EdD in Educational Leadership

Now more than ever, strong educators are needed to guide and transform the lives of students. Leadership can mean lots of things, from classroom and thought leadership, to school or district management. Whatever your goals, the Wilkes Ed.D. in Educational Leadership will empower you to be a better teacher, learner and leader, coupling advanced concepts with decision making, mindfulness and ethics.

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Program Snapshot

Program Type Format Credit Hours
Doctoral Low Residency 54

Why Study Educational Leadership at Wilkes?

Because it's a transformational, professional journey. It's relevant, rigorous, convenient and affordable. But more than that, it's a chance to immerse yourself in a community of like-minded peers who bring diverse perspectives yet common challenges to the table. It's a chance to earn the highest degree in your field. It's your chance to address the most pressing needs and challenges facing educators. And it's your chance to advance yourself and make a positive impact in your classroom, district and community--and most importantly, in the lives of students.

In our low-residency program, you'll study with students living all over the world and make life-changing connections. You'll also collaborate with peers in person and online, forming a rich network that extends long beyond graduation. You'll attend three, 4-day residencies and complete a dissertation. We understand all that you have to balance, so know that our coursework allows you to maintain a work-life balance and gives you plenty of flexibility to complete the program on your own terms. Plus, our generous transfer policy offers pathways to fasttrack your studies.

All educators can benefit from becoming leaders. 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 personal or career goals: K-12 Administration with PA Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility or Educational Leadership.

Our doctorate in Educational Leadership also offers a unique choice of concentrations:

  • Educational Technology
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Educational Leadership Studies
  • Educational Climate and Safety
  • PA Principal Leadership & Certification

All of our curriculum is designed to help you extend your teaching impact and expertise while influencing meaningful change in education. 

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. This is incredibly valuable for those seeking to become administrators or those who want to make a greater impact in their classrooms or communities.
  • 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 an effective leader, both inside and outside the classroom, in a dynamic educational environment. You'll be able to anticipate and affect meaningful change in your organization at any level.
  • The curriculum comprises 54 post-master's credits, including 9 credits of leadership core courses, 24 credits of content area courses, 12 credits of research courses and 9 credits of dissertation. When taking 12 to 18 credits a year, the program can be completed in three to four years.

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.

Wilkes is accessible and affordable, and the EdD curriculum is highly applicable to what I do every day.

Matt Barrett, EdD '14 - Superintendent, Western Wayne School District

This program, the phenomenal professors, incredible classmates and the outstanding learning have changed my life—as a professional and as a human!

Jaime Brianna - High School Principal, Western Academy Beijing

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'19 - EdD

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 that align with your personal or professional goals:

  • Educational Technology
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Educational Leadership Studies
  • PA Principal Leadership & Certification
  • Educational Climate and Safety