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Tarleton State University EDD graduates

Estimated Completion

63 Credit Hours (3 years)

Application Process

  1. Submit online application
  2. Submit required program application materials
  3. Complete an interview and writing assessment

Summer 2022 Cohort
Priority Deadline: November 1
Regular Deadline: April 1


Locations Available


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

Through the Dennis P. McCabe Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, you’ll graduate from Tarleton as a scholar-practitioner leader. You will be well-equipped to apply theory, professional knowledge and practice in transforming educational organizations, guiding change and addressing problems of practice through scholarship and systematic methodologies.

Designed to meet the schedules of full-time professionals, our three-year, cohort EdD degree program for all levels of education offers a relevant, approachable and affordable education doctorate with online components. Through theory and practice, we prepare you to improve education by engaging multiple and diverse perspectives and building leadership capacity in yourself and others.

Choose from three concentrations:

You can also earn a Superintendent Certification or Principal Certification to enhance your credentials and further specialize your education doctorate.

What is Educational Leadership?

At Tarleton, our Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership program prepares educational professionals for collaborative leadership in an ever advancing and rapidly changing field. This is a clear pathway in how to become a school district superintendent, higher education leader or other educational administrator.

We focus on the scholar-practitioner, who combines professional knowledge and skills with practical wisdom to solve problems of practice. Problems of practice are recurring, specific issues in a certain context of a professional practitioner’s work. Scholar-practitioners use practical research and applied theories as tools for change to potentially improve understanding, experience and outcomes.

What Can You Do With Your Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership?

The leadership and critical-thinking skills you’ll gain through our Doctor of Education leadership degree program are relevant, applicable and necessary to improve educational organizations now and in the future. For many of our graduate students, this path is how to become a school district superintendent, higher education leader or administrator in education.

Working for schools, independent school districts, county colleges, public universities, regional or state organizations and more, our graduates take on a variety of educational leadership roles, from curriculum coordinator and executive director to superintendent and higher education administrator.

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Why Study Educational Leadership?

Unlike many Doctor of Education leadership degree programs, our EdD program focuses on helping leaders improve their organizations, which makes it particularly relevant to their current and future work.

Tarleton State University professor works with students

Share your passion in a collaborative learning environment

Following a doctoral cohort model with face-to-face and online components, you’ll interact with a local cohort in both concentrations and connect with graduate students in the same concentration but at other locations. This enriches the learning experience while offering networking and professional development opportunities.

student working at a computer

Earn a doctorate designed for experienced, working professionals

Our EdD degree program offers a combination of face-to-face and online course work to accommodate full-time working professionals. New cohorts begin each summer. Courses feature online and face-to-face interactions and are scheduled in the evenings and on weekends.

Educational Leadership students in a study away

Gain additional perspective through study away or study abroad

Study away in Washington, DC, with the DC Institute, where you can experience educational policymaking and governance processes. Study abroad in a variety of countries, where you can compare international educational systems with those in the United States.

a group of three Tarleton State University students

Make an impact with graduate-level research

Through dissertation work and other independent research opportunities, you can apply your research in your work and may have opportunities to share your results with colleagues at academic and professional conferences such as the TASA Midwinter Conference or the CPED consortium convenings.

male Tarleton State University standing in front of a campus building

Study with student-centered, engaged faculty

Our program faculty come from a variety of backgrounds, including K–12 leadership, higher education leadership, research methodology and educational policymaking. Our diverse research interests span all levels of education and educational leadership.

What Classes Will You Take as a Educational Leadership Graduate Student?

The doctoral dissertation in practice is embedded in the curriculum and involves an in-depth study that impacts a complex problem of practice. Other course topics include the scholar-practitioner leader, investigating problems of practice in educational leadership and educational equity and identity.

View all required classes for the educational leadership doctoral degree.


a group of Tarleton State University students talking

Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate

One of only eight Texas colleges invited to join, Tarleton is a consortium member of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED). We participated in redesigning the EdD to differentiate it from the PhD and structure it to be a more relevant doctoral degree for educational leaders who want to improve their organizations.

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Already Earned a Superintendent Certification?

The post-master’s Superintendent Certification courses may substitute for course requirements in the EC–12 Education Leadership concentration of our EdD degree program. Find out how!


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Effective Schools Project

Tarleton’s Effective Schools Project (ESP) is one of the nation's largest school-improvement endeavors, linking our faculty with campus leadership teams through a network of over 50 Texas schools. Since its inception, ESP has partnered with more than 200 public schools and education service centers in providing professional development opportunities to educators.

What Post-Master's Degrees are Related to Educational Leadership?