Graduates Standing in front of a building with their graduation cap and gown on.

Estimated Completion

72 credits hours (2.5+ years)

Application Process

  1. Apply to the College of Graduate Studies and Doctoral Program
  2. Selected candidates will be asked to interview with admission committee and qualifying applicants will be notified of admission decision by Dean of the College of Graduate Studies


Locations Available



Ed.D. in Educational Leadership


The Doctor of Education program is designed to expand the knowledge of students while adding to the profession through high-quality research and applied scholarship. This program allows students 21 credit hours to define their own path by specializing in a desired area such as:

  • Higher Educational Administration
  • Superintendent or Principal Certification
  • Educational Technology
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Higher Education Teaching Field

Jump right in.

Students in the Ed.D. program will progress through the 2.5 years of coursework as part of a cohort. Research suggests that students who engage in cohort-based doctoral programs complete the doctoral degrees at higher rates than individualized programs.

Designed with you in mind.

The Ed.D. program is specifically tailored to the full-time working professional. Courses are delivered via a hybrid model, alternating between online and face-to-face. This provides students the opportunity to work when and where it is convenient while also maintaining the interaction and networking opportunities that are crucial to success.


Related Programs

Not what you were looking for? Tarleton State University offers over 100 different degrees and certifications that may be of interest to you, including:

Plan Your Future

Student talking to employer about career opportunities

Career Opportunities

A Ed.D. degree offers you many different career opportunities including:

  1. Public or private school district superintendent or principal
  2. Curriculum coordinator for a K-12 district
  3. Higher education faculty or administrator
Student getting a real classroom experience teaching children

Real Experience

Our cohorts of students enjoy a multitude of real hands on experiences while completing their degree, including:

  1. A trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in the DC Institute
  2. A trip to a K-12 district to participate in the Diversity Institute
  3. Conducting research alongside faculty members
  4. Presenting research findings at major conferences
Career services employees

Career Services

Our Ed.D. program is cohort based which provides our students with networking and professional development opportunities that can translate into careers. 98% of our Ed.D. students are in full time jobs within 3 months of completing our program. Most credit their cohort relationships with helping them land their dream jobs.

  • Visit Career Services to get help with your job search.
  • Find out how our recent graduates are doing in their job search.

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Program Objectives

Students in the Doctoral program will:

  • Understand the importance of "Closing the Gaps" in the targeted areas of the educational processes in Texas and be prepared to contribute to the attainment of those goals in meaningful ways.
  • Apply administrative theory to the educational leadership process.
  • Collect and analyze student performance data to meet/exceed educational accountability standards.
  • Set goals, assign responsibilities and verify how well resources are allocated and utilized in instructional improvements.
  • Develop and administer the curriculum of a school or university with special attention to critical fields of study and preparation for seamless transitions to future educational levels.
  • Use appropriate communication and interpersonal skills in consultation, addressing and assessing and/or appraising.
  • Articulate and utilize the relationships among federal, state, and local education agencies, laws and policies to close the gaps in educational outcomes.
  • Utilize appropriate management functions in administering special programs for special populations.
  • Effectively use established educational research and conduct applied research appropriate to their setting.
  • Apply data to modify educational programs using appropriate leadership styles.
  • Develop positive organizational cultures that build collaboration and collegiality.
Dr. Mary Elliott, Lecturer in Family and Consumer Sciences at Baylor University, sits at her desk smiling.
Thanks to Tarleton's cohort program, I now have 26 professional and personal friendships that will last a lifetime. We encouraged each other through the entire three-year degree program, shared ideas, exchanged lecture notes - even cried and laughed together - and applauded profusely as members crossed the stage to receive their diploma.

Mary Elliott, Ed.D.

Coursework Outline

Leadership Core - 27 Semester Hours

Class Number Class Name
EDAD 6310 Historical and Theoretical Foundations in Educational Leadership
EDAD 6111 Critical Issues in Educational Leadership
EDAD 6314 Philosophy and Ethics in Educational Leadership
EDAD 6321 Education Law and Policy
EDAD 6322 Data Analysis and School Improvement
EDAD 6323 Theory and Practice of Organizational Leadership
EDAD 6324 Advanced Studies in Educational Leadership
EDAD 6330 Educational Governance and Policies
EDAD 6385 Advanced Seminar in Educational Leadership

Research Tools - 12 Semester Hours

Class Number Class Name
EDAD 6313 Statistical Methods in Educational Leadership
EDAD 6112 Methods of Educational Research
EDAD 6325 Methods of Inquiry I
EDAD 6331 Methods of Inquiry II

Specialization/Cognate Area - 21 Semester Hours

In the specialization area, the student will work with his/her doctoral advisor to establish a program supportive of his/her professional goals and doctoral objectives. A minimum of 21 hours may be selected from the educational administration electives or other appropriate graduate coursework.

Facilities and Features

Tarleton Building

Texas Center for Educational Facilities

Initiated in 2008, Tarleton State University formed a unique business partnership with a local architectural firm to create the Tarleton Research Laboratory on Educational Facilities (TRLEF). The primary goal of TRLEF was to provide evidence-based research to Texas public schools regarding the educational impact of facility design on student learning. In 2010, TRLEF was awarded a grant from the United States Department of Education to develop the national clearinghouse on educational facilities, known as The American Clearinghouse on Educational Facilities (ACEF). In 2011, TRLEF was renamed the Texas Center for Educational Facilities (Facilities Center) by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. The Facilities Center continues to provide information, training, and technical assistance to public schools.

Four people holding a book titled "Effective Schools Project 2013"

Effective Schools Project

Initiated in 1988, Tarleton State University's Effective Schools Project (ESP) has evolved into one of the nation's largest and longest-running school-improvement ventures. With the Effective Schools research as its foundation, ESP is a school improvement network linking the Tarleton faculty with campus leadership teams from over fifty Texas schools in an ongoing effort to enhance school effectiveness. Since its inception, ESP has partnered with 216 different public schools campuses and Education Service Centers to provide comprehensive professional development opportunities for educators.

Five people from Cross Timbers School Development Council smiling.

Cross Timbers School Development Council

The Cross Timbers School Development Council is a non-profit organization designed to serve the needs of its member schools. The CTSD Council serves as a forum for school administrators to meet and share ideas and services and has been serving school districts across the region for over 25 years. The CTSD Council hosts two major conferences each year. The fall conference is sponsored by the Texas Association of Community Schools and focuses on current issues facing school districts and school administrators. The spring workshop is sponsored by the Texas Association of School Boards and provides training for school board members in the member districts. Activities of the CTSD Council are guided by a six-member Board of Directors and coordinated by Dr. Mark Weber.