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Estimated Completion

63 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


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Ed.D. in Educational Leadership


This program is designed to expand the knowledge of students through high-quality research and applied scholarship. The coursework consists of 63 credit hours, 15 of which are allotted for students to specialize in one of two cognate areas.

Jump Right In

Students in the Ed.D. program will be part of a cohort for the 63 hours of require coursework. Research shows that students who engage in cohort-based doctoral programs complete their doctorate degrees at higher rates than individualized programs.

Designed With You in Mind

The Ed.D. program is specifically formatted to fit the busy schedule of full-time professionals. Courses are delivered in a hybrid format, meaning they have both online and lecture components. This format provide students with the flexibility to work when and where it is most convenient for them, all while maintaining constant interaction that can be crucial to networking opportunities. The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership also offers students the opportunity to receive one of two certifications in order to expand their credentials:


Related Programs

Plan Your Future

Student talking to employer about career opportunities

Career Opportunities

An Ed.D. in Educational Leadership will open many doors to great career opportunities, including:

  • Public or Private School District Superintendent or Principal
  • Curriculum Coordinator for a K-12 District
  • Higher Education Faculty or Administrator
Howell Building

Carnegie Project

Tarleton is one of 22 new schools accepted into the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED), making it one of only eight Texas colleges invited to join. CPED works to strengthen and improve education doctoral programs worldwide in order to better equip professional practitioners to meet current educational challenges.

Student getting a real classroom experience teaching children

Real Experience

Our students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience through several avenues, such as:

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

Career Services

Our Ed.D. program is cohort-based, which provide students with both networking and professional development opportunities that can transfer directly into careers. 98% of our Ed.D. students are employed in full-time positions within three months of completing our program. Visit Career Services to get help with your 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, assessing and/or appraising.
  • Articulate and utilize the relationships among federal, state, and local education agencies, as well as 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 while conducting applied research appropriate to each 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 6111 Critical Issues in Educational Leadership
EDAD 6310 Historical and Theoretical Foundations 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 6112 Methods of Educational Research
EDAD 6313 Statistical Methods in Educational Leadership
EDAD 6325 Methods of Inquiry I
EDAD 6331 Methods of Inquiry II

For more information on courses, please refer to the university catalog.

Specialization/Cognate Area - 15 Semester Hours

In their specialization area, students will work with their advisor to establish a program that supports their professional goals and objectives. A minimum of 15 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 is to provide evidence-based research to public schools regarding the impact of facility design on student learning capacities. In 2010, TRLEF was awarded a grant from the United States Department of Education to develop The American Clearinghouse on Educational Facilities (ACEF). In 2011, TRLEF was renamed the Texas Center for Educational Facilities by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents and continues to provide information, training, and technical assistance to public schools.

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

Effective Schools Project

Originally initiated in 1988, Tarleton State University's Effective Schools Project (ESP) has since evolved into one of the nation's largest school-improvement endeavors. With effective schools research as its foundation, ESP is an education improvement network linking our faculty with campus leadership teams in over 50 Texas schools. Since its inception, ESP has partnered with 216 different public schools and Education Service Centers to provide professional development opportunities for educators.

Files people from Cross Timbers School Development Council smiling.

CTSD 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 administrators to discuss ideas 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 involving administrators and school districts.
  • The Spring Conference is sponsored by the Texas Association of School Boards and provide various trainings for school board members in affiliated districts. Activities of the CTSD Council are guided by a six-member Board of Directors and coordinated by Dr. Mark Weber.