrations sections. 

Delivery Platforms

To accommodate working students, the core curriculum classes are offered in the evenings two nights each week for two academic years -- including summer sessions.  Online courses involve both synchronous and asynchronous classwork. The scheduling of elective courses varies by individual and concentration.

Rev. 5-18-21