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College of Education

College of Education
006 Bluemont Hall
1114 Mid-Campus Drive North
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506

785-532-7304 fax

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.

The student’s Ed.D. program is directed by a minimum of five members of the university graduate faculty, including a major professor with substantial expertise in the area of emphasis, two other faculty members with strengths in the area of emphasis, one faculty member outside the student’s specialization, and one faculty member, appointed by the dean of the Graduate School, from another curriculum within the College of Education who serves as the chair of the examination committee for the oral defense of the dissertation. Each student’s program of study is individualized with the approval of the major professor and the supervisory committee to optimize the student’s interests, expertise, and goals.

Additional program information can be found in the Program Booklet (PDF).

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Course Delivery: Manhattan Campus
Credits: 90
Tuition Information: See the Cashiers and Student Accounts website for tuition and fee schedules.

Start the Application Process

For more information about the program, contact Dr. Jerry Johnson at johnsoj9@ksu.edu.

Additional Program Documents

Required Curriculum (90 credit hours)

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership requires a minimum of 90 post-baccalaureate, graduate credit hours. With the 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 the M.S. degree)
Foundations (12 credit hours)
  • EDLEA 801 – Ethical Dimensions of Educational Leadership
  • EDLEA 810 – Historical and Philosophical Analysis of Leadership in Education
  • 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)
  • Elective Credits (15 credits, or as approved by the supervisory committee)
Clinical Experience (minimum of 6 credit hours)
  • EDLEA 991 – Doctoral Internship in Educational Leadership (1-12 credits)
Dissertation Research (12 credit hours)
  • EDLEA 999 – Research in Educational Leadership (1-18 credits)

Clinical Experience
  1. Purpose. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:
      1. For internship purposes, the student shall complete a directed experience and shall complete the number of hours required by the internship block.
      2. 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.
      3. The student’s internship portfolio should contain evidence of the multicultural portion of the internship experience.
      4. The major professor shall review and approve all internship experiences.

District Leadership License

If planned and desired, course selection in the Ed.D 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 the College of Education licensure officer Di Murphy at dim@k-state.edu 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Hold a master’s degree.
  3. Have a 3.25 grade point average in graduate coursework.
  4. Have a minimum of three years accredited teaching experience under a valid professional teaching license.
  5. Have recent teaching experience or coursework (i.e., at least one year of teaching or 8 credit hours within the last six years).

Admission Requirements

Admission to graduate study is granted by the Dean of the Graduate School upon the recommendation of the faculty in the graduate program. 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 – Applications are accepted throughout the year.
      • 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
  • 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.
  • 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 Ed.D. Admission Standards form (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
  • 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, foxksu@k-state.edu.
    • 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

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.