Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations (ELC)

EdD in Educational Leadership

The EdD in Educational Leadership is a 54 semester hour doctoral program designed to prepare students for the advanced study of educational leadership and administration. The EdD in Educational Leadership requires commitment to the pursuit of four ambitious goals: in-depth inquiry and research on issues and topics related to educational administration and leadership, leadership for improvement in teaching and learning, equity and social justice for all students, and the development of schools as democratic communities.

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Program Contact

Kathryn Hytten
School of Education Building Room 348


All you need to know about the application process – click here to get started.

License Option

EdD students who hold a North Carolina initial principal license and advanced principal/advanced superintendent license are eligible to receive the North Carolina doctoral superintendent license upon completion of their degree.

Non-license Option

Students also have the option to pursue the EdD without license. This option represents an individualized approach from the outset of student entry. Students choose coursework with the guidance of an adviser.

Example careers

Principal, Executive Director, Assistant Superintendent, Superintendent, University Professor

Designed for

Typically, Ed.D. students are K-12 school administrators and practitioners who are seeking the doctorate as means to increase their knowledge and abilities as leaders who pursue educational equity and excellence.

Connection to EdS

Students who have completed their EdS at UNC Greensboro can apply up to 18 credits from that program to the EdD. Note that UNC Greensboro Ed.S. students must apply for admission to the EdD near the conclusion of their EdS studies at UNC Greensboro. 

Research interests

Students typically research issues related to leading and managing K-12 schools as well as educational reform efforts.

Program of study

The EdD program consists of 42 hours of coursework in three domains: foundational (18 hours), focus area (12 hours), and research methods (12 hours). Foundational and focus area courses vary based on student interests and (where applicable) coursework carried over from the EdS. Research courses students typically choose include:

  • ELC 688 Introduction to Doctoral Inquiry
  • ELC 665 Approaches to Qualitative Inquiry
  • ELC 767 Qualitative Data Collection and Analysis

Students also complete 12 hours of dissertation research.


Program and course delivery

In the EdD during the Fall and Spring terms, courses are offered in the evenings on weeknights or monthly on Saturdays as well as through online formats. Summer courses are typically offered online.

Note that during the dissertation research and writing year, students engage in independent research and writing with support from faculty and (if applicable) student peers rather than formal classes.

For more information

For more in depth information about the EdD program, its linkage to the EdS, time to degree completion, and course delivery, click here.

Our goal is for every student in the School of Education (SOE) to be able to focus on their studies and not on student debt. A variety of financial aid is available to our students, including scholarships based on academic merit and financial need. We invite you to explore the many scholarship opportunities offered in the School of Education.