Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Educational Leadership Doctoral

Hybrid 63 major credits * 3 years

Tuition As Low As


*if using financial aid

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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. In the fall and spring semesters, students will take one module consisting of six integrated credit hours and a 1-credit-hour seminar focused on their internship or clinical experience and their dissertation. In the summers, students take one module consisting of 12 credit hours. 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 program is offered in a face-to-face weekend format three weekends per semester on Saturdays (9-5) and Sunday (9-5) with additional work done online and by virtual communication. During the summer sessions of coursework, candidates in the low residency format will meet during 7 sessions and will include the two session dates of the Center for Innovative Leadership Development (CILD) conference.

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 is preferred. A license in School Administration-Principal is required.

Degree Requirements

EDLS 700
Theory Development Module
EDLS 701
EDLS 702
Operational and Managerial Module
EDLS 703
EDLS 704
Research Module
EDLS 705
EDLS 706
Reform and Change Module
EDLS 707
EDLS 708
Organizational Behavior Module
EDLS 709
EDLS 710Instructional Module12
EDLS 711Seminar/Internship1
EDLS 712Dissertation Module 16
EDLS 713Dissertation Module 23
 Total Credit Hours:63
Please Note:

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