Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

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Program Overview

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The Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD) degree is designed to prepare experienced educational leaders for senior level leadership positions in the K-20 environment. This advanced level of preparation fosters the development of knowledge, skills and abilities for individuals to resolve complex educational issues and problems. Program studies include leadership theory, human resource development, organizational theory, policy analysis, planning studies, curriculum and instructional leadership, and political systems analysis. A minimum of 60-semester hours, beyond the Master Degree is required.

The EdD Cohort will be comprised of K-20 educational leaders who will be engaged in coursework and activities relevant to the K-20 spectrum of educational leadership. The dissertation requirement will be based upon ECU's Department of Educational Leadership (LEED) membership in the Carnegie Project on the Educational Doctor (CPED) using the Problem of Practice dissertation framework.

Upon completion of the program, K12 school leaders who hold a North Carolina administrative and/or supervision license(s), are eligible to upgrade those license(s). Note: Individuals seeking the North Carolina Superintendent license (011) will be required to meet the North Carolina Standards for the Superintendent via student artifacts generated with the oversight of a local superintendent and LEED faculty member.

Candidates for the EdD program should have a minimum of:

  • a master’s degree in an education related area
  • proven educational leadership and/or supervisory experience

For additional information concerning program and/or admission guidelines, contact Dr. Marjorie Ringler, Interim Chair for the Department of Educational Leadership (LEED).

Program Details
EdD Application and Admission Information

All application materials must be sent to the ECU Graduate School ( using the GradApply online application account. The Graduate School's email address is March 15, is the application deadline for Second Summer admissions.

If emailing the Grad School, always include your "Name, EdD 2018, and Banner ID" in the subject line (i.e.; SUBJECT: Thomas Williams, EdD, 2018, B00004444).

EDD Application and Admission Criteria:
  • Complete an online application and pay the non-refundable application fee of $70.00 as guided through your GradApply application account. Indicate you are applying for Admissions for the EdD K-12 or the EdD Higher Education Concentration based on your area of expertise. Use your personal, secure, GradApply account to monitor the 100% completion of your application requirements. The Graduate School will send you an email notifying you when your application is 100% complete in their office.
  • The GRE/MAT is not required based on an earned Master Degree or higher.
  • K-12 candidates must upload their current North Carolina teaching and school administration license.
  • Upload your current resume highlighting school/school system or higher educational leadership experiences.
  • Upload your "Statement of Purpose" describing your motivation for pursuing the EdD and how it will help you achieve your long-term professional goals.
  • Submit the names and email addresses for 3 professional recommendation (one must be from the applicant's current supervisor). GradApply prompts you to provide the names and email addresses of your references. They will be sent a secure website to upload their letter of recommendation. Follow up with them to be sure they received the ECU email and that it did not go to their Spam.
  • Request all college/university transcripts for all degrees awarded to you as well for any courses taken outside of a degree since 2010.
  • Once the Graduate School notifies the department of your completed application, a LEED Admission's Interview will be scheduled via SKYPE. An advanced set of questions/scenarios will be provided.
  • Submit a 500 word analytical essay where you make a claim about an issue of educational equity in your local context. Use at least three external resources to support your claim.

Note: There are two distinct admissions' phases. The first is acceptance for admission by the ECU Graduate School; the second is acceptance for admissions by the ECU Department of Educational Leadership (LEED Department).

EdD Application Primary Follow Up Contact Information:,
ECU Department of Educational Leadership
Ragsdale Hall - Room 210
Greenville, NC 27858-4353
Office: 252-328-4825

LEED and EdD Program Leadership Contacts:

EdD Program Contact: Dr. Heidi Puckett

A minimum of 60-semester hours beyond a master's degree is required. Requirements include a research-based dissertation completed under the direction of an appropriate faculty member, as well as a supervised internship experience.

Candidates seeking the EdD with a focus on public school administration must hold Level I licensure in administration or supervision. Upon completion of the program, individuals are eligible to upgrade previously held licenses. Individuals holding administration license (North Carolina principal license 012, class P or class AP) and/or (North Carolina superintendent license 011, class AS) are eligible for (North Carolina 012, class DP) and superintendent license (North Carolina 011, class DS). Individuals holding supervision license (North Carolina curriculum instructional specialist 113, class S) are eligible for curriculum instructional specialist (North Carolina 113, class D).

In addition, it is desirable for all candidates for the EdD program to have a minimum of three years of successful leadership experience. The EdD program is delivered via face-to-face evening class sessions utilizing some online components.

For more information contact (252-328-4825).

Application deadline:
  • Higher Education Administration Concentration Summer II Admission: March 15, 2019
  • K-12 Administration Concentration Summer II Admission: March 15, 2020
For a full listing of all of the names and descriptions of the courses within this program, please visit:
ECU offers two concentrations for the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership.