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    Jan 29, 2023  
American University Catalog 2022-2023 
    
American University Catalog 2022-2023

Education Policy and Leadership (EdD)


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Offered by the School of Education , the Education Policy and Leadership (EdD) doctorate program aims to equip learners with knowledge and skills to hone their disruptive innovation, action research, and systems thinking abilities to transform PK-12 education. Through a part-time, online program, students explore issues and opportunities in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education, pragmatically exploring within their current roles and projects within the courses, residencies, and program. The program’s four domains are: systems change, anti-racism, personal leadership, and research and policy.

The three-year, part-time program sets students up for eight semesters of coursework and rigorous practitioner research, supporting students to think about disruptive innovation and how to re-imagine education to be both, anti-racist and in support of all learners. The first six semesters require students to engage in intensive courses, modules, and coaching, and the last two semesters entail the more intensive research, writing, and presenting of our students’ doctoral research; additionally, students receive peer support and seminar support from faculty and students as they are in their final year of research, writing, and presenting. The EdD program focuses on identifying a problem of practice that students can act upon, reflect upon, and evaluate; pulling from the practitioner and academic domains.

Admission to the Program


Typical applicants to the program will include working professionals who want to transform and better their practice and create better learning opportunities for students of all ages. Students must hold an active professional position - whether classroom teacher, counselor, administrator, or other position - that allows them to implement small-scale change. This doctoral program is NOT designed for individuals seeking academic tenure-line positions at research-intensive universities. It might be appropriate for those already in non-tenure line positions (e.g., lecturer, clinical instructor) or working in the community college system. The program is designed for educational leaders who intend to improve their current place of practice or advance in their profession.

Applicants must meet the minimum university requirements for admission to graduate study. Admission is based on academic record, three letters of recommendation, a proposed Problem of Practice and a Writing Sample.

Degree Requirements


  • 40 credit hours of approved graduate work, exclusive of EDU-899 Doctoral Dissertation (9)  
    • Students who have been admitted to the doctoral program in education policy and leadership but do not have a master’s in education must complete the degree requirements for the Education Policy and Leadership (MEd)  before they can be awarded the doctorate

  • Minimum 3.00 cumulative GPA in all graduate work required to remain in good standing and to earn the degree
  • Successful completion of Qualifying Exam
  • Successful completion of Dissertation in Practice

Course Requirements


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