The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

School of Education - Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)


The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership is a 54 semester hour doctoral program designed to prepare students for advanced study of educational leadership and administration. The degree does not lead to administrator licensure in North Carolina. The principal’s license is obtained through the Masters of School Administration (MSA) or the Post-Masters Certificate in School Administration. The superintendent’s license is obtained through the Specialist in Education (Ed.S.) degree.

The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership is committed to the pursuit of four ambitious goals: in-depth inquiry and research on issues and topics related to educational administration and leadership, leadership for improvement in teaching and learning, equity and social justice for all students, and the development of schools as democratic communities.

Students who have completed their Ed.S. at UNCG can apply up to 18 credits to the Ed.D. Note that Ed.S. students must apply for admission to the Ed.D. near the conclusion of their Ed.S. studies.

Program Information/Requirements

The Ed.D. program consists of 42 credit hours of coursework and 12 hours of dissertation research. Courses are offered in the evenings during the Fall and Spring terms as well as during various times of day in the Summer. Some courses are offered off campus or as online courses. The time allowed for obtaining the degree is seven years after the first date of enrollment (or the first transfer course counted for credit, whichever comes first). Most students typically take two courses per term. It is advisable to reserve at least one to two years for dissertation work.

Application and Admission

In addition to the application materials required by The Graduate School (see, the applicant must submit a resume’ or curriculum vitae and a personal statement (see for details). Admissions decisions are made once per year in mid-April and applicants must submit all application materials by March 31st to be considered for Fall semester admission.

Degree Requirements
Foundational Coursework (18 hours)
Coursework from the areas of administration and leadership, curriculum and instruction, social and cultural foundations, or research that provides a foundation for the student’s in-depth inquiry in the focus area (see below). Coursework in this category may be counted from the EdS program if courses meet Graduate School regulations and are approved by the student’s doctoral committee.

Focus Area Coursework (12 hours)
Coursework in this category should be carefully selected to help the student develop scholarly expertise in her/his chosen focus area within educational leadership. Focus areas and supporting coursework include the following:

Organizational & Leadership Studies
ELC 662 Power, Politics, & Schools
ELC 688 Contemporary Topics: Leadership, Equity, & Democracy
ELC 691 Urban School Organizational Leadership: Best Practices
ELC 752 Theories in Educational Administration
ELC 754 Personal Leadership Assessment and Development

Law, Policy & Finance
ELC 659 Educational Finance
ELC 688 Contemporary Topics: Law and Culture
ELC 688 Contemporary Topics: Church-State Relations
ELC 688 Contemporary Topics: School Policy and Reform
ELC 751 Cases & Concepts in Educational Leadership
ELC 755 Law & Policy in Special Education

Curricular & Instructional Leadership
ELC 615 Foundations of Curriculum
ELC 672 Technology & Administrative Leadership
ELC 673 Principal Leadership for Special Education
ELC 675 Schools as Centers of Inquiry
ELC 686 Curriculum Theory
ELC 688 Contemporary Topics: Issues in Leadership and Instruction
ELC 688 Contemporary Topics: Data and Action Research
ELC 688 Contemporary Topics: Analyzing and Cultivating Instructional Efficacy
ELC 688 Contemporary Topics: 21st Century Teaching, Learning and Leading
ELC 693 Introduction to Critical Pedagogy

Social, Cultural, Historical, & Ethical Foundations of Educational Leadership
ELC 604 Moral Dimensions of Education
ELC 616 Culturally Responsive Leadership
ELC 661 Ethics and Education
ELC 663 Educational Administration in Historical Perspective
ELC 683 Engaging the Public in Education
ELC 688 Contemporary Topics: Law and Culture
ELC 688 Contemporary Topics: Church-State Relations
ELC 688 Contemporary Topics: Leadership, Equity, & Democracy
ELC 697 Selected Critical Issues in American Education
ELC 721 Social and Cultural Change and Education

Research (12 hours)
Coursework in this category should be carefully selected to help the student develop research expertise that facilitates the completion of a high-quality dissertation. Courses may be selected from a single or multiple methodological perspectives.

Students pursuing a qualitative track would typically complete the following courses:
• ELC 665 Approaches to Qualitative Inquiry or ELC 664 Foundations of Interpretive Inquiry
9 additional hours from those listed below would be selected by the student in consultation with her/his committee chair:
• ELC 767 Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis
• ELC 688 Contemporary Topics: (Various qualitative research topics)
• ELC 666 Writing Preparation & Proposal Development
• ELC 775 Directed Doctoral Research (should not be taken until 9 hours of research courses have been completed)
• Other research courses pre-approved by the advisor & committee

Students pursuing a quantitative track would typically select, in consultation with their committee chair, from courses such as the following:
• ELC 688 Statistics & Basic Quantitative Methods for Educational Leaders
• ERM 604 Methods of Educational Research
• ERM 605 Educational Measurement & Evaluation
• ERM 642 Evaluation of Educational Programs
• ERM 668 Survey Research Methods in Education
• ERM 680 Intermediate Statistical Methods in Education
• ERM 682 Multivariate Analysis
• ERM 732 Hierarchical Linear Modeling
• ERM 750 Case Study Methods in Educational Research

Dissertation (12 hours)
• ELC 799 Dissertation (12 hours)

EdD Timeline and Forms
Click on this link to see EdD Timeline and Applicable Forms

Transfer Credits
Students may transfer in up to 18 Ed.S. credits earned at UNCG. Students may also transfer credits from another institution to count toward the Ed.D. Note that the seven-year time clock begins at the date the first transfer course was taken. For students transferring credits from another university, the maximum number of transfer credits may equal no more than one-third of the non-dissertation credit hours in a program. Transfer requests will be reviewed by the student’s committee and the Dean of the Graduate School. For further information on transfer credits, contact the Ed.D. coordinator.

Application Criteria & Procedures
Click on this link to see application procedures

Financial Information
Click on this link for financial aid information

EdS/EdD Program Completion Checklist
Click on this link to see the EdS/EdD Program Completion Checklist

Comprehensive Examination Procedures

Guide for the Preparation of Theses and Dissertations

Contact Information

For application forms for fellowships and assistantships, or for other basic information:

Craig Peck, PhD
Associate Professor and EdS/EdD Coordinator

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