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 a Shark.

NSU 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. 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.

Options: Graduate With or Without a Dissertation

We now offer an alternate opportunity that allows students to solve problems in a real-world setting. The Education Strategic Research Project (ESRP) is an alternative to the Applied Dissertation. Request information now to learn more about your options.

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.

Take the next steps to success. Apply for NSU’s Ed.D. in Educational Leadership.

Quick Facts

Tuition is $1,460 per credit hour. Additional fees apply. See Tuition and Fees for details. 
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 (24 credits)
EDD 8200
Leadership, Communication, and Technology (EDD 8200 / Credits: 3 )
EDLR 8410
Leading an Educational Organization: Theory, Practice, and Reflection (EDLR 8410 / Credits: 3 )
EDLR 8415
Strategic Planning for Educational Leadership (EDLR 8415 / 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 (6 credits)
Elective courses can be additional courses within the student’s chosen concentration, from another concentration or additional research electives. ( / Credits: 6 )
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 (6 credits)
RES 8100
The Nature of Knowing: Introduction to Research Methods (RES 8100 / Credits: 3 )
RES 9300
Methods of Inquiry (RES 9300 / 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 8911
Quantitative Research Design (RES 8911 / Credits: 3 )
RES 8913
Program Evaluation (RES 8913 / Credits: 3 )

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

**Students must attend one Summer Institute during their program of study. Summer Institute is an opportunity for students to meet with classmates, professors, and staff on-campus in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Students will be able to schedule individual sessions with their applied dissertation committee chairs to discuss dissertation work and with representatives from various service areas. The conference will also offer applied dissertation workshops, as well as roundtable sessions affording students the opportunity to present their dissertation work to a group of peers and receive immediate feedback. 

***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

Mastering Your Dissertation

10 Steps to Completing a Successful Dissertation

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