Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Educational Leadership Doctoral

Hybrid 63 major credits * 3 years

Tuition As Low As


*if using financial aid

How to Pay
Take Advantage of online courses - classes begin in August
No GRE or MAT test required for Ed.D. candidates
Format and course schedule designed for working educators

What You Learn

This program is for potential and practicing educational leaders who aspire to develop and refine their leadership skills in complex organizations especially at the district office level.

The Doctor of Education Degree (Ed.D.) at Gardner-Webb University in Educational Leadership is a 63-semester-hour program designed for potential and practicing educational leaders who wish to develop and refine their leadership skills in complex organizations. Schools are dynamic institutions whose practice is shaped by powerful and influential interests. As a result, the economic, political, social, and technological environment of schools is always changing. The Doctor of Education Degree program is designed to equip candidates with the knowledge, skills, attitudes, values, and beliefs that will enable them to function effectively in leadership roles in this fluctuating environment.

How You Learn

An Ed.D. program with an integrated curriculum will be offered. Students will take modules consisting of 6, 9, and 12 credit hours. Students will also be enrolled in a 1-credit- hour seminar each semester focused on their  clinical internship/clinical experience and their dissertation. Once these modules are complete, two semesters (6 hours and 3 hours) of dissertation conclude the program. The electronic portfolio, a requirement for the degree, will be created and stored online in a product called TaskStream.

Low Residency Blended Format: The majority of the program will be completed online. During the fall and spring semesters, students will have 3 weekend face-to-face meetings along with several (generally 6-8) synchronous online meetings through ZOOM. Summer sessions will have 7 face-to-face meetings, two of which (1 weekend) are held on Gardner-Webb University’s main campus for a Dissertation/Research Summit. Summer sessions also include several (generally 6-8) synchronous online meetings through ZOOM. 

Career Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, students will have earned a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership and will be subject to state licensure requirements in order to receive North Carolina state licensure as a Superintendent. At the writing of this document, the licensure requirement is the satisfactory completion of an electronic portfolio.


Students in the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership program must hold at least a Master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 grade point average on all graduate-level work. A minimum of 3 years experience in administration or teacher leadership is required. A license in School Administration-Principal is required.

Degree Requirements

Course Title Hours
EDLS 730
Strategic Leadership and School Reform
EDLS 731
EDLS 732
Instructional Leadership 9
EDLS 733
EDLS 734
Human Resource Leadership 9
EDLS 735
EDLS 736
Research and Program Evaluation 12
EDLS 737
EDLS 738
Cultural and Ethical Leadership
EDLS 739
EDLS 740 Managerial Leadership 6
EDLS 741 Seminar/Internship 1
EDLS 742 Dissertation Module 1 6
EDLS 743 Dissertation Module 2 3
EDLS 744 Dissertation Module 3 as needed
Total Credit Hours: 63
Please Note:

Students will be enrolled in EDLS 714 Dissertation Continuation for 3 credit hours until dissertation is complete.