May 26, 2024  
ARCHIVED 2017-2018 Graduate Catalog 
ARCHIVED 2017-2018 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)

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Program Admission Requirements

In addition to the Graduate School Admission Requirements  admission to the EdD program is based upon program selected.  Students in the Doctor of Education Program select one of three concentrations with the following admission criteria:

  1. University Leadership: Master’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
  2. Community College Leadership: Master’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
  3. PK-12 Leadership: Master’s degree in educational administration preferred; Master’s degree in a related field (Education, Special Education, Curriculum and Instruction) will be considered; and leadership experience.)

To be considered for admission,applicants are required to complete the Graduate School application through the Graduate School’s online process, “Apply Yourself” and pay an application fee. Application includes:

  • official scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE);
  • official transcripts for all graduate work; documenting a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5;
  • a resume indicating leadership experience;
  • an application letter;
  • names of three references who will be asked to submit an online recommendation

The Ed.D. is a competitive program with limited cohort size. Applications will be assessed by an admission committee comprised of faculty in the College of Education and Allied Professions. The committee will review all application materials. Applicants who exhibit the highest levels of:

  • writing and communication skills,
  • commitment to pursuing a career as an educational leader,
  • the capacity for further graduate study, and
  • the potential for senior-level leadership in PK-12, Community College or University educational institutions

will be invited for a personal interview, which is the next step in the admissions process. It is important for the applicant to understand that being invited to the interview does not mean acceptance into the program. The interview will involve:

  • a writing exercise, and
  • a meeting with members of the admissions committee to discuss the applicant’s past professional experience, academic goals, ability to work collaboratively with others, and aspirations for future work upon successful completion of the degree.

* Applicants admitted to the P-12 Leadership concentration who intend to complete the requirements for a Superintendent’s license must have earned a Principal’s license prior to being admitted to the program.

Program Description

The Doctor of Education Degree Program in Educational Leadership prepares senior-level leaders for service in P-12 school systems, community colleges, and universities. Students in the Ed.D. program select one of three concentrations: 1) University Leadership, 2) Community College Leadership, or 3) PK-12 Leadership. The Ed.D. requires a minimum of 53 hours beyond the masters, and a minimum of 44 semester hours in the degree must be earned from WCU. Students admitted to the program may be permitted to transfer up to 9 graduate-level credits into the program, with program approval. The program is a cohort model in which all students progress though a prescribed sequence of courses in 9 consecutive semesters, including summers. Cohorts will meet face-to-face at least one weekend each month, with additional instruction delivered online. Students who are unable to follow the schedule will be dropped from their cohort and assigned to the next available cohort. The program includes core coursework in leadership and research, written benchmark assessments, and a disquisition.  Students are expected to complete the program within 3 years and must complete the program within 6 years. The areas in which courses must be completed are as follows:

Leadership Core

18 semester hours. The following courses are required and are to be completed in the order listed.

Research Core

16 semester hours

The following courses are required and to be completed in the order listed.

P-12 Leadership Concentration

9 semester hours selected from:


9 semester hours minimum

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