Ed.D. in Educational Leadership


The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership Program develops courageous educational leaders who engage their minds, hearts, and spirits in the moment of action to lead socially just improvements in schools, communities, and universities. Framed by the Standards for Effective Educational Leaders and Pennsylvania Inspired Leadership, and the principles of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED), the program intentionally integrates both practical and research knowledge to produce leaders who can make a positive difference in the lives of individuals, families, schools, organizations, and communities. These discerning leaders are guided by an ethical imperative for equity and excellence and can translate visionary ideas into real-world success for all children and youth.

The three-year, accelerated, competency-based, practitioner-oriented program results in a doctorate in educational leadership (Ed.D.) and features a cohort model taught by the faculty in the Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership at the Duquesne University School of Education. Cohort members, who come from diverse backgrounds, progress together through cohesive, field-based learning experiences that employ collaborative inquiry, situate learning in real-world problems of practice, and require flexible thinking and evidence-based decision making.

Graduates of the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership Program are uniquely prepared for leadership positions in schools and school systems, as well as educational organizations, agencies, and non-profits focused on quality education for children and youth.

Cohort members who desire certification for principal, superintendent, or central office roles in Pennsylvania school districts can complete additional courses to meet Pennsylvania specific requirements and obtain the PA Letter of Eligibility.

Program Standards and Outcomes

The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership Program Outcomes are aligned with the 2015 Professional Standards for School Leaders, the ELLC Educational Leadership Program District Level Standards, and the Pennsylvania Inspired Leader (PIL) Standards.

Ed.D. in Educational Leadership Program graduates will develop the knowledge and understanding of educational leadership and the scholarship of practice to translate the standards into effective action.

The Professional Standards for School Leaders

Standard 1. Mission, Vision, and Core Values
Effective educational leaders develop, advocate, and enact a shared mission, vision, and core values of high-quality education and academic success and well-being of each student.

Standard 2. Ethics and Professional Norms
Effective educational leaders act ethically and according to professional norms to promote each student's academic success and well-being.

Standard 3. Equity and Cultural Responsiveness
Effective educational leaders strive for equity of educational opportunity and culturally responsive practices to promote each student's academic success and well-being.

Standard 4. Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
Effective educational leaders develop and support intellectually rigorous and coherent systems of curriculum, instruction, and assessment to promote each student's academic success and well-being.

Standard 5. Community of Care and Support for Students
Effective educational leaders cultivate an inclusive, caring, and supportive school community that promotes the academic success and well-being of each student.

Standard 6. Professional Capacity of School Personnel
Effective educational leaders develop the professional capacity and practice of school personnel to promote each student's academic success and well-being.

Standard 7. Professional Community for Teachers and Staff
Effective educational leaders foster a professional community of teachers and other professional staff to promote each student's academic success and well-being.

Standard 8. Meaningful Engagement of Families and Community
Effective educational leaders engage families and the community in meaningful, reciprocal, and mutually beneficial ways to promote each student's academic success and well-being.

Standard 9. Operations and Management
Effective educational leaders manage school operations and resources to promote each student's academic success and well-being.

Standard 10. School Improvement
Effective educational leaders act as agents of continuous improvement to promote each student's academic success and well-being.

Pennsylvania Inspired Leader (PIL) Standards

Core Standard One
The leader has knowledge and skills to think and plan strategically, creating an organizational vision around personalized student success.

Core Standard Two
The leader is grounded in standards-based systems theory and design and is able to transfer knowledge to his/her job as an architect of standards-based reform in schools.

Core Standard Three
The leader knows how to access and use appropriate data to inform decision-making at all levels of the system.

Corollary Standard One
The leader creates a culture of teaching and learning with an emphasis on learning.

Corollary Standard Two
The leader manages resources for effective results.

Corollary Standard Three
The leader collaborates, communicates, engages, and empowers others inside and outside of the organization to pursue excellence in learning.

Corollary Standard Four
The leader operates in a fair and equitable manner with personal and professional integrity.

Corollary Standard Five
The leader advocates for children and public education in the larger political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context.

Corollary Standard Six
The leader supports professional growth of self and others through practice and inquiry.

Required Courses

  • EDDL 701: Stewardship of Practice, 3 credits
  • EDDL 702: Education and Social Justice, 3 credits
  • EDDL 710: Educational Policy and Politics, 3 credits
  • EDDL 711: Research Literacy for Educational Leadership, 3 credits
  • EDDL 720: Learning and Learning Environments, 3 credits
  • EDDL 721: Educational Improvement and Accountability, 3 credits
  • EDDL 730: Community Engaged Leadership for Social Justice, 3 credits
  • EDDL 731: Program Evaluation, 3 credits
  • EDDL 740: Ethics and Educational Law, 3 credits
  • EDDL 750: Assessing Learning and Achievement, 3 credits
  • EDDL 751: Data Analysis and Evidence-Based Improvement, 3 credits
  • EDDL 752: Qualitative Inquiry and Social Justice Advocacy, 3 credits
  • EDDL 801: Qualifying Portfolio Seminar, 3 credits
  • EDDL 802: Dissertation in Practice Seminar, 3 credits
  • EDDL 810: Catalyzing and Communicating Improvement Across Boundaries, 3 credits
  • EDDL 811: Dissertation in Practice I, 3 credits
  • EDDL 820: Scholarly Practitioner, 3 credits
  • EDDL 821: Dissertation in Practice II, 3 credits


Admission Criteria

Candidates seeking admission into the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership Program must fulfill the following requirements and submit them in a completed applications packet that contains:

  • Current Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  • Official transcripts from all institutions of higher learning attended
  • Documentation of a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale on the last 30 hours of graduate work
  • Master's Degree in education or related field from an accredited institution.
  • 2 Written Essays
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • 5 years of educational experience preferred


All classes meet face-to-face on the Duquesne University campus in Pittsburgh, PA. Classes are supported by online resources and enriched with field-based opportunities that promote the critical analysis of real issues in real time through multiple perspectives in order to promote meaningful collaboration and socially just improvements.

Learning Outcomes

The mission of Duquesne's Ed.D. in Educational Leadership Program is the formation of effective educational leaders who aspire to social justice and promote equity and excellence in learning environments for all children and youth.

The program's learning outcomes represent the fusion of its three foundational design elements-social justice leadership, evidence-based improvement research, and community engagement-to nurture a community of effective educational leaders who engage their minds, hearts, and spirits in the moment of action.

Program graduates will be effective educational leaders who:

  • Understand how their personal narrative shapes their views about the literature, schools, organizations, groups and their own approach to social justice leadership.
  • Understand how to create collaborative environments that welcome and serve diverse members, including cultural/linguistic diversity, gender, special needs, and age-span differences.
  • Appreciate how social, cultural, political, and historical forces have influenced educational leadership, educational policy, and program evaluation locally and globally, with an understanding of how student experiences in schools and educational outcomes of historically underserved populations have occurred.
  • Are knowledgeable of the legal, ethical, and political advocacy processes, policies, practices, and partnerships in which education is embedded.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the role of conflict and the importance of ethics in leadership and decision-making.
  • Understand and support the importance of trust and the ethical expectations of the education profession and strive to make their professional practice serve the needs of students, family, school, district, and community.
  • Exhibit appreciation for evidence in decision-making, that is drawn from multiple sources via sound means of collection, and tested against scholarly literature and the realities of changing circumstances to hold themselves and all stakeholders accountable for effective practice and improved learning opportunities for all students.
  • Are able to undertake first-hand investigations of local problems using applied research methods to make meaningful, interpretable, valid, reliable, and authentic improvements.
  • Demonstrate a knowledge of research that allows them to interpret findings, make judicious applications of research, evaluate programs, and advise others in policy positions and improvement initiatives.
  • Use the results of research and a deep understanding of organizational structures, cultures, and networks, to lead effective and accountable improvement efforts within their organizations.
  • Can explain the strengths and limits of research and scholarly literature, and the basis of validity, reliability, credibility, and interpretability.
  • Will foster and encourage effective educational practice within their schools, districts, universities/college, communities and educational organizations based on research and scholarly literature.

Contact Information

(412) 396-5274