Educational Leadership

Doctor of Education
  • Overview
  • Course Information
  • Tuition
  • Benefits

Education needs qualified leaders and NCU’s Doctor of Education (EdD) in Educational Leadership specialization prepares you to address management and leadership in education by developing the tools to guide others through training, excellence in teaching, research and service. Working with your professors, you will learn to address management issues in education such as school law, safety and diversity. As a graduate, you will be prepared to pursue positions as a specialist in K-12 educational leadership.

General Degree Requirements

The EdD program may be completed in 54 credits. However, up to an additional 12 credit hours will be allowed as needed to complete the dissertation research. An Academic Advisor or Enrollment Specialist evaluates each student individually and works with the student to create an academically sound Learning Plan based on prior academics and their professional goals.

Completion Period for Doctoral Degrees

Northcentral University allows 7 years to complete all doctoral programs of 60 credits or less. Normal time to complete varies depending upon course take rate and credits transferred.

Northcentral University may accept a maximum of 12 semester credit hours in transfer toward the doctoral degree for graduate coursework completed toward a non-conferred doctoral degree at an accredited college or university with a grade of “B” or better. Transfer credit is only awarded for course work that is evaluated to be substantially equivalent in content with the required course work for the EdD program.

Certification and Licensing

The School of Education serves educational leaders by providing online graduate studies in education to reach worldwide populations. The EdD program is designed to reach national and international markets and does not purport to provide licensure or certification in any particular state or country.

Doctor of Education (EdD) Degree Requirements

  • Individuals with a previously completed master’s degree will meet the basis of admission to the Doctor of Education Program.
  • Students must complete all doctoral courses with a Grade Point Average of 3.00 (B) or higher.
  • EdD students must demonstrate competency in specific subject areas prior to enrolling in any of the specialization or elective courses.

Doctoral Dissertation Process

The School of Education has developed a logical step-by-step process that assists in completing an EdD applied research dissertation. Northcentral University provides a detailed EdD Dissertation Handbook that explains the process and Northcentral University's dissertation support structure. The EdD doctoral research courses, the comprehensive exam course and the dissertation courses are specifically designed to guide students through the process.

The dissertation is the capstone academic achievement of the EdD. The EdD dissertation is applied, project based and results in a product designed to produce appreciable improvements in the student's school or organization and must also impact the student's leadership growth. Although applied and project based, the EdD dissertation is a scholarly document. To earn the EdD degree, the student must demonstrate the ability, drive and determination; and Northcentral University will provide the faculty, the academic support and process to assist in the attainment of high academic goals.

The School of Education offers students the opportunity to pursue an area of specialization within a degree program. Students who complete at least 18 semester credit hours in a specific specialization may elect to have the specialization recorded on their transcript and diploma.

Northcentral University recognizes that each student is unique, and therefore evaluates each application based not only on what courses or program of study a student has accomplished previously, but takes into consideration which specialization is being pursued at Northcentral University and their current and future professional goals.

Course Length

Existing EdD students may opt to switch to eight-week courses by contacting their Academic Advisor. Once existing EdD students have opted for eight-week courses, they must receive approval from the Office of the Dean to switch back to a program of 12-week courses. All eight-week courses are indicated by a "-8" (dash eight) at the end of the course code.

See below for specialization courses specific to this program. To learn more, fill out the request information form below or view the course catalog.

Course Code


Course Description


School Law

In this course, students will address legal issues pertinent to teacher, administrator, and student legal rights and responsibilities in daily school activities. Students will also review legal process, structures of the law, legislation/ litigation, and practices to avoid.


Language Arts and Reading

In this course, students are introduced to research-based instruction that effectively prepares each candidate to deliver a balanced, comprehensive program of instruction in reading, writing, and related language arts. A balanced approach to reading/language arts instruction includes explicit instruction in basic reading skills and comprehension strategies for all students, including students with varied reading levels and language backgrounds.


Educating a Diversity of Learners

As the United States continues to experience increasing cultural diversity, today's educators must appraise, assess, and argue the best means to reach diverse and exceptional students. Additionally, individuals differ in gender, sexual orientation, age, physical, and mental abilities. Students will choose and compare different means to address the nature of cultural diversity, its sources and importance to educators. Finally, students will organize, plan, prepare and write instructions that a district might use to meet the needs of diverse students, taking into consideration epistemological and axiological perspectives unique to each culture.


Educational Leadership

In this course, students will be presented to an examination of contemporary theories, models, concepts, and practices for efficient approaches to leadership within an educational organization. Students will study how to effectively apply these concepts to educational settings. Topics include time management, philosophy, principles of an effective leader, and leadership styles.


Financial Issues in Schools

This course is designed to introduce and explore concepts in school finance and school business management. Specifically, the course content will cover school finance and school business practices as it pertains to the national, state, and local practices.


Safety Issues for Educators

The content of this course provides educators with the skills and information to analyze safety data, plan for both school safety interventions and procedures and to manage crises in an educational setting. Topics include school safety, crisis management, intervention plans, and community safety partnerships.


Supervision and Leadership in Schools

In this course, students will explore real world experiences, and common challenges encountered by school leaders. During this course, students study the organizational behavior in schools, which emphasizes the practical relevance of educational leadership in this new era of accountability and high-stakes testing. Topics include: development theories and collaborative planning models for enhanced professional practice which includes; distributed leadership, professional learning communities, parental involvement, and sustainable leadership to impact student growth.


Policies and Practices in Leadership

In this course, students will focus on research, theory and philosophy in developing powerful schools that educate all children well, grades K through 12. Students will learn about various school reform efforts, policies and politics behind various local, states, and federal efforts, and be able to draw upon the educational change and leadership literature to develop their own process and design for better schools.


Development of Organizational Leadership

In this course, doctoral students will explore classic and contemporary approaches to organizational development. Students will explore preferred communication styles, cultivate relationships, develop strategies, and evaluate optimal strategies for organizational growth. Finally, students will be introduced to the doctrines of organizational development, theory, and techniques.

At Northcentral University, we pride ourselves in being completely transparent when it comes to tuition and fees. If a cost is not included in our Cost Per Course Tuition Rate, we let you know up front. Currently, the only additional cost above your program rate* is books. Learn more about the NCU’s EdD costs below:

  • Per credit cost: $902
  • Per 3 credit course cost: $2,706
  • Program cost: $49,058
  • Average book cost per course: $110
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Learning Management Fee (one-time per program): $350
  • Registration Fee: $0

Click here to learn more about payment and financing options.

*Program rates are subject to change and generally increase at the start of each calendar year.

Total program costs reflected are calculated based on standard degree program credits exclusive of the program’s potential evaluation track. The actual cost of a program is determined based upon the program and track the student enters, transfer credits if any, and other unique student factors. For more information: please contact Admissions or refer to the catalog.

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about our students, it’s that they are motivated and ambitious—but they are also busy! At Northcentral University, we’ve designed our education experience to work with you, not against you, so you can achieve your academic goals without sacrificing the quality, flexibility and support you need to be successful.

To learn more, request information or call 1-866-776-0331 to speak with an enrollment advisor today. We offer new courses every Monday of the year so you can get started when it’s best for you.