School of Ed. - Leadership and Learning Doctorate

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Learning

Our Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership and Learning seeks to prepare current and future K-12, higher education and adult education leaders to engage in and advocate for continuous improvement, systematic reform and social justice within educational institutions and communities. All courses can be completed online, plus a Summer Residency (face-to-face)!

The Ed.D. provides professional preparation experiences for a variety of K-12 Education careers, including peer coach, principal, central office leader or director, and superintendent of schools. The new doctoral program also supports those in higher education careers, such as student affairs professional; tenure-track, adjunct and clinical faculty; chair; dean and administrator. We also support those interested in adult education careers, including adult basic education (ABE), community education and organizing, cooperative extension, health education and social advocacy in non-formal sectors.

Students will be challenged to engage in critical thinking, consider and expand their perspectives, acquire knowledge regarding research and best practices in education, and take action as allies and activists for educational reform and social justice. As graduates, you'll use the knowledge and effective practices to facilitate continuous improvement and systemic reform by collaborating with others to ensure equity, access, and opportunity for all children and adults learning in educational and community settings. All for the common good.

The Doctorate Course of Study -
Online and On Campus

The Doctoral program in Educational Leadership and Learning coursework has been developed to meet your scheduling needs and provides working professionals with the opportunity to obtain this doctoral degree while maintaining a reasonable work-life balance. During the fall and spring terms, students will participate in online core coursework with electives available online or on campus. Each summer students will gather for classes with members of their cohort during the last two weeks in July.

What you can earn

  • Doctorate (Ed.D.)

Where you will learn

  • All courses can be completed online plus a Summer Residency (face-to-face)

When to start

Apply now for admission to the next doctoral cohort residency beginning July 22-26, 2019!  Deadline for students entering residency in Summer 2019 is June 1, 2019.

Students accepted prior to the Summer 2019 residency may begin coursework immediately in concentration areas with permission from an academic advisor. Concentrations include: PK-12 and Higher Education Administration, Music Education,  Leadership in Student Affairs, and Adult Learning.

 Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Learning

Ed.D.:     66

Year 1

12 Core Credits + 6 Elective Credits

Summer Residency

EDLD 916: Education Leaders & Learners

EDLD 917: Scholars and Researchers in Education


EDLD 918: Social and Cultural Foundation & Possible Concentration Elective 


Possible Concentration Elective


EDLD 919: Leadership for Social Justice in Education & Possible Concentration Elective

Year 2

12 Core Credits + 6 Elective Credits

Summer Residency

EDLD 901: Research Paradigms in Education

EDLD 892: Classic and Contemporary Readings in Education


EDLD 902: Quantitative Research Methods & Possible Concentration Elective


Possible Concentration Elective


EDLD 904: Qualitative Methods of Research and Evaluation

EDLD 903: Historical Methodology in Education (Methods Elective) or Concentration Elective

Year 3

9 Core Credits + 6 Elective Credits

Summer Residency

EDLD 920: Framing a Research Question & Possible Concentraiton Elective

Milestone: Research Prospectus

EDLD 921: Dissertation Proposal Design & Possible Concentration Elective

Possible Concentration Elective

EDLD 905: Analysis of Research Data
Year 4

3 Core Credits + 12 Dissertation Credits

Summer Residency (1 week) 

EDLD 915: Analysis of Research Data & Possible Elective

Milestones: Proposal Defense & IRB Application

6 Dissertation Credits
6 Dissertation Credits + Dissertation Defense

Music Concentration

Please contact the Department directly for the Concentration Course requirements and curriculum map

Find current course offerings and course catalog with descriptions


  1. Candidates for this degree have:
    • Completed Master's degree
    • 3 years professional experience with at least one year in a leadership position
    • Preferred cumulative G.P.A. of 3.5 when graduate and undergraduate GPAs are averaged (4.0 scale)
  2. Submit the following application materials and components:
    • Application form
    • Official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate work (unless that work was completed at the University of St. Thomas).
      • Submit transcripts to: Graduate Admissions, University of St. Thomas, Box 5, 1000 LaSalle Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55403 or
    • Academic/Professional portfolio. Details of what to include are in the application.
    • Two letters of recommendation. One should be a provided by a professional colleague, and one by a professor/academic colleague.
    • Personal statement 500-1,000 words
    • Complete interview with doctoral faculty members
  3. Submit the supplementary materials:
    • International Applicants:
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) required for any candidate whose primary language is not English.
    • Transcript Review: All international transcripts must be reviewed by an accredited evaluation service to determine U.S. equivalency of the degree awarded and the institution awarding the degree. Applications will not be reviewed for admissions until the official review is submitted.

Leadership in the Global Contexts of Ghana

Experience the uniqueness of Ghana as a global south country and one of Africa's stable democracies while gaining cross-cultural insight into the education and culture of Ghana through academic lectures and guided visits. Application deadline is March 1, 2018. Learn more about the Leadership in the Global Contexts of Ghana trip.

Real-world field experience

If your program includes a field experience element, the dedicated faculty and staff in your program will work with you to ensure that your experience will meet your interests and facilitate your growth, both personally and professionally. Throughout your time in your program, regularly scheduled meetings with faculty and peers offer the opportunity to form a strong professional network as you prepare to enter your field.

Community Partnerships

The School of Education takes pride in engaging in innovative partnerships with a variety of organizations. Students in the School of Education will find many opportunities for professional growth as a result of working with these organizations. Partnership examples include the Northwest Suburban Integration District, Center for Academics and Sports, FAIR School and the Collaborative Urban Educators program.