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Leadership and Innovation, EdD

Leadership and Innovation, EdD

Academic Programs / Graduate Degrees / Leadership and Innovation, EdD

Administration, Assessment, Innovation, Research, edulp, leadership, school, teachers college, teaching

ASU's Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College is one of the top-ranked graduate colleges of education in the U.S. Our doctoral programs develop scholars, scholarly practitioners and purposeful innovators who bring people and ideas together to enrich the lives of learners, amplify the impact of educators and improve the performance of education systems.

Program Description
Degree Awarded: EdD  Leadership and Innovation

The EdD program in leadership and innovation prepares scholarly practitioners and is designed for practicing educator-leaders who work in a range of settings and who want to transform and improve their practice to create better learning opportunities for students of all ages.

Students in the program begin as accomplished teachers, teacher leaders, principals, superintendents, higher education professionals or leaders in other educational contexts. Through coursework, students deepen their abilities to lead change and implement innovation in their local educational organizations. The program is not designed to prepare students for academic research-oriented tenure-track positions.

The cohort-based program focuses on action research and includes required coursework and several options for advanced professional studies with a research core that deepens students' abilities to reflectively and critically think about problems of practice in one of the following contexts: preK-12 change leadership; higher education change leadership; or systems, professional and reimagined change leadership.

Differentiation among these contexts and students' interests occurs within the required coursework.

Students conduct multiple cycles of inquiry throughout the program and learn research within their own workplace. They share their research at the end of each academic year through presentations in a public doctoral research conference.

Leader-scholar communities, formed at the end of the first year and consisting of five to seven students and one faculty member, meet regularly for the second and third years of the program to supply academic and personal support. Through LSCs, students support each other, under faculty guidance, in the conceptualization, implementation and study of change initiatives. Each student's LSC leader serves as the dissertation chair, along with two additional committee members who ultimately make up the doctoral committee.

Successful graduates make a commitment to continuing systematic study of their professional practice and sustaining innovation and leadership by making a positive difference in their local settings. The program aims to enable more thoughtful, intentional and informed leaders who are willing and able to implement and study continuous improvement.

The program makes a difference in the way a student thinks and works as a leader in education, for the immediate and local benefit of school children, adult learners, schools or other organizations, and local communities.

At a Glance
Degree Requirements

90 credit hours, a written comprehensive exam, an oral comprehensive exam, a prospectus and a dissertation

Required Core (24 credit hours)

Research (9 credit hours)

Advanced Professional Studies (6 credit hours)

Directed Field-based Study (3 credit hours)

Participation in Leader-Scholar Communities (6 credit hours)

Dissertation (12 credit hours)

Additional Curriculum Information
Students should see the academic unit for an approved course list.

Students register for required research and dissertation hours as part of the Leader-scholar Communities requirement.

When approved by the student's supervisory committee and the Graduate College, this program allows 30 credit hours from a previously awarded master's degree to be used for this degree. If students do not have a previously awarded master's degree, the 30 hours of coursework is made up of electives to reach the required 90 credit hours.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's and master's degree, in any field, from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. three letters of recommendation
  4. personal statement
  5. an academic writing sample
  6. curriculum vitae
  7. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of current residency.

The letters of recommendation should be from individuals who can speak to the applicant's potential for success in a graduate program and the personal statement should describe the applicant's interests and reasons for seeking this degree, along with potential problems of practice to serve as a guide for applied research in the program.

GRE scores are not required for admission.

Attend Online

ASU offers this program in an online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. Applicants may view the program description and request more information here.

Career Opportunities

Students gain skills in thinking critically about problems of practice, designing and conducting action research, collaborating with teams in leader-scholar communities and leading change in an educational organization. This prepares them to expand or pursue leadership positions in pre-K-12 schools and higher education institutions.

Career examples include:

  • community college director
  • principal
  • superintendent
  • teacher leader
  • university administrator
Contact Information

What are Accelerated Programs?
Accelerated Programs allow students the opportunity to expedite the completion of their degree.

3 year programs

These programs allow students to fast-track their studies after admission and earn a bachelor’s degree in three years or fewer while participating in the same high-quality educational experience of a 4-year option. Students should talk to their academic advisor to get started.

4+1 year programs

These programs allow students to accelerate their studies by combining undergraduate with graduate coursework, which may allow them to earn a bachelor’s and a master's degree in as few as five years (for some programs).

Each program has requirements students must meet to be eligible for consideration. Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. During their junior year, eligible students are advised by their academic departments to apply.
What are Concurrent Programs?
Students pursuing concurrent degrees earn two distinct degrees and receive two diplomas. ASU offers students two ways to earn concurrent degrees: by choosing a predetermined combination or creating their own combination. Predetermined combinations have a single admissions application and one easy to follow major map. To add a concurrent degree to your existing degree, work with your academic advisor. Either way, concurrent degrees allow students to pursue their own personal or professional interests.
What are Joint Programs?
Joint programs, or jointly conferred degrees, are offered by more than one college and provide opportunities for students to take advantage of the academic strengths of two academic units. Upon graduation, students are awarded one degree and one diploma conferred by two colleges.

What constitutes a New Program?
ASU adds new programs to Degree Search frequently. Come back often and look for the “New Programs” option.
What are Online Programs?
ASU Online offers programs in an entirely online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. See for more information.
What is WRGP (Western Regional Graduate Program)?
The Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) provides a reduced tuition rate to non-resident graduate students who qualify. Visit the WRGP/WICHE webpage for more information:

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