Doctor of Education: P-12 and Higher Ed

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership: P-12

Key features include

    • Enrollment in cohort groups organized to support learning and professional networking
    • Instruction in the Tier II portion of the program is 75% online and 25% on-campus (main campus in Statesboro, GA)
    • Curriculum stresses practical knowledge and skills for preparing scholar-practitioners to become transformational leaders

Overview of Program

The doctoral program in educational leadership prepares scholar-practitioners to become transformational leaders in educational organizations. The program includes three distinct tiers of study.

In Tier I candidates complete 30 semesters hours of post-master’s degree credit of coursework in educational leadership and related areas. The P-12 and Higher Ed. Leadership areas of specialization have a recommended program of study for this phase of the program (see Graduate Catalog for specific information and see the recommended HIED Tier I program of study here). Many Tier I courses may be completed online, in addition, Tier I coursework may be completed as transfer credit from a regionally accredited institution.

In Tier II candidates complete an additional 30 semester hours of prescribed coursework covering broader Educational Leadership concepts at the P-20 levels as well as research methods and doctoral writing strategies. During Tier II, candidates are enrolled as a cohort and the classes are delivered in a hybrid format, with a combination of on-campus and online instruction. The on-campus portion consists of face-to-face class meetings on four Saturdays per semester (typically, one Saturday every four weeks from 9 am to 4 pm) and the online portion consists of asynchronous and “live” instruction through the state-of-the-art online learning system provided by Georgia Southern University. The Tier II phase consists of five semesters of continuous enrollment, including a summer term. The Tier 2 program of study can be found here.

Tier III is the portion of the program in which candidates conduct their doctoral research project and write the dissertation. Actually, candidates will begin initial preparation as early as their first semester in Tier II when they will work in teams to prepare extensive bibliographies in broad areas of inquiry related to their research interests. In the second year of Tier II, candidates prepare a comprehensive review of literature that will inform their doctoral research project. The project is designed to be action-oriented research that focuses on real problem in real school or higher education settings.

The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership is not a professional licensing program. Most candidates who enroll in the P – 12 Education Leadership area of specialization program will have already completed their respective states’ professional licensing requirements for school or school district administration through either a Certificate Only program or through an EdS in Educational Leadership.

How do I apply?

Complete the Graduate Admission Application  which is located at the College of Graduate Studies web site:  and submit the non-refundable $50.00 application fee to the Jack N. Averitt College of Graduate Studies.

Request that official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended be sent to:

Office of Graduate Admissions
Georgia Southern University
P.O. Box 8113
Statesboro, GA 30460-8113

Complete the Health Forms located at:

What are the admissions criteria?

The admissions process has two stages. First, applicants must be accepted by the Jack N. Averitt College of Graduate Studies. Next, the applications are reviewed by the faculty of the Educational Leadership Program, who make the final decision for admission to the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership Program.

The first stage of admission to the program in Ed.D. in Educational Leadership must satisfactorily meet the following criteria:

Complete the Jack N. Averitt College of Graduate Studies admission requirements.

    • Hold a master’s degree from an institution accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting association.
    • Present a minimum Cumulative Graduate Grade Point Average of 3.50 (4.00 scale) in all previous graduate work attempted.
    • Present current official test scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. Scores for the MAT or GMAT are NOT accepted for admission.  GRE scores can be no more than 5 years old.
    • Submit a brief (maximum of two pages) curriculum vitae (resume) which highlights personal and professional experience and accomplishments.
    • Submit the “Disclosure and Affirmation Form” that addresses misconduct disclosure, Code of Ethics for Educators, and tort liability insurance.
    • Complete the required criminal background check.

The second stage of the admission process includes the following procedures:

    • Applicants’ credentials are evaluated by the Educational Leadership faculty.
    • Educational Leadership faculty, acting as a committee-of-the-whole, prepares a list of applicants who are to be invited to the campus to interview with Educational Leadership faculty.
    • At the time of the on-campus interview, applicants will be asked to complete a writing assessment activity.
    • Following the interview and writing assessment, the Educational Leadership faculty, acting as a committee-of-the-whole, will make final decisions for admission to cohort for Higher Education Leadership and P – 12 Educational Leadership.

How long will the program take?

The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership is designed for professional educators who are employed full-time. Candidates in Tier II of the program will take two courses each semester for five semesters (including summers). Then they will work on their dissertation independently under the direction of a committee of faculty members. The dissertation requires enrollment for at least nine semester hours (usually three per semester). Candidates must maintain continuous enrollment (registration for three semester hours per semester) during the dissertation phase of the program. Normally, the dissertation will take at least one year.

What does it cost?

As a public university in the University System of Georgia, expenses are among the most affordable in the nation. All tuition and fees are published online at:

What about accreditation?

Georgia Southern University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and programs in education are approved by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission and accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Where can I obtain additional information?

Additional information is available by contacting the Graduate Academic Service Center at Georgia Southern University College of Education, P. O. Box 8013, Statesboro, GA 30460. Telephone: 912.478.5648. email:

What is the Tier II Course Sequence by Area of Specialization?

The Tier II Course Sequence can be located here: Tier II Course Sequence

Last updated: 5/2/2017

Educational Leadership • PO Box 8083 Statesboro, GA 30460 • (912) 478-1447 •