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Educational Leadership (Georgia)

The Doctor of Education with a concentration in Educational Leadership (Georgia) is designed specifically for practicing district and school administrators, education leaders, and classroom teachers on an administrative track in prekindergarten through 12th grade public and nonpublic schools and school systems in Georgia.

The primary goal of the concentration in Educational Leadership (EDL) is to improve our K-12 schools by preparing candidates for leadership and lifelong learning in the fields of K-12 educational administration. The doctoral program fosters an in-depth application of knowledge and skills, inquiry and research, problem-solving, collaboration and communication, professional development, ethical behavior, and higher order thinking skills.

The graduates of the EDL concentration will be leaders in improving schools and other learning environments; expanding their administrative competence and modeling visionary leadership; advocating and implementing educational improvement using informed action research, effective application of change theory, collaborative decision-making and strategic planning, risk and creativity, and appropriate evaluation; and identifying and addressing contemporary and future educational issues in a changing world.

Who Should Apply

  • Practicing Georgia superintendents, assistant superintendents, principals, and assistant principals, in public and nonpublic K–12 education; OR
  • Individuals with a master’s degree or above in school leadership or administration who are on an administrative track and who wish to obtain a doctoral degree and increase their knowledge and skills in education administration and leadership

The following are specific admission requirements for entry into the Doctor of Education programs. Please refer to the admissions application or catalog for specific program admission requirements and information for international students.

  • Completed online application for admission, including ($50) nonrefundable application fee
  • An official transcript from a regionally accredited institution indicating a conferred master’s degree with a minimum CGPA of 3.0, and official final transcripts from all institutions of higher education (community colleges, bachelor’s programs, post-graduate programs)
  • Professional letters of recommendation from two (2) individuals who can attest to the applicant’s ability to succeed in a doctoral program
  • A test score report* from one of the following exams showing that the applicant received

Miller Analogies Test (MAT): Raw score of 37 (scaled score 391–396) on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT)


Graduate Record Examination (GRE): For tests taken prior to August 1, 2011, a combined score of 1000 on the verbal and quantitative sections; for tests taken on or after August 1, 2011 a combined score of 300 on the verbal and quantitative sections.

*The test must have been taken within the past five years. Applicants who do not meet the minimum recommended test score are not required to submit additional information or retake the exam to be considered for admission

  • Completed Transfer of Credits form if applicable

Additional admission requirements for students in the GaPSC-approved Educational Leadership program:

  1. Completion of a Master’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution (must be in school leadership or administration) or successful completion of educational leadership prerequisite or pre-service requirement.*
  2. Tier I entry level certification or a valid, GaPSC-issued Standard Professional L or PL certificate in Educational Leadership.
  3. Current service in a leadership position at either the P-12 school or Local Unit of Administration (LUA) level (or agency or organization equivalent to LUA level) that will enable the candidate to fully meet the program residency requirements.
  4. Current school/district endorsement and agreement for residency at the Building or District level (via the Superintendent’s Assurance Form and the Residency Agreement).
  5. Two letters of recommendation from a direct supervisor who can attest to the applicant’s ability to succeed in a doctoral program.
  6. Minimum of three years of verifiable school/district experience prior to admission to the program.

* Pre-service courses: Candidates who do not have a graduate degree in educational leadership, school leadership or administration, can only be provisionally admitted. In order to attain full admission status, candidates must successfully complete the following two pre-service courses: EDL 702-Standards-Based Curriculum (3 credits) and Assessments and EDL 720-School Law for Administrators (3 credits).

**Candidates enrolled in any GaPSC-approved Educational Leadership program on or after July 1, 2016, must have completed, but do not have to pass, the Georgia Ethics for Educational Leadership Assessment – Program Entry prior to enrollment. A candidate who completes the Program Entry assessment for Tier I, does not have to complete the Program Entry Assessment for Tier II.

Note: It is anticipated that transition to the new GaPSC Tier II advanced level certification requirements will occur during the 2016-17 academic year. Updates will be furnished via an addendum to the catalog and posted on the FCE website.




Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
DSO 8000 Doctoral Studies Orientation 0


*Denotes required course that will be offered blended and online

Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
EDD 8200* Leadership, Communication, and Technology 3
EDLR 8410 Leading an Educational Organization: Theory, Practice, and Reflection 3
EDLR 8415 Strategic Planning for Educational Leadership 3
EDLR 8420 Policy, Power, and Politics in Educational Leadership 3
EDLR 8425 School-based Inquiry and Transformation 3
EDLR 8430 Legal and Ethical Issues in Educational Leadership 3
EDLR 8435 Current Topics in Educational Leadership 3
Select one of the following to align with the level of certification you are seeking:
EDLR 8460 The Principal and School Leadership 3
EDLR 8461 The Superintendent and District Leadership 3


Required Courses

Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
RES 8100 The Nature of Knowing: Introduction to Research Methods (Required Course) 3
RES 9300 Methods of Inquiry (Required Course) 3

Please select ONE of the following research tracks based on your dissertation (please consult your RES 9300 professor and your dissertation chair prior to registering):

Quantitative Research Track

Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
RES 8911 Quantitative Research Design 3
RES 8921

Quantitative Data Analysis


Qualitative Research Track

Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
RES 8916 Qualitative Research Design 3
RES 8926

Qualitative Data Analysis



The Applied Dissertation is a detailed, accurate, and cohesive account of a scholarly investigation designed to answer one or more research questions. It is required of all FCE doctoral students and its purpose is to improve practice in education and human services. The dissertation process consists of a total of 12 credits encompassing four major benchmarks.

Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
DISR 8966 Applied Dissertation 1: Prospectus 3
DISR 8967 Applied Dissertation 2: Proposal Development 3
DISR 8968 Applied Dissertation 3: Proposal 3
DISR 8969 Applied Dissertation 4: Applied Dissertation 3


Students will fulfill this requirement by selecting from a variety of educational leadership courses.

Students seeking certification must take the electives that align with the level of certification they are seeking:

Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
EDLR 8490 Reflection and Vision for School Leaders 3
EDLR 8498 Internship (Building Level) 3
EDLR 8495 Reflection and Vision for District Leaders 3
EDLR 8499 Internship (District Level) 3


Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
FSC 8000 Summer Institute (Residency Requirement)         Students must attend one Summer Institute during the 36 months of study. 


Beginning the 37th month of the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program, students will enroll in ADS 8091, Applied Dissertation Services, in order to receive dissertation services and support from Dissertation Committee Chairs and/or other NSU faculty and staff. In cases where students are not enrolled in any classes prior to the 37th month and where Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) students require support from Dissertation Chairs and/or other NSU faculty and staff, ADS 8090 may be used to satisfy Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements for continuous matriculation.

Course Number Course Title and Description Credits
ADS 8091 Applied Dissertation Services 0

*Note: Students must be registered for ADS 8091 to be eligible for continuing services.



Click on the button below to download the Course Equivalencies/Substitutions for the Educational Leadership Concentration

Course Equivalencies/Substitutions

For advising assistance, please send an email to

Coursework for the Doctor of Education is available online, which allows international students and those who don't live near our South Florida campus to receive and submit coursework, and interact with classmates and professors, via the Internet. This distance education option allows busy professionals like you to earn your degree without work disruption or long commutes.

In addition to coursework, all doctoral students are required to participate in the Summer Institute in Florida.

Faculty members for the Doctor of Education are scholars and educators from Nova Southeastern University and other major universities and institutions throughout the country. In addition, many are also highly respected professional practitioners, who are carefully selected on the basis of their subject area expertise, teaching abilities, and professional involvement. Most importantly, they are united in their desire to not only educate, but to inspire students to use what they learn to motivate others.

The purpose of the Doctoral Studies Orientation (DSO 8000) is to provide an overview critical to beginning the Ed.D. program. This noncredit course is a requirement for all doctoral students at NSU's Fischler College of Education. Students should register for and complete the online DSO modules in the first term along with the first "credit-bearing" course. For additional information, please visit the DSO Web site.

The Summer Institute is a week-long conference designed for doctoral students. During the doctoral program, students are required to attend at least one FCE Summer Institute as part of required coursework.  


  • Completion of the Doctoral Studies Orientation (DSO 8000)
  • Participation in the Summer Institute (FSC 8000)
  • Satisfactory completion of all required courses
  • Successful completion of an applied dissertation
  • Cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher
  • Completed application for degree and satisfaction of all NSU/FCE financial obligations

Additional graduation requirements for students in the GaPSC-approved Educational Leadership program:

All candidates completing any GaPSC-approved Educational Leadership program on or after July 1, 2016, must attempt the Georgia Ethics for Educational Leadership – Program Exit for program completion and must pass the assessment to earn certification in the field of Educational Leadership. A candidate who completes the Program Exit for Tier I certification, does not have to complete the Program Exit Assessment for Tier II.

Important note: Candidates must comply with any rule changes and/or additions instituted by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) affecting Educational Leadership certification. All students should refer to the GaPSC, for updates and eligibility requirements.

Coursework for the GaPSC-approved Educational Leadership doctoral program is aligned directly with state certification guidelines in Georgia.
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