Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
in Educational Leadership

Attend a Doctor of Education Information Session on Thursday, May 8, from 5 to 6 p.m., Grey Towers Castle, Glenside Campus. At the Doctorate of Education Information Session, you will have the opportunity to meet the Program Director, and learn about the Educational Leadership program. Your application fee is waived for attending the information session. Contact Tiffany Grant at or 215-572-8523 for more information. REGISTER ONLINE.

Are You Eligible - Education


Doctoral Degree and Administrative Certifications

  • Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Certifications
    • Superintendent's Letter of Eligibility
    • K-12 Principal
    • Supervisor of Special Education
    • Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction
    • Supervisor of Single-Subject Area (Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Language Arts, Reading, English, World Language, Art, Early Childhood, Environmental Education)
    • Supervisor of Pupil Personnel Services

About the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
in Educational Leadership

The Profession

Graduates of the Ed. D. program will develop educational visions and skills in leading K-12 educational institutions of the 21st century. They will refine their understanding of and leadership skills in relation to diversity, inclusiveness, globalism in education, social responsiveness, and data-based decisionmaking. They will become knowledgeable of the most recent developments in the field of education, personnel development, and leadership; will learn how to assess and alter their organization’s practices; and will have the capacity to initiate and implement research-based policies and best practice programs to benefit students, schools and communities.

The Degree Program

Arcadia’s doctoral program in Educational Leadership offers a Doctor of Education degree earned by engaging in intensive study of research design and content knowledge, culminating in the development, implementation, and completion of an approved doctoral dissertation. The program is designed to increase the student’s level of professional expertise in the fields of school and district/regional leadership and to develop the skills necessary to initiate and implement sound educational policy and research-based programs through supervisory, curricular, and/or administrative roles.

The guiding philosophy of the Educational Leadership doctoral program is composed of several key components integrated into the program through expectations, coursework and mentorship. Students are challenged to work toward integrating the following into their academic performance and professional lives:

  • Openness to new ideas
  • Structured and strategic inquiry
  • Research-based practice
  • Intellectual and instructional leadership
  • Critical thinking
  • Systemic critique and reform
  • Social justice and ethical practice
  • Collaboration and teamwork
  • Critical self-reflection
  • Personal, program, system, and community interconnectivity
  • Embracing community inclusion and diversity
  • Ongoing professional development and life-long learning

The Cohort Model

The Ed.D. Program in Educational Leadership facilitates collaboration and teamwork through a modified cohort model. Students enter the program with a group of colleagues with whom they take courses and progress through the program. Cohort models have a number of advantages for students and faculty alike. Cohorts provide students with study and support groups that enable them to gain maximum benefits from coursework and research. Cohorts enable students to support each other as a group while accomplishing the major milestones of the program, including the qualifying paper and dissertation. Because students move through the core program as a group, faculty are aware of what they have been taught and what is yet to be covered; this is especially important in addressing the research/critical thinking portion of the curriculum and building solid research skills. Cohorts provide for high levels of ongoing support for individual student work and research development.

The cohort model allows students to move through the critical thinking/research component of the program as a group and, as such, to work supportively, reflectively, and collaboratively on developing, implementing, and writing their qualifying papers and dissertations.

Students’ progress and timelines vary during the dissertation proposal, implementation, and writing process. Contributing factors include the subject of the dissertation, the meeting of established timelines, issues of participant recruitment, implementation schedule, data analysis, and writing skills.

Structure of the Program

A minimum of 55 credit hours post-master’s degree which includes 19 credit hours of research-related courses are required for the doctoral degree. Instruction in each course is conducted in a partially online format.

Coursework is organized around a series of courses, including essential background courses, research design and methods, and content area information. Each semester’s courses integrate these three curricular areas so that students have continuous exposure to and practice in critical thinking and research methods as they gain content area knowledge.

The focus of all coursework is to teach students how to think critically and systematically about educational leadership at both the micro-level (i.e., the impact of various programs or interventions on students and classrooms) and the macro-level (i.e., school- or district-wide impact). The program stresses the cultural, social, and political ramifications of school leadership decision making, as well as research-based models and methods of initiating change in schools, districts and regions. From the first day of the program, students utilize real-life cases and analyze relevant materials as they examine research-to-practice models of successful and effective school leadership behaviors and initiatives evident in excellent schools, districts and regions.


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