Be an Education Game Changer

The future of education needs a leader with an edge. It needs a bold innovator with the knowledge and passion necessary for bringing large-scale change. It needs you. 

Nova Southeastern University helps you move education forward at school, district, or national levels with an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership. Challenge yourself to solve real-world problems through project-based planning and implementation. Master how to advocate for school improvement. Discover ways to boost administrative competencies. Navigate educational trends in a changing world.

Unlike research-heavy Ph.D. programs, an Ed.D. from NSU will give you a more hands-on approach to leading. Our graduates earned their degree in their own time and are currently shaping schools everywhere, as assistant principals and principals, superintendents, school district leaders, and university deans and presidents. Your own path to making a meaningful difference for the students of tomorrow starts today.

Two Capstone Options for Completing Your Education

NSU’s Ed.D. program offers two capstone options for completing your education: the Applied Dissertation or the Strategic Research Project (SRP). Both choices are designed to help you formulate tough questions and learn how to begin answering them as you prepare for educational leadership. You must successfully complete one of these capstones in order to graduate.

Who Should Apply

  • Practicing superintendents, assistant superintendents, principals, assistant principals, and lead teachers in public and nonpublic K–12 education.
  • Individuals with master’s degrees or above in education who are on an administrative track who wish to obtain a doctoral degree and increase their knowledge and skills in education administration and leadership.
  • Individuals considering a Ph.D. in educational leadership who want to explore the benefits of an Ed.D. program.

Quick Facts


Visit the Tuition and Fees page for more information.


NSU’s Ed.D. in Educational Leadership program is a minimum of 55 total credits to complete.

Delivery Options

Classes for the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership are offered fully online. All doctoral students are required to participate in at least one Summer Institute.

Application Deadlines

Applications for admission are accepted online and on a rolling basis for all graduate programs throughout the calendar year. No entrance exam required.

Earning Potential

School Superintendent

$166,719 Average Salary Per Year

Professor - Education

$100,226 Average Salary Per Year

Education Consultant

$103,356 Average Salary Per Year

Source:, 2021

Ed.D. in Educational Leadership Curriculum

Concentration Area Courses (21 credits)
EDLR 8410
Leading an Educational Organization: Theory, Practice, and Reflection (EDLR 8410 / Credits: 3 )
ORGL 8750
Strategic Planning (ORGL 8750 / Credits: 3 )
EDLR 8420
Policy, Power, and Politics in Educational Leadership (EDLR 8420 / Credits: 3 )
EDLR 8425
School-based Inquiry and Transformation (EDLR 8425 / Credits: 3 )
EDLR 8430
Legal and Ethical Issues in Educational Leadership (EDLR 8430 / Credits: 3 )
EDLR 8435
Current Topics in Educational Leadership (EDLR 8435 / Credits: 3 )
EDLR 8460*
The Principal and School Leadership (EDLR 8460* / Credits: 3 )
EDLR 8461*
The Superintendent and District Leadership (EDLR 8461* / Credits: 3 )
Elective Courses (3 credits)
Elective courses can be additional courses within the student’s chosen concentration, from another concentration or additional research electives. ( / Credits: 3 )
Summer Institute (1 credit)**
FSC 8000
Summer Institute (Residency Requirement) (FSC 8000 / Credits: 1 )
Applied Dissertation or Strategic Research Project (12 credits)
DISR 8966
Applied Dissertation 1: Prospectus*** (DISR 8966 / Credits: 3 )
DISR 8967
Applied Dissertation 2: Proposal Development*** (DISR 8967 / Credits: 3 )
DISR 8968
Applied Dissertation 3: Proposal*** (DISR 8968 / Credits: 3 )
DISR 8969
Applied Dissertation 4: Applied Dissertation*** (DISR 8969 / Credits: 3 )
ESRP 9000
Strategic Research Project I (ESRP 9000 / Credits: 6 )
ESRP 9001
Strategic Research Project II (ESRP 9001 / Credits: 6 )
Required Courses (12 credits)
EDD 8100
Academic Writing (EDD 8100 / Credits: 3 )
EDD 8200
Leadership, Communication and Technology (EDD 8200 / Credits: 3 )
RES 8100
The Nature of Knowing: Introduction to Research Methods (RES 8100 / Credits: 3 )
RES 8200
Research Methods II (RES 8200 / Credits: 3 )
Quantitative Research Track (6 credits)****
RES 8911
Quantitative Research Design (RES 8911 / Credits: 3 )
RES 8921
Quantitative Data Analysis (RES 8921 / Credits: 3 )
Qualitative Research Track (6 credits)****
RES 8916
Qualitative Research Design (RES 8916 / Credits: 3 )
RES 8926
Qualitative Data Analysis (RES 8926 / Credits: 3 )
Research Track for those completing the Strategic Research Project (6 credits)
RES 8910
Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods (RES 8910 / Credits: 3 )
RES 8924
Data Visualization for Strategic Planning (RES 8924 / Credits: 3 )

*You will have the option of choosing between these two courses. 

**Doctoral students are required to attend at least one Summer Institute as part of required coursework. During each day of the institute, students will attend sessions where they will learn valuable skills to help them be successful in the program. There will also be sessions offered specifically to assist with the understanding and completion of the culminating capstone option (applied dissertation or strategic research project) that all students are required to complete. The sessions offer a unique blend of direct instruction and time for students to ask questions and connect with NSU faculty and engage with fellow students. The overall goal of the institute is to immerse students in a learning experience that will provide students with the information and tools needed to be a successful Ed.D. student. For additional information, please visit the website at

***Students who complete all of their coursework and have registered for all of their dissertation benchmark courses (prospectus, proposal development, proposal, and applied dissertation) within the first three years will be required to register for ADS 8090 - Applied Dissertation Services I in order to receive dissertation services from their committee. Beginning with the fourth year (37th month/10th semester) following initial enrollment, and irrespective of remaining coursework, doctoral students are required to register for ADS 8091 - Applied Dissertation Services II, up to the point of degree completion, in order to receive dissertation services from their committee. Credits earned from ADS 8090 or ADS 8091 do not count toward the minimum credit hour requirement for the Ed.D. degree.

****For students completing the Applied Dissertation, you will select either the Quantitative Research Track or the Qualitative Research Track. 

Ed.D. in Educational Leadership Professional Licensure Disclosure

Admission Requirements

Ready for the Next Step?

We’re thrilled you’re applying to this Ed.D. program at NSU.

This program opens opportunities in areas of research, academia, and management for those who are ready to advance as well as for individuals considering a career change.

Applications for admission are accepted online and on a rolling basis. No entrance exam is required. 


Apply Now

Have the following items ready to submit with your online application:


  • $50 application fee
  • Transcripts from all schools attended
  • Two professional letters of recommendation by two different individuals who can attest to the applicant's ability to succeed in a doctoral program


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