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Course Requirements

Educational Leadership Courses36 units
EDUC 711
Exploration of Research in Education
EDUC 717
Leadership Theories and Strategies in K–12 Education
EDUC 720
Educational Policy: Analysis, Praxis, and Reform
EDUC 731
Achievement Motivation
EDUC 738
Academic Writing: Critical Issues in Education
EDUC 745
Leading Change in Education
EDUC 758
Diversity and Equity in Education
EDUC 763
Program Evaluation in Education
EDUC 765
Ethical Dilemmas in Educational Leadership
EDUC 775
Advanced Study of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
EDUC 779
Legal Issues and Crisis Management in Schools
EDUC 788
Scholastic Writing for Educational Leaders
Research Courses12 units
EDUC 721
Survey of Research Methods
EDUC 742
Qualitative Research Methods
EDUC 766
Quantitative Research Methods
Dissertation12 units
EDUC 781
First-year Assessment: Literature Review
EDUC 782
Dissertation Proposal
EDUC 783
Data Collection Planning for Dissertation
EDUC 784
Data Collection and Analysis for Dissertation
EDUC 785
Research Report for Dissertation
EDUC 795
Dissertation Research
Total60 units

Additional Requirements


Upon admission, each student is assigned a faculty advisor. Academic advising is viewed as a collaborative relationship between the student and the faculty advisor to enable the student to achieve maximum benefits from his or her doctoral experience. The advisor’s role is to work with the student to develop a plan for timely and successful completion of the doctorate. The student should plan to meet with the advisor at least annually; once the student selects a Guided Inquiry Mentor, that person usually assumes the role of faculty advisor.

Residence Requirement and Study Load

Doctoral students are expected to complete a minimum of 9 units per year. Continuous enrollment is required until dissertation is successfully defended.


Students are required to submit assignments to TaskStream, an online assessment management system during doctoral courses taken. Students have the option of paying an annual fee or multi-year fee to submit coursework through TaskStream.

Grading and Grade-point Average

Throughout higher education, and particularly at the doctoral level, commitment to learning should outweigh the pursuit of grades. Nonetheless, grading and the grade-point average continue to play a crucial role in students’ studies. For doctoral students, the grade of B- is considered minimally acceptable. Courses graded lower than B- and below are not applied toward doctoral degree requirements and must be repeated.

A doctoral student whose cumulative grade-point average falls below 3.0 may be disqualified from further doctoral studies, or placed on academic probation and given one enrollment period to raise the cumulative grade-point average to the satisfactory level. Students on probation for more than a total of two terms throughout their doctoral study may be dismissed from the Ed.D. Program.

A doctoral student whose grade-point average falls between 3.0 and 3.2 is required to meet with his/her advisor to identify academic skills that may need strengthening and to take appropriate action.

Advancement to Candidacy

Following successful completion of all coursework and the Guided Inquiry Project, approval of the dissertation proposal, and recommendation by appropriate advisors, students are advanced to doctoral candidacy status.


The final step in the doctoral program is to design, conduct, and write a report of a research study completed by the student. Standards and procedures for the dissertation are defined by the doctoral faculty who provide students with the APU Standards and Dissertation Handbook. Continuous enrollment in EDUC 795 is expected until the dissertation has been successfully defended.

The student defends the dissertation in a meeting with the faculty committee. Subsequently, the student participates in a public presentation of the research.

Students who have completed all program requirements, successfully defended their dissertation, and fulfilled all obligations to the university will have their doctoral degree posted and then will be entitled to use the term ‘doctor.’

Faculty-Student Authorship Arrangements

It is expected that all doctoral faculty and students will observe the standards published by the American Psychological Association (APA) for the determination of authorship on any joint publications, as found in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th edition).

Time Allotted for Degree Completion

Doctoral students are permitted eight years from the date of initial enrollment to complete all requirements for the Ed.D. degree. Extensions beyond the eight-year limit may be granted at the discretion of the department chair and the dean of the School of Education. Students needing an extension due to unusual circumstances must make their request in writing, stating the reasons for the extension, a timetable for completion of requirements, and the expected date of degree completion.

Leaves of Absence

Students in good standing and making satisfactory progress toward their degrees who must interrupt their studies for a compelling reason (e.g., illness, study abroad, family conditions, or crises) may petition for a leave of absence for a stated period of time not to exceed two years. Requests for a leave must be in writing and state both the reasons for the leave and the semester in which the student will re-enroll. Leaves of absence must be approved by the chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and the dean of the School of Education in advance of the semester for which the leave is requested.

Students who fail to return to enrolled status at the end of an approved period of leave, or after two consecutive semesters of non-enrollment, will be considered no longer in pursuit of an advanced degree and must petition for re-admission if they choose to continue their program at a later time. If re-admitted at a later date, student must meet any new program requirements.

Note: This information is current for the 2013–14 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.