Welcome to the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership

The program fosters the development of educators who embrace just and sustainable practices. We support and nurture various research methodologies that enhance collaborative learning to create positive individual, social, cultural, and institutional change.

A web-based handbook can be found by clicking here.


Students in the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership will be required to take a set group of core coursework. More information regarding the core coursework can be found in the Core Coursework section


Beyond the core courses, each student will be required to declare a concentration. The concentration chosen will determine the electives taken in the doctoral program. Click the link to read more about each of our six concentrations: 


The dissertation is the final step in a student's journey through the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership.  For information regarding the step-by-step processes in the Doctoral Program, please click on the dissertation section

Please also read the Thesis and Dissertation Preparation page on the Graduate School website; it outlines the processes and procedures required by the Graduate School.

Internship, Qualifying Exam, and Proposal/Prospectus

The Internship, Qualifying Examination, and Proposal or Prospectus are steps designed to enrich the student's knowledge before working on the dissertation. 


The internship enables doctoral students to enrich their leadership capacity in the context of an advanced professional setting or applied scholarly project. In the internship, doctoral students integrate theoretical and practical knowledge while gaining new leadership skills that serve an organization or community. 

Qualifying Examination

The Qualifying Examination (QE) functions as a threshold between coursework and the dissertation proposal/prospectus. It requires students to demonstrate their ability to identify, synthesize, and critique foundational concepts and theories concerning a significant educational issue. 

Proposal or Prospectus

The Dissertation Proposal or Prospectus is the final step before working on the dissertation. Depending upon the student's concentration within the doctoral program and the guidance of the dissertation chair, the student will complete one of two pathways:

  • a doctoral dissertation proposal with the first three chapters of the dissertation (Introduction, Literature Review, Methodology); or

  • a doctoral prospectus is a 25-30-page paper that outlines a proposed study (theoretical, conceptual, or methodological).