Doctor of Education in School Leadership 

Program Director:   Dr. John Freeman

The Ed.D. in School Leadership requires the completion of 63 credit hours above the Master’s degree. It is a degree that is intended for scholar/practitioners who will be involved in field-based applied research in partnership with schools, or other educational agencies, and who will apply new knowledge and skills at work, and as a result improve learning and achievement in schools. Because this degree is specific to the field of school leadership, a building-level certification as a leader (principal or instructional leader) is required. In addition, while not required, experience in a school leadership position is highly recommended.

Attention Ed.D. Applicants:  This program only admits new cohorts each summer term. 

     * Applicants for the next cohort must apply by March 31, 2020 to begin in the Summer 2020 term. 
     *
Complete applications will be reviewed and admission decisions will be made in early April 2020.

Admission Requirements


Students are eligible for admission to the Ed.D. in School Leadership degree program based on completion of all application requirements listed:

  1. Applicants must complete the online application to the Graduate College.
  2. Applicants must pay a $50.00 nonrefundable application fee directly to the Graduate College.
  3. Applicants must hold a master's degree from an accredited college verified by an official transcript.
  4. Applicants must hold a building level administrative license and provide a copy to the Graduate College (principalship or instructional leader).
  5. Applicants must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on the master's degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  6. Applicants must request a complete undergraduate and graduate official transcript from their bachelor's and master's awarding institution sent directly to the Graduate College via mail or e-script. Mail to: Graduate College, 1507 North Boulder Avenue Tomlinson 113, Russellville, AR 72801.  E-script to: Graduate College.
  7. Applicants must provide a writing sample from previous graduate work. This can be in the form of a thesis, research paper, term paper, article, or product from your professional role.
  8. Applicants must submit a 500 word essay on your background, professional and academic career goals, and the reason for pursuing a doctoral degree.
  9. Applicants must submit three (3) letters of recommendation addressing their professional and/or academic background along with an assessment of their potential for scholarly work.

After all materials are received, applicants will be interviewed by the Faculty Admissions Committee (FAC).  These interviews will be held in person or by Skype.

Once the interviews are completed, the FAC will meet to make final selections for the cohort and all applicants will be notified regarding the committee’s decision.

Program Requirements

There is only one area of concentration for the Ed.D. in School Leadership, but there are two tracks for students to achieve the degree. The degree requires 63 credit hours of graduate work above the Masters. A student may enter the program with only a Master’s degree. Those students may complete the program in nine semesters. To do so will require taking three courses per semester (2 – 7000 level courses and 1 – 8000 level course). The course sequence for this track is provided below.

If a student has completed an Ed.S. degree from an accredited university program, that student may enter the program needing only six semesters to complete the degree. Those students will take two 8000 level courses per semester for a total of 33 graduate credit hours. Those students who completed the Ed.S. at ATU can transfer all of those credits into the Ed.D. program. If a student completed the Ed.S. at another university, the Director of the Ed.D. Program will review the courses and if they are aligned with the ATU Ed.S. program, they will be accepted. However, it is possible that students who did not complete the Ed.S. at ATU may have to take additional courses at the 7000 level in addition to the prescribed 8000 level courses. The final determination as to whether these courses will be accepted will be made by the Program Director and the Dean of the Graduate College.

The 33 hour doctoral-level courses (8000-level) required for completion of the degree are as follows:

Course Descriptions


Where Can I Get More Information About the Educational Leadership Ed.D. Program?
John Freeman, Ph.D.

Phone: (479) 964-3236
Email: jfreeman44@atu.edu