Skip to main content Skip to navigation



Preparing educators for professional advancement and opening the world of teaching to people seeking to change their careers.

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

The statewide Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) Program prepares transformational K-12 leaders to apply knowledge and inquiry to solving an array of complex problems facing education today. Program participants are part of a statewide learning community collaboratively drawing from theory, research, and experience —all framed within the concepts of justice, equity, and diversity — to improve schools and promote the learning of all children.

The statewide Ed.D. offers boasts several unique features:

Statewide program delivery

Program participants can access courses and work with advisers through all of WSU’s campuses (Pullman, Spokane, Vancouver, Tri-Cities). Through careful sequencing of program offerings, participants at all campuses can work in local cohort groups and complete program requirements within a four- to five-year time frame.

A practitioner-scholar approach

Program content combines the best of both worlds—issues important to practicing school leaders and the scholarship that can help to analyze and address these issues. Program faculty blends the strengths of academic scholars and practitioners; while several faculty members are highly successful, experienced administrators, others are highly regarded academic scholars. Both contribute to the central purpose of the program, to prepare practitioner-scholars for leadership for school improvement.

Summer inquiry institutes

To augment the program offerings available at each campus, participants from around the state attend two-week summer institutes on the Pullman campus. These institutes help build a learning community and support network among the statewide cohort. Institute participants share their leadership experiences and challenges, plan collaborative inquiry around problems of practice, and benefit from working with a wider range of educational leadership faculty. The institute is designed to help students move toward completion

Program Components

The Program of Study for completion of the statewide Ed.D. requires a minimum of 72 semester hours, including at least 42 semester hours of graded coursework and at least 20 semester hours of EdAd 800—Dissertation Research. Up to 12 semester hours on the Program of Study may be transferred from other accredited programs, professional certificate programs, and/or from the student’s master’s degree, as approved by program faculty.

Shared program requirements

Program preparation for all strands includes six courses of advanced research, two foundations courses, and at least 20 credits of dissertation preparation credits. Program milestones include creating an individual Program of Study, taking a comprehensive preliminary exam of graded coursework, presenting a formal dissertation proposal, and ultimately engaging in an oral defense of the completed doctoral dissertation.

Core research preparation for all strands includes:

  • Educational Statistics
  • Principles of Research
  • Action Research
  • Qualitative Research
  • Quantitative Research
  • Dissertation Preparation

Core foundations preparation for all strands includes:

  • Values and Ethics for Educational Leaders
  • Race, Identity, and Representation in Education

Educational Leadership 

Designed for K-12 administrators, the Educational Leadership strand provides a balance and integration of practical experience, theory, and research to prepare scholar-practitioners at the elementary, high school, and school district levels.

Core program preparation includes study of:

  • School Organization and Administration
  • Leadership Studies
  • Policy Formation in Education
  • Instructional Leadership

Application Process

Priority application deadline is January 10 for fall admission

The priority application deadline is January 10 each year, for fall semester start. Please note that application is a multi-step process and often takes four to six weeks to complete. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Steps to application:

  • Apply online to the WSU Graduate School for acceptance to the university.
  • Submit supplemental materials to the department for acceptance into the degree program.

For application instructions, please refer to the Checklist and Instructions for Admission Requirements provided with the application packet.