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Doctor of Education Degree

School Leadership

The Ed.D. in School Leadership degree is designed to develop scholar/practitioners who will utilize inquiry-based approaches to solve problems in the school districts of Arkansas and beyond. The degree requires 63 credit hours above the Master’s degree.

Cohort-Based Program

The Ed.D. in School Leadership program is a cohort-based program with a maximum number of 15 students admitted to each cohort.  Admission to the program occurs once per year and begins during the summer semester.  The course rollout is designed to facilitate an efficient use of time, with students in the 33 hour track taking six credit hours per semester and completing the program in a minimum of six semesters.  Students with only a masters degree should complete the Ed.S. degree in educational leadership first and then apply for the Ed.D. program when the Ed.S. is completed.  For students who hold an approved Ed.S. degree, reflective of current school leadership standards, consideration for transfer of earned hours will be given through a transcript audit.

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. (If the student possesses only a masters degree, then the application should be for the Ed.S. in Educational Leadership program to complete the first 30 hours of the doctoral program.)
  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: Arkansas Tech University Graduate Admissions, 105 West O Street, Brown Hall, Suite 104, Russellville, AR 72801.  E-script to:
  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.

Academic Advisors

The Director of the Ed.D. program will assist the student in the program of study that leads to the fulfillment of degree requirements. Subsequently, the Director, the department faculty, and the Graduate College monitor the student's progress as they progress through the program. It remains, however, the student's responsibility to understand and to satisfy all degree requirements.

Degree Requirements

Students who are taking the 63-hour track will take all 7000 and 8000 level courses listed.  The 7000 level courses comprise the Ed.S. degree in educational leadership.  For those students transferring an Ed.S. degree into the doctoral program, the 8000 level courses listed below will complete the Ed.D. degree.

  1. A minimum of 30 semester hours (all at the 7000 level), include the completion of the following courses:

    EDLD 7003 Seminar in Systems Issues
    EDLD 7013 The Superintendency and Central Office
    EDLD 7022 Building a Leadership Community
    EDLD 7023 School Board Relations
    EDLD 7033 School Personnel and Business Management
    EDLD 7101 Administrative Internship in Educational Facilities
    EDLD 7112 Advanced Legal Issues
    EDLD 7113 Seminar in Current Issues
    EDLD 7122 Educational Facilities
    EDLD 7132 School Finance for District Level Administration
    EDLD 7143 School Accountability Systems
    EDLD 7201 Administrative Internship in District Level Finance
    EDLD 7202 Administrative Internship in School Accountability Systems

  2. A minimum of 33 semester hours (all at the 8000 level), include the completion of the following courses:

    EDLD 8003 Applied Research
    EDLD 8013 Scholarly Writing
    EDLD 8023 Quantitative Research Methods
    EDLD 8033 Qualitative Research Methods
    EDLD 8043 Cultural Influences
    EDLD 8053 Ethics and Values
    EDLD 8063 Dissertation I - Proposed Writing
    EDLD 8073 Synthesis Seminar
    EDLD 8083 Dissertation II
    EDLD 8093 Dissertation III
    EDLD 8103 Dissertation IV

  3. A dissertation must be completed and approved by the student’s Dissertation Chair and Committee before the degree is awarded. Guidelines and procedures for the dissertation process will be communicated to the student through the ATU Dissertation Style Guide.
  4. A cumulative grade point average of a 3.00 or better must be achieved in all graduate work attempted at Arkansas Tech University, with a maximum of six (6) hours of "C" grades. A student receiving more than six (6) hours of "C" or grades lower than "C" should refer to the section of the catalog on Academic Probation and Dismissal.
  5. Completion of all degree requirements within eight (8) years of admission to the degree program.

Degree Works

Degree Works is a software tool utilized by Arkansas Tech University designed to detail academic progression. It allows both students and advisors to monitor course progress towards degree completion and clearly indicates which course requirements have been met as well as how courses transfer into a program. Transfer courses must be approved through the use of a substitution/waiver form available via the Registrar for progress to display correctly within Degree Works. 

Degree Works will display course progression based on the current program of study, but a "what-if" scenario can be generated for any program to see how progression looks with the courses currently completed and in progress. Note that if you have applied to and been admitted to a graduate program while still finishing your undergraduate program, Degree Works will show your new program of study in the graduate program and you would have to generate a "what-if" query to see your undergraduate degree progress.

Application for Graduation

In addition to satisfying all degree requirements, a candidate for a degree must file an Application for Graduation online or at the Graduate College.  Students must apply for graduation upon completion of fifteen (15) graduate credit hours.

Special Conditions of Doctoral Credit

Doctoral Credit Taken Prior to Admission to Arkansas Tech University

A maximum of eighteen (18) semester hours of EDS transfer credit with a grade point average of "B" or better may be transferred from an accredited graduate school, if the student does not possess an approved Ed.S. degree, and the courses are deemed appropriate by the head of the student's major department and the Graduate College Dean. Students must send a written request to the head of their major department to petition an acceptance of the transfer credit prior to requesting admission to candidacy to the graduate program. Doctoral credit earned eight (8) years prior to the completion date of all degree requirements may not be applied toward the degree without the approval of the appropriate program director and the Graduate College Dean. All students must take the 33 hour 8000 level courses with their cohort.  Therefore, no substitutions will be allowed by transfer for the 8000 level courses.