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Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership

Program Description

The Ed.D. program consists of a minimum of 66 credits. The first 30 credits are earned through the successful completion of an Ed.S. program or its equivalent. The last 36 credits are offered primarily online.

The Education doctoral classes are designed to prepare administrators who are:

  • Capable of providing servant leadership to their districts.
  • Able to make ethical decisions under demanding circumstances.
  • Willing to encourage professional growth in others and exhibit academic excellence to those around them.
  • Able to provide creative, workable solutions to problems as they arise both within the district setting and the larger community.
  • Able to provide leadership in creating an inviting environment for students and staff regardless of their background or circumstances.
  • Able to contribute to the working body of knowledge through scholarly research.

Every graduate education student without an account for the approved accreditation and assessment software must register for an account and pay the one-time registration fee.

Required Courses for Ed.D. in Educational Leadership

For the required Ed.S. courses, see the Educational Specialist sections. The remaining 36 required credits are as follows:

Educational Leadership Emphasis Courses (9 credits)

EDUC9200. Policy Influence and Development (3)
EDUC9300. Effective Leadership for Change Management (3)
EDUC9500. Professional and Ethical Leadership (3)

Research Analysis and Methods (15 credits)

EDUC9150. Introduction to Educational Research (3)
EDUC9160. Qualitative and Quantitative Methods for Educational Research (3)
EDUC9170. Advanced Qualitative Research: Analysis and Methods(3)
EDUC9180. Advanced Quantitative Research: Analysis and Methods(3)
EDUC9400. Advanced Data Analysis and Research I(3)

Dissertation (Minimum of 12 credits)

EDUC9900. Dissertation Proposal* (3)
EDUC9910. Dissertation Research I* (3)
EDUC9920. Dissertation Research II* (3)
EDUC9930. Extended Dissertation Research and Writing (as needed) (3)
EDUC9990. Dissertation Writing and Defense* (3)
EDUC9500 and EDUC9900 are completed during a 2-week, face to face, residency during the summer.
*Indicates a required course

Admission Requirements - Ed.D. in Educational Leadership

After October 15 each year, the Graduate Education Admissions Committee will consider each candidate for admission to the doctoral program for the following January. Each candidate must have the following:

  1. A recognized specialist degree (Ed.S.) or its equivalent with a minimum of 30 semester graduate credits from an academic institution that is accredited by an official regional accreditation agency. The completed Ed.S. program must meet with the approval of the doctoral program director. Additional courses may be required based upon recommendations from the program director. 
  2. Applicants who have not earned an Ed.S. degree or its equivalent should apply to the Ed.S. program before applying to the doctoral program in Educational Leadership.
  3. A minimum grade point average of 3.5 in the student's Ed.S. program as indicated on official transcripts. The student must maintain a grade point average of 3.0 to continure in the doctoral program.
  4. An interview with the doctoral program director and designated faculty from the Department of Education.
  5. Competency in the use of computer and internet technology, and either access to or ownership of appropriate computer equipment. High-speed internet access is required.
  6. Approval by the Graduate Education Admissions Committee.

Application Requirements - Ed.D. in Educational Leadership

The following requirements must be received by Admissions and are online, mailed or emailed as indicated. For mail: Northwest Nazarene University, Attention Graduate Admissions, 623 University Boulevard, Nampa, ID, 83686 For email: gradeducationinfo@nnu.edu
Note: Priority application deadline for cohort admission is October 15 of the previous fall.

  1. Online: application and $50 non-refundable application fee.
  2. Mail: official, sealed transcripts from the regionally accredited institution(s) where candidate received one of the following: an Ed.S. degree OR a master’s degree and post-master’s educational leadership credits. Professional Development credits are not accepted.
  3. Phone: an interview with the doctoral program director and designated faculty from the Department of Education.
  4. Online: three online recommendation forms completed by professional colleagues that provide evidence of scholarly abilities, aptitude for administration, and potential for successful completion of a doctoral program.
  5. Online: an Educational Leadership Evaluation Form completed by the applicant's current district superintendent (or designee) or by the applicant's lead supervisor.
  6. Email or mail: a 3-5 page statement of purpose in which the applicant explains (a) her/his academic and professional interests, (b) the reasons behind selecting this particular program and Northwest Nazarene University, and (c) how this degree will impact her/his role in the educational community.
  7. Email or mail: a 10-15 page research-based paper on an appropriate subject from the broad field of education that represents the applicant's analytical and writing abilities. This paper may be a representative piece of the applicant's previous work in another academic program. This paper should reflect scholarly research.

Graduation Requirements - Ed.D. in Educational Leadership

  1. At least 36 credits in the Ed.D. program must be earned in courses numbered 9000 or above. Continuing education courses and non-graded courses do not apply toward these credits.
  2. The candidate must complete requirements as specified in the degree major. The degree must be completed within six years of beginning course work. If the degree is not completed within six years, the candidate must reapply to the program. Credits older than six years may need to be retaken.
  3. The candidate must complete a dissertation and successfully defend that work in an oral defense or examination involving the student, the dissertation committee, the doctoral program director, and any other evaluators the doctoral program director may include.
  4. Following a successful dissertation defense, the candidate must complete any required edits to the written dissertation and obtain all required signatures on the submission authorization page.
  5. Candidate must submit the final, approved written dissertation that includes the signed submission authorization page to the approved accreditation and assessment software.
  6. Candidate must submit the final, approved written dissertation that includes the signed submission authorization page to the NNU Library's UMI dissertation database.
  7. The candidate must apply for graduation one full semester prior to anticipated degree completion. Deadlines: June 1 for Fall; October 15 for Spring; and January 15 for Summer.