Educational Leadership EdD


Learn more about the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership.

About the Program

The EdD in Educational Leadership program is intended for a wide audience of individuals with experience in K-12 educational settings who desire to advance their careers. Many educational professionals want a defined, predictable program of study that supports steady progress and complements the busy schedule of a teacher and/or school leader. This program institutes a cohort-based executive-format program, wherein courses are offered on weekends and during the summer, accommodating the schedules of working professionals. The program fosters and reinforces Temple’s commitment to social justice, equity and ethical practices. The courses, course sequence, and dissertation process are designed in a way that the program coheres around these issues and their implications for educational leadership. This cohort program consists of a fixed-course sequence and is structured to allow students to complete their degree in three years.

The program objectives reflect the essential values of educational leadership and the foundational knowledge, skills and abilities required for effective postsecondary administrative practice. Students gain:

  • a deep understanding of the historical, social, legal, economic, cultural and political contexts of higher education administration;
  • an advanced understanding of the governance and finance structures of school districts, school organizations and governmental agencies;
  • sensitivity to the complexities of organizational culture and the ability to lead effectively in diverse settings;
  • the ability to critically examine, diagnose and address persistent problems and inequities in education;
  • the ability to identify, critically review, and apply evidence from scholarly and policy research, and a commitment to using evidence routinely in decision-making; and
  • skills and habits of reflective practice that support equitable and ethical decision-making in complex situations.

The essential expected learning outcomes of the Temple EdD program in Educational Leadership include graduates’ ability to demonstrate advanced understanding of:

  • effective practices for equitable and ethical school, school district, and system leadership;
  • leadership and learning theories;
  • the history, politics, policy and philosophy of public, charter and independent educational programs;
  • schooling, school governance, organizational leadership and civic engagement; and
  • how political, societal and identity factors contribute to student and school success.

Graduates will also be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • critically engage, diagnose, assess and address issues of equity and inequality that exist in schools and school districts;
  • review and synthesize research and practitioner literature to examine educational issues;
  • select and apply research methods and theoretical frameworks to address problems of practice; and
  • design, engage in, and thoughtfully report on research in multiple designated formats, such as dissertation, white paper and presentation.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 7 years

Campus Location: Main

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: Students matriculate part-time. Courses are offered in a cohort-based executive-format program on weekends and during the summer to accommodate the schedules of working professionals. A fixed-course sequence allows students to complete the doctoral degree program in three years.

Affiliation(s): The program is a member of the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA).

Job Prospects: Graduates typically become senior administrators in public or private schools, administrators in state or federal agencies, and administrators or professors in institutions of higher education.

Non-Matriculated Student Policy: Students may take up to, but not more than, 9 credits of graduate study in the program before being admitted to the program. The credits transfer into the program, if the student is admitted. Students completing non-matriculated courses before being admitted to the program are NOT guaranteed admission.

Financing Opportunities: Financial support opportunities may include assistantships, fellowships, scholarships, tuition remission, graduate student employment, and other financial aid such as grants, loans and federal work study.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Summer II: March 1

Applicants should submit all required admissions documents by the application deadline to receive priority consideration for admission.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 2

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained to provide insight regarding the applicant's academic competence. References from college/university faculty are recommended.

Master's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: A master's degree is preferred but not required. At a minimum, applicants are required to have successfully completed at least 30 graduate credits in a related field to be admitted to the program. All applicants are expected to transfer in up to 30 credits as advanced standing, with approval.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: A bachelor's degree is required. A minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is expected.

International applicants should also submit an official document that validates completion and conferral of a degree, diploma and/or certificate. While not required, international applicants are encouraged to submit transcript(s) to the World Education Services (WES) for evaluation.

Statement of Goals: Write a 500- to 1,000-word statement in autobiographical style covering the following areas: 

  • How have your personal, academic and professional experiences shaped your research interests, and how might a doctoral program in Education help you explore those interests? 
  • What academic/professional goals would the program help you to achieve following graduation? 
  • How does the doctoral program at Temple fit your individual interests, needs and future goals? Be certain to identify the faculty member whose research best matches your own interests.

Standardized Test Scores:
Applicants who earned their baccalaureate degree from an institution where the language of instruction was other than English, with the exception of those who subsequently earned a master’s degree at a U.S. institution, must report scores for a standardized test of English that meet these minimums:

  • TOEFL iBT: 79
  • IELTS Academic: 6.5
  • PTE Academic: 53

Resume: Current resume required.

Writing Sample: The academic writing sample should be a paper written for a class within the last five years. If a recent paper is not available, the applicant should compose an op-ed piece on an educational issue of their choosing. The op-ed should be 400 to 1,200 words in length and of the kind that might appear in The New York Times or Philadelphia Inquirer.

Other Requirement: Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts from all accredited institutions attended and/or from which credit was earned must be submitted.

Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Master's: 45

Required Courses:

Year 1
Summer IICredit Hours
EDAD 8461Ethical Leadership3
EPSY 8627Introduction to Research Design and Methods3
 Term Credit Hours6
EDAD 8635Education Policy Analysis3
EDUC 5325Introduction to Statistics and Research3
 Term Credit Hours6
EDAD 8653Civic Leadership3
EDUC 5262Introduction to Qualitative Research3
 Term Credit Hours6
Year 2
Summer II
EDAD 8636Research for Change3
EDAD 8755Organizational Dynamics3
 Term Credit Hours6
EDAD 8093Administration Research Seminar3
EDAD 8553Democratic, Equitable, and Ethical Leadership3
 Term Credit Hours6
EDUC 5010Special Topics in Education3
EDUC 9998Dissertation Proposal Design3
 Term Credit Hours6
Year 3
Summer II
AOD 5534Group Facilitation and Consultation3
 Term Credit Hours3
EDUC 9999Doctor of Education Dissertation3
 Term Credit Hours3
EDUC 9999Doctor of Education Dissertation3
 Term Credit Hours3
 Total Credit Hours: 45

Curriculum ONLY for the EdD Program in Jamaica, in collaboration with Church Teachers' College

Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Master's: 45

Required Courses:

Core Courses
EDAD 5301Leadership for Learning3
EDAD 5303Ldshp in Diverse Context3
EDAD 5653Educational Leadership as Civic Leadership3
EDAD 8093Administration Research Seminar3
EDAD 8461Ethical Leadership3
EDAD 8635Education Policy Analysis3
EDAD 8775Understanding Organizational Dynamics in Educational Settings3
EDAD 8787Administration of Higher Education3
EDUC 5101Critical Understanding of Social Science Research3
EDUC 5262Introduction to Qualitative Research3
EDUC 5325Introduction to Statistics and Research3
EDUC 8102Ethnographic Research Methods3
or EPSY 8625 Intermediate Educational Statistics
URBE 5401Policy and Practice in Urban Education3
Research Courses 16
Dissertation Proposal Design
Doctor of Education Dissertation
Total Credit Hours45

Culminating Events:
Comprehensive Examination:
At the end of the academic term in which students are enrolled in EDAD 8093 Administration Research Seminar and prior to completion of the dissertation proposal, students complete a comprehensive exam in order to advance to candidacy for the doctoral degree. The comprehensive exam consists of written responses to three questions developed by the instructor of the Research Seminar who, in most cases, will serve as the student’s primary dissertation advisor and chair. Through the comprehensive exam, students must demonstrate the ability to:

  • situate and define a chosen topic or field within the concepts and history of the field;
  • compare, contrast and justify various research methods appropriate to investigation of a practice-based research problem; and
  • critically synthesize the extant scholarly and practice-focused literature that informs administrative practice related to the topic.

Successful completion of the comprehensive exam advances students to doctoral candidate status and aids in preparation of the dissertation proposal.

Dissertation Proposal:
In the term immediately following completion of the EDAD 8093 Administration Research Seminar and successful completion of the comprehensive exam, students enroll in EDUC 9998 Dissertation Proposal Design. Like EDAD 8093 Administration Research Seminar, EDUC 9998 Dissertation Proposal Design serves as a structured, intensive cohort-based monthly workshop in which students design and defend a dissertation proposal that outlines a rigorous plan for empirical study of an issue relevant to the student’s professional responsibilities or aspirations. The proposal must incorporate a thorough and critical review of literature relevant to the topic, a discussion of theoretical approaches to understanding and studying the topic, a conceptual or theoretical framework that will guide the study, and a robust methodological plan that includes assurances of completing Institutional Review Board (IRB) review and any interview or other protocols necessary to submit for IRB review. Dissertation proposal defense occurs at any point during or at the end of the academic term. Students receive feedback from the faculty advisor, other committee members, and their cohort peers during their defense.

The EdD dissertation is distinct from the PhD dissertation in that the intent of the EdD dissertation is not to build theory but to make a substantive contribution to practice-focused scholarship in a particular domain of K-12 educational leadership. EdD dissertations are typically less lengthy than PhD dissertations and cover a smaller scope of theorizing and data collection. They are, however, held to the same standards as PhD dissertations with respect to methodological validity, data analysis, and writing quality and clarity.

Following successful defense of the dissertation proposal and after securing IRB approval, students carry out an original research project intended to make a significant practice-based contribution to the field. While the EdD dissertation is meant to have practical and applied relevance, however, it is nonetheless expected to engage rigorously with existing literature and theory appropriate to the student’s chosen topic and to demonstrate the student’s ability to execute robust methods appropriate to the student’s research question(s). Toward this end, EdD students:

  • prepare a dissertation study report that is a standard academic manuscript, which includes an introduction, literature review, conceptual/theoretical framework, methodology, results, discussion and references; and
  • produce a white paper/executive summary that distills the lessons of their research for practitioners in their field.


Program Web Address:

Department Information:

Educational Leadership Program

College of Education and Human Development

1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6091


Submission Address for Application Materials:

Department Contacts:


Office of Enrollment Management


Program Coordinator:

Christopher W. McGinley, Ed.D.

Professor of Practice in Educational Leadership