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  • Online Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Management (EdD)

    In a world where new technologies, federal mandates, and global issues are rapidly changing the landscape of education, the need for educator-leaders – primed to transform the practice and invent the future of learning – is more critical than ever. Drexel’s fully online EdD in Educational Leadership and Management program fosters personal leadership growth, empowering you to move ahead professionally.

    Nichole Hall EdD Student at Drexel University

    Ready to take the next step? Apply for Spring 2025 term by the priority deadline, November 4, 2024, to receive priority application review. Learn more.

    What is a Doctorate in Education?

    The Doctor of Education program is specifically designed to prepare innovative leaders, capable of guiding complex organizations through uncertain times. With its focus on evidence-based theory, action research, and collaborative discourse, you will challenge old ways of thinking, while learning to create new models of effective practice across a wide range of educational and business environments.

    Learn how to complete your EdD dissertation online.

    Mentoring and Coaching Program

    Elevate your EdD journey with our EdD Mentoring and Coaching (MAC) program. In your first year, get matched with an experienced MAC alumnus who shares similar career interests. They offer invaluable guidance, helping you navigate coursework and adjust to doctoral life. Benefit from their insights, build networks, and gather career advice. Beyond the first year, forge lasting connections with your MAC for continuous support throughout your program.

    For questions about the program and how to become a MAC or, if you are a new student wishing to be paired with a MAC, please contact edd@drexel.edu.

    Online EdD Program Features

    • The EdD program can be completed in three or five years on a part-time basis, allowing you to work full-time while earning your degree.
    • There is no residency requirement—all courses and the dissertation process can be completed 100 percent online.
    • Ten diverse concentration options are available, allowing you to tailor your degree to your area of interest.
    • You will become part of a student cohort, providing ample opportunities to network and receive support from a cohesive community that learns and grows together.
    • The program’s accredited curriculum incorporates the expert knowledge and skills you must have to become an effective 21st century leader in educational or business environments – from instructional technology integration and transformative leadership, to strategic decision-making, institutional finance, and program evaluation.
    • First year students benefit from our Mentoring and Coaching Program (MAC). The program provides guidance and support to students as they navigate their coursework and opportunities to expand their networks and gather career advice.

    Priority Application Deadline

    Drexel University offers a priority deadline for the online EdD in Educational Leadership and Management. Applications submitted by the priority deadline will receive priority review by the committee, and accepted students will receive an earlier decision. The priority deadline for Spring 2025 is November 4, 2024.

    Applications are still accepted up until the regular deadline for the term. The regular deadline for Spring 2025 is January 13, 2025.

    Concentration Options

    • Creativity and Innovation
      • Option A: Creativity and Innovation
        Provides an in-depth understanding of creativity, enhanced communication, and creative problem-solving; and explores how these may be applied to practical situations in the workplace.
      • Option B: Mind, Brain, Learning, and Innovation
        Looks at advancements in technology and research related to the human learning process and how this informs pedagogical practices across learning formats.
    • Educational Administration
      Examines the impact of education on major social issues and provides the skills and knowledge necessary to develop interdisciplinary models of curricula and teaching strategies. Pennsylvania Superintendent Letter of Eligibility is optional and accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
    • Education Policy
      Engages with policies and policy issues that have an impact on education, those working in it, and those served by it. Includes a heavy emphasis on the roles of ethics and ethical decision-making in policy development.
    • Global & International Education
      Reviews the complex economic, political, cultural, and social structures that shape learning in different parts of the world.
    • Higher Education Leadership
      • Option A: Administration, Leadership, & Assessment
        Examines the historical growth and advancement of colleges and universities in the U.S. with a look at the impact of variables such as the law, politics, and power structures.
      • Option B: Administration, Student Success, & Innovation
        Explores the connection between strategic enrollment management and institutional planning and sustainability with an examination of the student lifecycle from recruitment to the student experience to graduation.
    • Human Resource Development
      Produces 21st century leaders with the competencies and capabilities to facilitate workplace learning, performance, and change in any organizational setting.
    • Learning Technologies
      Teaches the skills needed to solve the technological learning challenges facing schools and businesses. Includes a focus on areas such as instructional design, performance support, virtual communities, learning in participatory culture, and e-learning leadership.
    • Nursing Education
      Prepares registered nurses to assume faculty positions while providing a robust interdisciplinary education between Drexel's School of Education and the College of Nursing and Health Professions. Those who wish to pursue this concentration must have an RN license.
    • Special Education Leadership
      Provides the unique leadership knowledge and skills needed to successfully direct programs within special education. Pennsylvania Supervisor of Special Education certification is optional.

    The Drexel Difference

    Learn more about what makes Drexel's EdD program unique and how our graduates have used the degree to further their careers.

    Program Awards and Accolades

    Drexel's EdD program received the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) Program of the Year Award for 2019, a prestigious distinction that recognizes programs demonstrating excellence, innovation, and impact.

    Alumni Spotlight

    Learn about Dr. Brandon Wallace’s journey in educational leadership and how the EdD in Education Leadership and Management prepared him for success as a professor and a father.

    Archived Webinars

    How long does it take to earn a Doctorate of Education online?

    Drexel operates on the quarter system, which means there are four terms in a calendar year (Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall). The online EdD program requires 60.5-61.5 quarter credits. As working professionals, part-time students typically take three years to earn their degree as part of a cohort. There is also a one-course per term non-cohort plan of study that can be completed in five years.

    Drexel's online EdD is specifically designed for working professionals. The online coursework and no residency requirement means that you can learn on your own schedule.

    What can you do with a Doctorate of Education in Leadership and Management?

    The EdD program is ideal for:

    • K-12 leadership: superintendents, principals, administrators, teachers
    • Higher education administrators
    • Organizers of community programs
    • Leaders in corporations that serve the educational community

    Drexel’s EdD program graduates go on to become leaders and innovators in the areas of instruction, administration, learning, and strategy within many kinds of organizations, including public and private schools, postsecondary institutions, government agencies, non-profit organizations, foundations, and corporations.

    Doctorate of Education Leadership (EdD) Salary Expectations

    Median Salaries for EdD Related Occupations:

    Job Title

    Median Salary*

    Postsecondary Education Administrator




    High School Teacher


    Middle School Teacher


    Elementary School Teacher


    *2016 figures via Bureau of Labor Statistics

    What is the difference between an EdD and a PhD in Education?

    Once you have earned a master’s degree, you have two options for completing a doctoral degree – an EdD or a PhD in Education. Although they are both doctoral programs, they are distinctly different in substance and focus.

    You might consider pursuing an EdD for these reasons:

    • You aspire to work in a hands-on administrative leadership position in educational or corporate environments, government agencies, or nonprofit organizations
    • You want to become a research-informed leader-practitioner, skilled in real-world problem solving, strategic decision making, and organizational transformation

    If you are interested in a faculty position at a higher education institution, a PhD in education would be a great choice. It is far more research-intensive, with an emphasis on creating "new knowledge" in a specific area of study that enhances the profession.

    Additional Program Formats

    State restrictions may apply to some programs.


    This program is organized into four 10-week quarters per year (as opposed to the traditional two semester system) which means you can take more courses in a shorter time period. One semester credit is equivalent to 1.5 quarter credits.

    Core Courses
    Introduction to Doctoral Study in Education 3.0
    Educational Leadership & Change 3.0
    Creative Strategies For Educational Leaders 3.0
    Transformative Leadership: Finding One's Source 3.0
    Educational Leadership for Equity and Social Justice 3.0
    Research Courses
    Educational Research Design I 3.0
    Educational Research Design II 3.0
    Writing for Research, Publication and Funding in Education 3.0
    Applied Research Study 3.0
    Quantitative Research Methods and Data Analysis 4.0
    Qualitative Research Methods and Data Analysis 4.0
    Advanced Qualitative Methods and Data Analysis 3.0
    Doctoral Seminar 1.5
    Program Elective 3.0
    Concentration Courses (see listing of available concentrations and credits below) 12.0-21.0
    Doctoral Dissertation Courses
    Proposal Writing Seminar (optional, if needed) 0.0-13.5
    Proposal Writing Seminar
    Doctoral Dissertation (After defense of the dissertation proposal, students will enroll in EDUC 997 each term until they successfully defend the final dissertation.) 4.5-85.5
    Doctoral Dissertation
    Total Credits 59.0-162.5


    Working closely with your advisor, you'll craft a program concentration most appropriate for your needs and background

    Creativity and Innovation Concentration A: Creativity and Innovation 12.0
    Students will take 4 courses from the list below based on their plan of study:
    Foundations in Creativity
    Tools and Techniques in Creativity
    Creativity in the Workplace
    Neuroscience, Creativity and Innovation
    Global Perspectives on Creativity
    Total Credits 12.0
    Creativity and Innovation Concentration B: Mind, Brain, Learning & Innovation
    Mind, Brain and Learning 3.0
    Neurodiversity in Education and Workforce 3.0
    Neuropedagogy and Assessment 3.0
    Neuroscience, Creativity and Innovation 3.0
    Total Credits 12.0
    Educational Administration Concentration: Pennsylvania Superintendent Certification
    Curriculum Models 3.0
    School Superintendency 3.0
    Parents and Schools 3.0
    School Superintendent's Internship: Curriculum Models 1.0
    School Superintendent's Internship: Parents and Schools 1.0
    School Superintendent's Internship: Budget and Finance 1.0
    School Superintendent's Internship: Human Resource Development 1.0
    Instructional & Curriculum Leadership in Special Education 3.0
    Total Credits 16.0
    Educational Administration Concentration: Principal Certification
    School Law and Politics 3.0
    Integration of Technology with School Instruction and Management 3.0
    School Finance and Facilities 3.0
    School and Community Partnerships and Relations 3.0
    Instructional and Curriculum Leadership 3.0
    School Principal Internship: Technology 1.5
    School Principal Internship: Finance 1.5
    School Principal Internship: Leadership 1.5
    School Principal Internship: Relations 1.5
    Total Credits 21.0
    Education Policy Concentration 12.0
    Students will take 4 courses from the list below based on their plan of study:
    Education Policy: Concepts, Issues, and Applications
    The Shaping of American Education Policy: Global Forces, Interest Groups, and Politics
    American Educational Policy and U.S. Competitiveness
    Quantitative Literacy: Interpreting and reporting data for educational policy and research
    Ethics in Educational Policy Making
    Access & Equity in Educational Policy Making
    Total Credits 12.0
    Global and International Education Concentration 12.0
    Students will take 4 courses from the list below based on their plan of study:
    Global, International & Comparative Education
    Comparative Higher Education Systems
    Culture, Society & Education in Comparative Perspective
    Gender, Education, and International Organizations
    Education for Global Citizenship, Sustainability, and Social Justice
    Educating for Peace, Social Justice, and Human Rights
    Total Credits 12.0
    Higher Education Leadership Concentration A: Administration, Leadership & Assessment 12.0
    Students will take 4 courses from the list below based on their plan of study:
    Neuropedagogy and Assessment
    Comparative Higher Education Systems
    Foundations of Higher Education and Governance
    Legal Issues & Ethics in Higher Education
    Institutional Assessment, Accreditation and Effectiveness
    Total Credits 12.0
    Higher Education Leadership Concentration B: Administration, Student Success & Innovation
    Neuroscience, Creativity and Innovation 3.0
    Student Development Theory and Application 3.0
    Critical Issues & Risk Management in Student Affairs 3.0
    Student Success: Learning and Innovative Support Services 3.0
    Total Credits 12.0
    Human Resource Development Concentration 12.0
    Students will take 4 courses from the list below based on their plan of study:
    Foundations of Human Resources Development
    Coaching and Mentoring for Sustainable Learning
    Organization Development and Change
    Strategic Human Resource Development
    Principles of Adult Learning
    Total Credits 12.0
    Learning Technologies Concentration 12.0
    Students will take 4 courses from the list below based on their plan of study:
    The Learning Sciences
    Learning Engineering
    Play & Learning in a Participatory Culture
    Learning Analytics: Lenses on students, teaching, and curriculum enactment
    Instructional Design Methods
    Total Credits 12.0
    Nursing Education Concentration 12.0
    Students will take 4 courses from the list below based on their plan of study:
    Foundations of Healthcare Education
    Curriculum Design for Higher Level Cognition
    The Role and Responsibility of the Nurse Educator
    Teaching Methods in Nursing Education
    Assessment, Measurement and Evaluation
    Total Credits 12.0
    Special Education Leadership Concentration (Pennsylvania Supervisor of Special Education Certification)
    School Law & Policy in Special Education 3.0
    Instructional & Curriculum Leadership in Special Education 3.0
    Development, Supervision, & Support: Special Education Leadership 3.0
    Organization & Administration of Special Education 3.0
    Supervisor of Special Education Internship: Special Education Leadership 1.0
    Supervisor of Special Education Internship: Instructional Leadership 1.0
    Supervisor of Special Education Internship: Collaboration & Personnel 1.0
    Supervisor of Special Education Internship: Finance & Management 1.0
    Total Credits 16.0
    Special Education Leadership Concentration (Non-Certification Track)
    School Law & Policy in Special Education 3.0
    Instructional & Curriculum Leadership in Special Education 3.0
    Development, Supervision, & Support: Special Education Leadership 3.0
    Organization & Administration of Special Education 3.0
    Total Credits 12.0

    View Course Descriptions

    Admissions Criteria

    • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Master's degree in Education (or another appropriate field) from a regionally accredited institution
      • Master's GPA of 3.5 or above
    • 3 years of work experience relevant to your professional goals
    • Nursing Education concentration only: Current, unrestricted United States RN license

    Required Documents

    With multiple ways to submit documents, Drexel makes it easy to complete your application. Learn more by visiting our Completing Your Application Guide.

    • A completed application
    • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions attended (including trade schools), verifying completion of your bachelor's and master's degrees
    • Three professional letters of recommendation
    • Resume
    • Nursing Education concentration only: Copy of your United States RN license
    • Additional requirements for International Students

    Writing Requirements

    Personal Essay

    • Discuss your professional goals and aspirations, including how your current skills, along with your study of educational leadership, will support the attainment of these goals. (300 words maximum)

    Problem of Practice

    • In the Drexel EdD program, you'll identify a problem of practice that becomes central to your dissertation research. While the final dissertation topic and document evolve over time, generally, our students arrive with one or more ideas for a problem of practice they have an interest in studying.
    • In this essay, please identify and describe a problem of practice relevant to your current (or a former) professional practice. (750 words maximum)
    • Describe the significance of this problem to the organization.
    • Based on your present understanding of the problem, discuss the potential underlying causes and contributing factors that have created the current challenges.
    • What questions could be explored to learn more about the problem that may help to create potential solutions.

    Writing Sample

    • Provide academic papers from prior coursework or journal articles that cite from peer reviewed articles and demonstrate your academic writing abilities. (5-30 pages)
    • If no prior academic papers are available, please create one on a topic of your choice. (5-8 pages)
    • Alternatively, you may provide a writing sample where you are the solo author—this may be a work-based report that evidences your critical thinking and writing skills.

    Supplemental Documents

    The application process is designed to highlight emerging leaders who can display experience leading teams and groups, strategic planning, and research and development. To make your application more competitive, you're encouraged but not required to submit two or more of the following:

    • A detailed statement discussing your sustained leadership activities
    • A detailed statement discussing your creative activities or products
    • A detailed statement discussing your significant research activities or publications

    Drexel University Employee Applicants

    The EdD program only accepts 5 employees per academic year. Once the application submission cycle is closed, all employee applications will be reviewed and decisions will be made at that time with offers being extended to the top five competitive applications. The Drexel University employee application deadline for Fall 2024 is July 15, 2024.


    The tuition rate for the academic year 2024-2025 is $1481 per credit.

    For the academic year 2024-2025, students enrolled in an online graduate academic program will be charged a graduate online program fee of $125 per year.

    • The 3-year program is eligible for Financial Aid. The 5-year program is not eligible for Financial Aid.
    • 30% tuition savings available for:
      • Military members serving on active duty or with the National Guard or reserves, veterans, and military dependents
      • Full-time faculty and staff employed at community colleges and their immediate family members
      • Employees and members of Drexel University Online partner organizations and immediate family members
      • Alumni of Drexel University’s School of Education and College of Nursing & Health Professions master’s degree programs
    • When receiving special tuition plans with Drexel University Online, you may not combine them with other tuition benefits that may be available from Drexel University.
    • Students being readmitted to Drexel University must contact applyDUonline@drexel.edu within the first two weeks of the term to request tuition savings for which they qualify.

    Academic Calendar

    2023-2024 Academic Year


    Classes Begin

    Classes End

    Exams Begin

    Exams End

    Fall 2023

    September 26, 2023

    December 9, 2023

    December 11, 2023

    December 16, 2023

    Winter 2024

    January 8, 2024

    March 16, 2024

    March 18, 2024

    March 23, 2024

    Spring 2024

    April 1, 2024

    June 8, 2024

    June 10, 2024

    June 15, 2024

    Summer 2024

    June 24, 2024

    August 31, 2024

    September 3, 2024

    September 7, 2024


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