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Educational Leadership, Ed.D.

The educational leadership program at Saint Louis University's School of Education is a long-standing, highly-respected graduate program preparing educational leaders through a professional educational doctorate. 

SLU's Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership is designed to prepare students to become executive-level educational leaders. Students enter the program with a master’s or specialist degree in educational leadership or related field. 

The concentration in Catholic education is designed to prepare students to become executive-level leaders in Catholic education. Coursework engages students with the unique aspects of Catholic educational leadership including spiritual leadership and the vocation of a Catholic school leader, and non-public school administration such as funding mechanisms and applicable laws.

Curriculum Overview

The Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership degree requires the completion of 38-44 credits of coursework, a comprehensive written examination, an oral examination, and a doctoral project. Students entering with a specialist degree complete 28-34 credits of coursework.

Course offerings are aligned with the state requirements for accreditation, as well as course requirements students must have to qualify for certification. Those courses are set up over a three-year cycle so all entering students have access to the courses they need. The doctoral project is designed to address a problem of practice and is completed by a team. Additionally, each member prepares an individual analysis report.

In the Catholic education concentration, the doctoral project is designed to address a problem of practice in Catholic educational leadership. The project is completed by a group of cohort members as a team. Additionally, each member prepares an individual analysis report.

Fieldwork and Research Opportunities

The program includes site-based activities aligned with coursework as well as the three-credit hour internship required for certification.

In the Catholic education concentration, students complete a practicum requiring involvement in school-site leadership activities at multiple schools. Catholic education students seeking Missouri certification as a superintendent must complete an additional site-based internship.

Careers

This Ed.D. prepares students to be executive-level leaders such as school district superintendents, assistant superintendents, directors,  teacher leaders, and/or organizational leaders as well as strengthening the knowledge and skills of building-level leaders. It prepares students for possible faculty positions in colleges and universities.  Additionally, some doctoral students design a special individualized program to prepare for the principalship or a leadership role in a nonprofit, medical, or business organization.

Possible career paths for someone pursuing the concentration in Catholic education include school president, (arch)diocesan superintendent, assistant superintendent, school director, curriculum director, or other central office positions, as well as strengthening the knowledge and skills of experienced building-level leaders.

Admission Requirements

Begin your application for this program at www.slu.edu/apply.

Application Requirements

  • Transcript(s)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Résumé
  • Professional goal statement

Requirements for International Students

Along with the general admission requirements above, the following must be provided by prospective international students:

  • Demonstration of English Language Proficiency.
  • Proof of financial support that must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University.
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University.
  • Academic records, in English translation, for postsecondary studies outside the United States. These must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Application Deadlines

Domestic students should apply for the fall semester by June 15, for the spring semester by November 1 for and the summer semester by April 1. International students should apply by May 1 for the fall semester, October 1 for the spring semester, and February 1 for the summer semester.

Review Process

Applications are reviewed by committee.

Apply Now

Scholarships and Financial Aid

For priority consideration for graduate assistantship, apply by Feb. 1. 

For more information, visit the student financial services office online at https://www.slu.edu/financial-aid/index.php.

Accreditation 

The Catholic education concentration offered through the Institute for Catholic Education meets the catechetical requirements for the Archdiocese of St. Louis and the standards from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

  1. Graduates will apply discipline-based literature to educational administration practices.
  2. Graduates will apply evidence-based practices in educational administration, aspects of running a school district, and educational theories to analyze issues related to executive-level administration.
  3. Graduates will articulate arguments or explanations about evidence-based practice in leadership, communication, legal, financial, curriculum/instruction/assessment and management in educational leadership.
  4. Graduates will propose and conduct research related to educational leadership practices emphasizing professional integrity in the field.

Ed.D. students who enter the program with a master's degree complete 38 credits, including leadership courses and fieldwork. If a student seeks a superintendent certificate upon graduation, specific coursework is required. 

Required Courses
EDL 6390Gateway Leadership Institute2
EDL 6950Special Study for Written Comprehensive Exams0
EDR 6971Research Topics EdD3
EDL 6960Project Guidance3
Content Courses
Students select 30-credits from the following:30
EDL 5914
Internship: Superintendent Internship
EDL 6110
School District Administration
EDL 6190
School, Community, and Politics
EDL 6200
Ethics of Ed Leadership
EDL 6300
Advanced School Law
EDL 6400
Sem: Human Resources Admin
EDL 6450
Managing the District Level Curriculum
EDL 6470
School Facilities
EDL 6690
School Business Administration
EDL 6730
District Level Professional Development and Teacher Evaluation
EDSP 6110
Special Education Administration
Research Courses0-6
Total Credits38-44

Without Ed.S.

Required Courses
EDL 6390Gateway Leadership Institute2
EDL 6950Special Study for Written Comprehensive Exams0
EDR 6971Research Topics EdD3
EDL 6960Project Guidance3
Electives
Students select 30-credits from the following:30
EDL 5914
Internship: Superintendent Internship
EDL 6110
School District Administration
EDL 6190
School, Community, and Politics
EDL 6200
Ethics of Ed Leadership
EDL 6300
Advanced School Law
EDL 6400
Sem: Human Resources Admin
EDL 6450
Managing the District Level Curriculum
EDL 6470
School Facilities
EDL 6690
School Business Administration
EDL 6730
District Level Professional Development and Teacher Evaluation
EDSP 6110
Special Education Administration
Research Courses0-6
Total Credits38-44

With Ed.S.

 

Ed.D. students who enter the program with a Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership complete 28 credits, including leadership courses and fieldwork. If a student seeks a superintendent certificate upon graduation, specific coursework is required.

Required Courses
EDL 6390Gateway Leadership Institute2
EDL 6950Special Study for Written Comprehensive Exams0
EDR 6971Research Topics EdD3
EDL 6960Project Guidance3
Electives
Students select 20-credits from the following:20
EDL 5914
Internship: Superintendent Internship
EDL 6110
School District Administration
EDL 6190
School, Community, and Politics
EDL 6200
Ethics of Ed Leadership
EDL 6300
Advanced School Law
EDL 6400
Sem: Human Resources Admin
EDL 6450
Managing the District Level Curriculum
EDL 6470
School Facilities
EDL 6690
School Business Administration
EDL 6730
District Level Professional Development and Teacher Evaluation
EDSP 6110
Special Education Administration
Research Courses0-6
Total Credits28-34

Catholic Education Concentration without Ed.S.

Required Courses
EDL 6390Gateway Leadership Institute2
EDR 6971Research Topics EdD3
EDL 6950Special Study for Written Comprehensive Exams0
EDL 6960Project Guidance3
Elective Courses
Students select 30 credits from the following:30
EDF 6300
Studies in Catholic Education
EDF 6310
Seminar: Catholic Education
EDL 5200
School-Community Relations
EDL 6110
School District Administration
EDL 6200
Ethics of Ed Leadership
EDL 6300
Advanced School Law
EDL 6450
Managing the District Level Curriculum
EDL 6470
School Facilities
EDL 6690
School Business Administration
EDL 6730
District Level Professional Development and Teacher Evaluation
Research Courses0-6
Total Credits38-44

Catholic Education Concentration with Ed.S.

Required Courses
EDL 6390Gateway Leadership Institute2
EDR 6971Research Topics EdD3
EDL 6950Special Study for Written Comprehensive Exams0
EDL 6960Project Guidance3
Elective Courses
Students select 20 credits from the following:20
EDF 6300
Studies in Catholic Education
EDF 6310
Seminar: Catholic Education
EDL 5200
School-Community Relations
EDL 6110
School District Administration
EDL 6200
Ethics of Ed Leadership
EDL 6300
Advanced School Law
EDL 6450
Managing the District Level Curriculum
EDL 6470
School Facilities
EDL 6690
School Business Administration
EDL 6730
District Level Professional Development and Teacher Evaluation
Research Courses0-6
Total Credits28-34

Research Courses

Students must finish master’s level graduate research courses before completing the program. If a student does not have some or all of these courses completed prior to admission, they may take them during the doctoral program. Students are required to successfully complete two of the following prerequisite research courses prior to finishing the program. For those enrolled in the Catholic Education Concentration, one of these two courses must be EDR 5100 Introduction to Inferential Statistics. 

EDR 5000General Research Methods for Education3
EDR 5100Intro to Inferential Stats: Ed3
EDR 5400Qualitative Research in Education3
EDR 5500Evaluation of Education Programs3

Non-Course Requirements

  • Students must pass a written comprehensive examination.
  • Students must pass an oral examination/project defense of their doctoral project focused on a problem of practice.

Continuation Standards

Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 in all graduate/professional courses.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester.  Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Without Ed.S.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
EDR 6971 Research Topics EdD 3
EDL 6110 School District Administration 3
EDR 5000 General Research Methods for Education (if not already completed as a prerequisite) 0-3
 Credits6-9
Spring
EDL 6190 School, Community, and Politics 3
EDL 6470 School Facilities 3
 Credits6
Summer
EDL 6390 Gateway Leadership Institute 2
EDL 5913
or EDL 5914
Internship: Building Principal
or Internship: Superintendent Internship
1
EDSP 6110 Special Education Administration 2
EDR 5100 Intro to Inferential Stats: Ed (if not already completed as a prerequisite) 0-3
 Credits5-8
Year Two
Fall
EDL 6450 Managing the District Level Curriculum 3
EDL 5300 School Law 2
 Credits5
Spring
EDL 6200 Ethics of Ed Leadership 3
EDL 6730 District Level Professional Development and Teacher Evaluation 3
 Credits6
Summer
EDL 6690 School Business Administration 2
EDL 5913
or EDL 5914
Internship: Building Principal
or Internship: Superintendent Internship
2
EDL 6950 Special Study for Written Comprehensive Exams 0
 Credits4
Year Three
Fall
EDL 6400 Sem: Human Resources Admin 3
 Credits3
Spring
EDL 6960 Project Guidance (may be taken in one semester if student is finishing or may be distributed over 3 semesters if student needs additional year to complete) 3
 Credits3
 Total Credits38-44

With Ed.S.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
EDR 6971 Research Topics EdD 3
EDL 6110 School District Administration (3 of 10 hours not taken - recommended for audit) 0-3
EDR 5000 General Research Methods for Education (if not already completed as a prerequisite) 0-3
 Credits3-9
Spring
EDL 6190 School, Community, and Politics 3
EDL 6470 School Facilities 3
 Credits6
Summer
EDL 5913
or EDL 5914
Internship: Building Principal (1 of 10 hours not taken - not taken if not needed for certification)
or Internship: Superintendent Internship
0-1
EDL 6390 Gateway Leadership Institute 2
EDSP 6110 Special Education Administration 2
EDR 5100 Intro to Inferential Stats: Ed (if not already completed as a prerequisite) 0-3
 Credits4-8
Year Two
Fall
EDL 6450 Managing the District Level Curriculum 3
EDL 6300 Advanced School Law (2 of 10 hours not taken if not needed for certification and with Ed.S.) 0-2
EDL 5913
or EDL 5914
Internship: Building Principal
or Internship: Superintendent Internship
0
 Credits3-5
Spring
EDL 6730 District Level Professional Development and Teacher Evaluation 3
EDL 6200 Ethics of Ed Leadership 3
EDL 5913
or EDL 5914
Internship: Building Principal
or Internship: Superintendent Internship
0
 Credits6
Summer
EDL 5913
or EDL 5914
Internship: Building Principal (2 of 10 hours not taken if not needed for certification and with Ed.S.)
or Internship: Superintendent Internship
0-2
EDL 6690 School Business Administration (2 of 10 hours not taken if holding Ed.S.) 0-2
EDL 6950 Special Study for Written Comprehensive Exams 0
 Credits0-4
Year Three
Fall
EDL 6400 Sem: Human Resources Admin 3
 Credits3
Spring
EDL 6960 Project Guidance (may be taken in one semester if student is finishing or may be distributed over 3 semesters if student needs additional year to complete) 3
 Credits3
 Total Credits28-44

Catholic Education Concentration without Ed.S.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
EDR 6971 Research Topics EdD 3
EDL 6730 District Level Professional Development and Teacher Evaluation 3
EDR 5000 General Research Methods for Education (if not already completed as a prerequisite) 0-3
 Credits6-9
Spring
EDL 6300 Advanced School Law 3
EDL 6690 School Business Administration 3
 Credits6
Summer
EDL 6470 School Facilities 3
EDL 6110 School District Administration 3
EDR 5100 Intro to Inferential Stats: Ed (if not already completed as a prerequisite) 0-3
 Credits6-9
Year Two
Fall
EDL 6450 Managing the District Level Curriculum 3
EDF 6310 Seminar: Catholic Education 3
 Credits6
Spring
EDF 6300 Studies in Catholic Education 3
EDL 5200 School-Community Relations 3
 Credits6
Summer
 
EDL 6200 Ethics of Ed Leadership 3
EDL 6390 Gateway Leadership Institute 2
EDL 6950 Special Study for Written Comprehensive Exams 0
 Credits5
Year Three
Fall
EDL 6960 Project Guidance 1
 Credits1
Spring
Completion of the Doctoral Project and Oral Examination  
EDL 6960 Project Guidance 2
 Credits2
 Total Credits38-44

Catholic Education Concentration with Ed.S.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
EDR 6971 Research Topics EdD 3
EDL 6730 District Level Professional Development and Teacher Evaluation 3
EDR 5000 General Research Methods for Education (if not already completed as a prerequisite) 0-3
 Credits6-9
Spring
EDL 6300 Advanced School Law (3 of 10 hours not taken/recommended for audit) 0-3
EDL 6690 School Business Administration (3 of 10 hours not taken/recommended for audit) 0-3
 Credits0-6
Summer
EDL 6470 School Facilities 3
EDL 6110 School District Administration (3 of 10 hours not taken/recommended for audit) 0-3
EDR 5100 Intro to Inferential Stats: Ed (if not already completed as a prerequisite) 0-3
 Credits3-9
Year Two
Fall
EDL 6450 Managing the District Level Curriculum 3
EDF 6310 Seminar: Catholic Education 3
 Credits6
Spring
EDF 6300 Studies in Catholic Education 3
EDL 5200 School-Community Relations 3
 Credits6
Summer
EDL 6200 Ethics of Ed Leadership 3
EDL 6390 Gateway Leadership Institute (1 of 10 hours not taken/recommended for audit) 1-2
EDL 6950 Special Study for Written Comprehensive Exams 0
 Credits4-5
Year Three
Fall
EDL 6960 Project Guidance 1
 Credits1
Spring
Completion of the Doctoral Project and Oral Examination  
EDL 6960 Project Guidance 2
 Credits2
 Total Credits28-44

Program Notes

The Educational Doctorate in Educational Leadership cohort program in Catholic school leadership includes outcomes aligned with national and state standards as well as those articulated by the Catholic Church. Courses are taught as part of a cohort program that is enhanced by problem-based learning, evidence-based content that connects theory and practice, and opportunities for practice.

Students engage in professional learning by collaborating with peers using problem-oriented instructional strategies, studying a curriculum grounded in the literature on effective practice, and engaging in professionally-guided practice in schools.

All courses for both public school and Catholic school leadership are taught in a four-Saturday format (fall and spring), and in an eight-week period spanning mid-May to mid-July in the summer.

Catholic coursework engages students with the unique aspects of Catholic educational leadership such as including spiritual leadership and the vocation of a Catholic school leader, and non-public school administration such as funding mechanisms and applicable laws.

Coursework engages students with the unique aspects of Catholic educational leadership including spiritual leadership, the vocation of the Catholic school educator, and the evangelizing Catholic school, and non-public school administration such as recruitment, funding mechanisms, and laws applicable in religious schools, while preparing students to take the assessments for superintendent certification. Students seeking Missouri state certification as a superintendent may be required to take additional coursework.

The degree additionally requires the completion of a written comprehensive examination, a doctoral project and an oral examination.

Apply for Admission

For additional admission questions, please contact:
Saint Louis University School of Education
314-977-3292
slued@slu.edu