Educational Leadership Doctorate (Ed.D.)
The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership is a professional degree program principally for preparing skilled practitioners.
Students who do not already hold a district-level (superintendent) endorsement may tailor course work in their emphasis area to meet the Kansas District Leadership initial license requirements.
See the Cashiers and Student Accounts website for tuition and fee schedules.
Please complete and return the Admission Standards Self-Survey (PDF).
Applicants seeking admission to this degree program must submit the information noted below. Before starting the online application, gather all information and documents for all of the following admission requirements so that they can be uploaded into the application. All materials must be received before review will begin.
- A completed online Graduate School Application
- Go to the Kansas State University Graduate School home page and click on Start Your Application Now. Follow the prompts for completing the process.
- Application Deadlines:
- U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents –
all required application materials need to be submitted by the following dates:
- Fall semester (begins in late August): March 1
- Spring semester (begins in late January): Oct. 1
- International Students – The online application, application fee, test scores, transcripts, financial documents, and all required application materials need to be submitted by the following dates:
- January 1 for fall (August) enrollment
- August 1 for spring (January) enrollment
- December 1 for summer (June) enrollment
- U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents –
- Graduate School Application Fee
- Domestic Students – An application fee is required for all domestic students; your application will not be processed without this fee. The fee can be paid by credit card when completing the online application.
- International Students – An application fee is required; your application will not be processed without this fee. The fee can be paid by credit card when completing the online application.
- OFFICIAL Transcripts
- You must upload into the online application a scanned copy (PDF preferred) of the official transcript(s) from each college or university where you received your bachelor's degree(s) and completed any post baccalaureate course work or degrees. Transcripts become part of your records at Kansas State University and cannot be returned. Please be aware that printouts from university student portals are not considered a copy of your official transcript.
- If you are admitted, you will be required to submit an official transcript for GPA and degree conferral verification from the institution(s) where you received your degree(s) and completed any post-baccalaureate credits.
- Students whose transcripts are not in English must furnish a translation by an appropriate authority. Failure to list any colleges or universities attended may result in dismissal from the university.
- Statement of Goals and Professional Experience
- You must upload into the online application a 1-2 page statement that includes the following information:
- Career and professional goals and aspirations, and how being accepted to the program will benefit the goals and aspirations
- Your reasons for seeking this degree
- Any research interests
- Past and present employment within education or related fields
- Future professional plans
- If you have a request for a certain advisor, indicate that preference in the statement.
- You must upload into the online application a 1-2 page statement that includes the following information:
- Standardized Test Scores
- No test scores are required for admission to the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership. Applicants may choose to voluntarily submit either GRE or MAT scores if he/she believes a case for admission will be strengthened.
- Letters of Recommendation
- Three letters of recommendation are needed from college or university educators and/or colleagues or supervisors who are qualified to address your professional skills and your potential for success in the graduate program. Enter the names and email addresses of the recommenders into the appropriate area in the online application.
- A Completed Ed.D. Admission Standards Form
- Applicants must complete the Admission Standards Self-Survey (PDF). This is a self-assessment by applicants of their standing in relation to selected admission criteria. The form is available as part of the CollegeNet application process.
- A Writing Sample
- A scholarly writing sample is required. Please download the Writing Sample Instructions (PDF).
- An Interview
- Once all the application materials have been received, the department will contact the applicant to schedule an interview. Interviews are conducted once each semester (fall and spring only). Interview dates and a list of standard interview questions can be obtained in the department office (Department of Educational Leadership, 363 Bluemont Hall, 785-532-5535, email@example.com.
- Preparing for the Interview – A two-step screening procedure is used in the educational leadership program. First, educational leadership faculty review the application materials provided. Second, if admission criteria are met, the applicant will be required to attend a formal screening interview with the faculty. Applicants should be prepared to discuss the following topics during the interview:
- Previous work experience, particularly experience in education
- Academic background
- Reasons for seeking admission to the educational leadership doctoral program
- Anticipated career goals
- To the extent possible, areas of personal research interest
- English Language Proficiency
- To demonstrate competence in the English language, an official report of scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System - academic exam (IELTS) or Pearson Test of English (PTE) must be sent to Kansas State University for all applicants whose primary language is not English. Enter your scores in the online application and upload the report of your scores.
- Learn more about English proficiency requirements at: http://www.k-state.edu/grad/admissions/application-process/international/
International applicants must meet the same academic standards for admission as those required of domestic students. When applying for admission, international applicants must provide an Affidavit of Financial Support and documentation of English language proficiency. Detailed information about these issues is provided at the Graduate School Application Process for International Students website.
The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership requires a minimum of 90 post-baccalaureate, graduate credit hours. With approval of the supervisory committee, up to 30 graduate hours earned as part of the master’s degree may be used to satisfy the degree requirements. All courses are three credit hours unless otherwise noted.
- EDCEP 816 – Research Methods in Education or other approved course (waived if in M.S. degree)
Foundations (15 credit hours)
- EDLEA 801 – Ethical Dimensions of Educational Leadership
- EDLEA 810 – Historical and Philosophical Analysis of Leadership in Education
- EDLEA 828 – Scholarly Orientation to Graduate Studies
- EDLEA 845 – Leadership for Diverse Populations
- EDLEA 928 – Organizational Leadership in Education
Research Courses (15 credit hours)
- EDCEP 817 – Statistical Methods in Education (or other approved course)
- EDLEA 838 – Qualitative Research in Education
- Advanced research methods concentration (9 credits)
Area of Emphasis (45 credit hours)
- Transfer from master's degree (30 credits maximum)
- Electives (15 credits, or as approved by the supervisory committee)
Clinical Experience (minimum 3 credit hours)
- EDLEA 991 – Doctoral Internship in Educational Leadership
Dissertation Research (12 credit hours)
- EDLEA 999 – Research in Educational Leadership
Objectives, activities, and outcomes for the clinical experience/internship are commonly determined by the major professor (advisor) in consultation with the student. The supervisory committee may be involved as needed. The clinical experience is intended to provide the student with the opportunity to apply the knowledge base in educational leadership to the problems of practice and to receive feedback and support for the improvement of individual performance. The clinical experience is individualized and is based on the student’s previous training and experience as well as future career plans.
- Major Thrusts
The clinical experience may have one of three major thrusts:
- Training Clinics – Clinics are direct and exacting efforts that are extensively coordinated and monitored. In-house activities could include micro-management, case studies, assessment centers, conferences, programmed activities, film analysis, simulations, coaching, role playing, in-basket exercises, or other activities.
- Research and Development Projects – Solving practical problems necessitates developing, adapting, testing, refining, and re-testing procedures and/or products. This is the sort of activity usually described as research and development. University supervisors will facilitate the activities, including orientation, communication, adaptation, and training.
- On-Site Practica – The practice of educational leadership at a selected location is referred to as a site practicum. The activity has four purposes: (1) to provide an opportunity for professional growth of the student; (2) to provide an opportunity for assessment of the student with regard to potential by the student, the training university, and other educational leadership practitioners; (3) to provide for articulation between the training institution and the practice of educational leadership; and (4) to provide career legitimization and socialization.
- Supervision – The major professor will serve as clinical supervisor and will work with the student to ensure that the institutional requirements for a successful experience are fulfilled.
- Internship Guidelines
To enhance the training experiences of prospective educational leaders, the Department of Educational Leadership has adopted the following guidelines addressing doctoral degree internships:
- Students seeking a doctoral degree through the Department of Educational Leadership shall serve an internship assignment conforming to current CAEP and Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) standards.
- Students seeking a degree through the department shall complete an internship containing at least the following requirements:
- For internship purposes, the student shall complete a directed experience and shall complete the number of hours required by the internship block.
- The student’s total internship experience should contain exposure to a multicultural setting in which time spent in such location should comprise 25% or more of total required clock hours’ experience. An acceptable multicultural setting is any approved organization in which the ethnic/ racial/economic diversity composition is 25% or more.
- The student’s internship portfolio should contain evidence of the multicultural portion of the internship experience.
- The major professor shall review and approve all internship experiences.
If planned and desired, course selection in the doctoral degree program may simultaneously meet coursework requirements for the Kansas District Leadership initial license. Upon completion of these coursework requirements and the state licensure examination, a KSDE application for initial district licensure must be completed.
Students who want to apply for this license should contact Di Murphy, College of Education licensure officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 785-532-5524. For information about licensing, please see the Licensure and Endorsement Assistance web page. After completing the coursework, applicants for the license must also meet the following additional KSDE requirements:
- Take the Praxis exam for the School Superintendent Assessment (i.e., District Leadership). Go to the PRAXIS: Kansas Test Requirements website for registration information. To have your score sent to Kansas State University, enter code # 6334 when registering for this assessment.
- Hold a master’s degree.
- Have a 3.25 grade point average in graduate coursework.
- Have a minimum of three years accredited teaching experience under a valid professional teaching license.
- Have recent teaching experience or coursework (i.e., at least one year of teaching or 8 credit hours within the last six years).
The Educational Leadership Ed.D. is characterized by three primary Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs):
- SLO 1 – Content Area in Educational Leadership
The primary goal is to prepare educational leaders to acquire knowledge, establish beliefs, and develop skills in the following areas: Vision for Learning, Culture for Learning, Management for Learning, Community for Learning, Ethics for Learning, Context for Learning, and Internship for Learning. The educational leader (student/candidate) will be able to promote the success of all students in each of these content areas. The student/candidate will also acquire a breadth of knowledge in the historical, philosophical, socio-cultural, and psychological bases for professional education practice.
- SLO 2 – Internship
The student/candidate will be able to interpret theoretically grounded and research based information, adapt to changing situations, make complex decisions, solve problems, and evaluate actions in a professional education setting.
- SLO 3 – Research
The student/candidate will demonstrate a depth of knowledge across the broad discipline of educational research and apply a method of inquiry to their specific content field of choice through established research methods.
All students/candidates admitted to the doctoral program in the Department of Educational Leadership are assessed on a regular basis for each of the SLO outcomes. For SLO 1, preliminary exams and the dissertation defense rubric serve as direct measures of the achievement of content area outcomes. The dissertation defense rubric is completed by consensus of committee members at the time of the student’s/candidate’s defense presentation and includes both the areas of content and research. The indirect measure for SLO 1 includes a self-assessment rubric containing concepts inherent in the ISLLC standards and serves to document progress on SLO 1 for content area outcomes. The self- assessment rating is based on the student’s/candidate’s perceptions of acquisition of knowledge, skills, and attitudes related to successful leadership across the six standards.
For SLO 2, there are two direct assessments used to determine proficiency levels of students regarding standards/objectives set forth by the internship guideline agreements. These assessments include the Field Supervisor Internship Assessment and the University Supervisor Internship Assessment. Every semester a student enrolls in internship hours for credit, the student prepares a plan outlining the standards/objectives for the internship experience that align with selected ISLLC standards in consultation with the field supervisor and the university advisor. The student keeps a log of activities and produces artifacts documenting completion of their learning objectives. The field supervisor rates the student on completion of the goals for the experience and the advisor does the same (as well as providing a course grade for the hours enrolled.) These two assessments serve as formative data to guide student growth in the program with a culminating goal for students to interpret theoretically grounded, research- based information, adapt to dynamic situations, make complex decisions, solve problems, and evaluate actions within the professional education setting.
For SLO 3, two direct measures provide data regarding student/candidate acquisition of knowledge, performances, and dispositions regarding the important area of research. The dissertation defense rubric provides an opportunity for the committee to denote consensus on the student’s knowledge of the procedures used for the identified research paradigm, the demonstration of the skills associated with the research paradigm, and the behaviors associated with the tenets of ethical research (dispositions expected of good research practices.) In addition, the dissertation advisor (major professor) completes an evaluation considering grades in methods courses, observations of performance on the research proposal, level of performance at each stage of the research process, and at completion of the research and defense. Program goals include student/candidate demonstration of knowledge across the broad discipline of educational leadership and the ability to apply a method of inquiry to specific content fields.
An indirect measure for SLO 1 includes the Student/Candidate Exit Report (with ratings for ISLLC related areas of content). At the end of all the internship hours required on the program of study, the university advisor provides a rating on all standards that were addressed during the comprehensive experiences in the field.
The student exit report also includes two sections pertaining to internship experiences which serve as an indirect measure for SLO 2. The student exit report is completed at degree completion. At this time, students are asked to record their perceptions of growth on each of the six ISLLC leadership standards and then asked their perceptions of the degree to which the internship experiences provided opportunities to engage in activities targeted for each of the standards.
For SLO 3, the student/candidate completes a Self-Assessment of Research Skills. This rubric is completed prior to graduation and indicates the student’s/candidate’s overall perception of each element of the research process.
Additional Program Evaluation
The Ed.D. program in Educational Leadership includes established measures to assess program effectiveness for the KSDE/CAEP and highlights program evaluation and effectiveness aligned with KSDE/CAEP standards and expectations for full program accreditation.