Wilkes University

EdD in Educational Leadership

Now, more than ever, strong leadership is needed to guide and transform schools. Our EdD in Educational Leadership empowers you to effect change in educational systems through the synthesis of theory, scholarship and practice.

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Program Snapshot

Program Type Format Credit Hours
Doctoral Low Residency 60

Why Study Educational Leadership at Wilkes?

Our low-residency EdD program addresses the needs and challenges facing education professionals in contemporary society. We offer globally diverse perspectives on education and leadership. You'll study with students living all over the world, most often working in educational institutions. You'll collaborate with peers in person and online, forming a rich global network that extends beyond graduation. During the program, you'll attend three residencies of four days each and complete a dissertation. Online EdD coursework allows for you to maintain work-life balance and gives working professionals the flexibility they need to complete the program. Earning your doctorate in education can give you the opportunity to grow yourself as a leader and pursue new career opportunities that are both challenging and rewarding. 

Choose a specialization that fits your career goals: K-12 Administration with PA Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility or Educational Leadership. Our doctorate in Educational Leadership offers a choice of concentrations. Focus on educational technology, curriculum and instruction, or educational leadership skills.

Curriculum      Admission Requirements

What Will You Learn as an EdD Student?

  • Explore principles of leadership, scholarship and practice to prepare you to effect change in educational and organizational systems.
  • You'll study leadership theory, ethical leadership, diversity and inclusion, learning theory/cognition, curriculum/instructional leadership and how to lead strategic organizational transformation.
  • You'll develop the essential skills needed to become a better administrator in a dynamic educational environment, able to anticipate and affect meaningful change in your organization. 
  • The curriculum comprises 60 post-master's credits, including 9 credits of leadership core courses, 30 credits of content area courses, 12 credits of research courses and 9 credits of dissertation. If you take 12 to 18 credits a year, you can complete coursework in three to four years before beginning the dissertation process.


Program Highlights

Four-Day Residencies

You'll attend three residencies throughout the program, choosing the time and location that suits you best. During residencies, you'll meet and connect with your cohort and engage with course content with doctoral faculty. Residencies are demanding, rewarding and motivating.

Academic Rigor

You'll receive comprehensive training in your area of concentration and gain effective interpersonal and communication skills, analytic decision-making abilities and effective leadership strategies.


Research and internships are deeply embedded in the program. You'll learn to apply research to identify and study current issues and problems in the field of education and to analyze the resulting data toward the betterment of education. All students write a culminating dissertation.

This was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I have never experienced such support as I do in the Wilkes EdD program.Kaitlin Besko - EdD '19
This program, the phenomenal professors, incredible classmates and the outstanding learning have changed my life—as a professional and as a human!Jaime Brianna - Current EdD Student; High School Principal, American School of Guatemala

International EdD

The international EdD degree is designed for teachers and leaders who want to make a difference by improving education around the world. Classes are held with three four-day residencies held at international sites. The program was designed to empower international classroom teachers, as well as advance current or aspiring educational leaders. Upcoming international residencies will be held in Dubai.

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Careers & Outcomes

Our graduates are dedicated educational leaders with the skills and dispositions needed to serve in leadership capacities in their respective fields. Earning a doctorate in education can qualify graduates for senior educational leadership positions in school districts, universities, or private industry. Graduates serve in a variety of capacities in education including teaching, leading, consulting, researching, curriculum development and more. Below are typical job titles.

Job Titles

  • Professor
  • Curriculum Developer
  • Provost 
  • Superintendent
  • Educational Consultant
  • Elementary, Middle and High School Principal
  • Chief Learning Officer
  • Educational Administrator
  • Academic Dean
  • Executive Director of Education


Our low-residency EdD program offers two specialization options to align with your personal and professional goals:

K-12 Administration with Pennsylvania Superintendent's Letter of Eligibility

To qualify for this program, you must provide verification of six years of satisfactory school experience, of which at least three must be in a supervisory or administrative capacity.

Educational Leadership

This specialization offers a choice of concentrations:

  • Educational Technology
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Educational Leadership Studies
  • PA Principal Leadership & Certification
  • Instructional Leadership (International cohorts, only)

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