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Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) 

Educational Leadership 
60 Credit Hours


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The doctoral program in Educational Leadership is designed for professionals working in schools or other institutional settings. Program faculty are committed to the creation and study of environments that promote lifelong learning for people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. The program is designed for working professionals attending the university part-time to complete the program in three years.

The program requires 60 credit hours (with a minimum GPA of 3.25 to remain in the program), a comprehensive examination (which can be taken a maximum of two times) and a dissertation. There are 39 hours of core courses, 9 hours of approved concentration-specific courses, and a minimum of 12 hours of dissertation research. Students may choose from five concentrations: K-12 Leadership, Higher Education Administration, Socioscientific Studies, Literacy Studies, or Nurse Educator. Students will typically take two courses each spring and fall and three courses each summer. Courses are conducted face-to-face, online, or in hybrid format. On-campus class sessions are offered weekdays after 4:30 pm and may be attended synchronously via web conferencing software.

The doctoral program in Educational Leadership aims to enhance the knowledge and competencies of leaders so they may provide optimal conditions for the education of youth and adult learners. The program is designed to enhance intellectual understanding of leadership theory and policy, deepen leadership capacity, and position students for elevated organizational responsibility. The objectives of the program are to prepare leaders who (a) are inquiring, reflective practitioners; (b) are competent in identifying and solving complex problems; (c) understand the multitude of leadership and organizational theories and techniques related to their professional settings; (d) value, encourage, and facilitate the professional development of self and others in their organization; (e) value, understand, and support diversity in their organizations; (f) make contributions to the profession; and (g) make data-driven decisions.

Austin Peay State University is a member of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate, which is the knowledge forum on the EdD. It has a membership of over 100 schools of education in the United States and Canada that work collaboratively to improve professional preparation in education at the highest level.

This program is intended to prepare practicing educational professionals to draw on educational theory and research, and the expertise of colleagues and faculty, to address the pressing problems of practice facing educational leaders today. Those with an EdD may work in a variety of higher education institutions, K–12 district- and school-level settings, private schools, non-profit organizations, businesses, and government. This program is not intended to prepare educators for tenure-track faculty positions in research-intensive universities.

Students seeking administrator licensure (TN Instructional Leadership License-Beginning (ILL-B)) will need complete additional coursework, fieldwork, and testing prior to applying for administrator licensure. Review the Tennessee Department of Education website for details. Please note you must have a minimum of three years of P–12 teaching experience prior to beginning licensure courses.

  • teachers—who improve the lives of their students, the culture of their schools, and the development of their profession;
  • innovators—those who create and implement new ideas within and beyond their own contexts;
  • leaders—who work to ensure the success of everyone within and beyond their reach;
  • change agents—who persistently work to make things better;
  • disrupters—who challenge the status quo; and collaborators—who make everyone they are working with feel valued and included.
  • Visit the CPED Website


He Hanrui
He Hanrui
Doctoral Graduate

Dreams and dedication are a powerful combination; I am beyond grateful for being in the cohort to realize my educational leadership dreams!

For information related to admission requirements or to view the courses within each program, please visit the graduate bulletin. Review of applications will begin January 15th and continue until the cohort is full. 

Program Contact Information:
Dr. Andrea Lee