Doctor of Education

Currently Accepting Applications!

Apply by 04/15/21 | Start Class 08/23/21

Apply Now!

Program Overview

Offered by the Pott College of Science, Engineering, and Education at USI, the 100% online Doctor of Education (EdD) in Educational Leadership will develop the tools you need to become an effective administrator and leader in today’s educational environments.

Our affordable and flexible program is designed for working professionals who have completed a master's degree from an accredited university in education or related field.

The EdD focuses on community-based education and offers two areas of concentration: administrative leadership (which leads to school district-level licensure) and pedagogical leadership.

Our program provides synchronous learning (meets Wednesday's 5:30-8:30pm CST) that is a personalized, interactive experience for each student. The program is cohort-based, with fall-only admission.

Click here to download and view our promotional flyer.

Are you an out-of-state student interested in pursuing an online degree at USI? Check your eligibility.

60 Credit Hours 

Tuition & Fees 

Complete within four academic years.

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Teacher preparation programs are approved by the Indiana Department of Education and are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

Admission Procedures

Part 1. Apply through Graduate Studies

The following should be submitted as directed on the USI Graduate Studies website:

  1. Online application
  2. $40 non-refundable application fee
  3. Official transcripts from all undergraduate/graduate institutions attended (sent to

Part 2. Apply through the Teacher Education Department

After submitting the application and transcripts to Graduate Studies, submit the program application through the Teacher Education Department. As part of the application, you will be asked to:

  • Answer the following questions:
    1. How do you foresee this program positively impacting your community?
    2. What do you perceive as a major social justice issue in your field? How do you hope to address it?
    3. How will your work contribute to equitable outcomes in education?
    4. Imagine yourself in 5 years from now/after you graduate, what do you see yourself doing professionally and with whom will you be working with?
  • Upload a current resume/curriculum vitae. The file should be a PDF and use the following naming convention: First Name Last Name EdD resume.pdf (example: Joe Smith MSE resume.pdf)
  • List 3 references (names, relation to you and email address). One must be an employment supervisor and the other two must be professional references.

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P-12 Educators

The program is designed for P-12 educators. P-12 education is a common theme throughout the program. However, the knowledge, skills, and dispositions addressed in the program are transferable to education-related positions in other institutions and agencies. Prospective students who do not have previous degrees in education may be conditionally accepted into a cohort. The condition of acceptance is successful completion of the following two courses prior to beginning the doctoral program: EDUC 682 Issues in Educational Leadership and EDUC 604 Equity Education. These two master's level courses are intended to provide the student with an introductory background to educational issues, theories, and language.

Program Delivery and Technology Requirements

Courses within the EdD are offered entirely online using a learning management system and videoconferencing. Classes meet on Wednesday evenings 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. CST. Access to a reliable computer with internet access, microphone, speakers and a camera are required. 

Program Highlights

The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at the University of Southern Indiana is a cohort program based on a practitioner-scholar, community-based model. The purpose of the program is to transform leaders, organizations, and communities through focused, flexible study addressing real-world problems and issues. A unique characteristic of the program is a curriculum in which each course is community-based, i.e. course content is connected to the graduate student's community. Academic study is connected to concepts, issues, and content that are familiar, understandable, accessible, and personally relevant to each student. In each course, students will apply learning in practical real-life settings. The program of study includes an 18-hour leadership core, a 12-hour research sequence, the choice of a 15-hour concentration in administrative leadership or pedagogical leadership, and a 15-hour dissertation sequence. Both concentration areas include an internship.

Program Curriculum (60 credits)

The program is cohort-based, with fall-only admission. Students take two classes each semester and one class in the summer. The program unfolds over four years. Years one and two of the program are the core and the research methods sequence. Year three focuses on the academic concentration, and the dissertation is the emphasis of year four. The program is a 60 credit hour, post-master's degree.

Educational Leadership Core (18 credits)

The Educational Leadership Core is comprised of the following six (6) 3 credit-hour courses.

  • EDLE 725 - Becoming a Community-Based Educational Leader 
  • EDLE 726 - Legal and Ethical Issues for Educational Leaders 
  • EDLE 727 - Special Education Policy and Practice 
  • EDLE 728 - Evaluating School Effectiveness Through a Community Lens 
  • EDLE 731 - Analyzing Race, Class, and Gender Dynamics in American Schooling 
  • EDLE 732 - Creating Community-Based Curricular Change 
Research Methods (12 credits)

Research Methods is comprised of the following four (4) 3 credit-hour courses.

  • EDLE 705 - Introduction to Educational Research 
  • EDLE 706 - Statistical Literacy for Educational Leaders 
  • EDLE 707 - Survey of Qualitative Research Methods 
  • EDLE 708 - Advanced Research Methods and Design

Choose one specialization:

Administrative Leadership (15 credits)

This specialization leads to school district-level licensure.

The Administrative Leadership specialization requires 15 credit-hours.

  • EDLE 755 - Orchestrating a Community-Based Educational Vision 
  • EDLE 756 - School Personnel Management 
  • EDLE 757 - Analytical Decision-Making 
  • EDLE 758 - School Finance
  • EDLE 760 - Internship in School District Administration
Pedagogical Leadership (15 credits)

The Pedagogical Leadership specialization requires 15 credit-hours.

  • EDLE 755 - Orchestrating a Community-Based Educational Vision
  • EDLE 757 - Analytical Decision-Making 
  • EDLE 763 - Community-Based Curriculum and Instruction
  • EDLE 764 - Literacy and Technology in Twenty-First Century Schools
  • EDLE 770 - Internship in Pedagogical Leadership 

The final 15 credit hours of the EdD program are the dissertation. 

Dissertation (15 credits)

The Dissertation requires 15 credit-hours.

  • EDLE 800 - The Research Proposal 
  • EDLE 805 - Seminar in Community-Based Educational Research 
  • EDLE 899 - Dissertation Research - A total of 9 credits is required.

Program Calendar 

Course Start Application Deadline Registration Deadline
08/23/21 04/15/21 08/20/21

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Dr. Tori Colson
Department Contact

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