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Doctor of Education: P-12 and Higher Ed

Program Overview

The Doctor of Education Degree program in Educational Leadership offered on the Statesboro Campus is designed to enhance the experienced school administrator’s leadership skills through: (1) advanced preparation that strengthens decision-making, problem-solving, and leadership skills essential to the management of increasingly complex educational organizations, and (2) engagement in guided field research that develops the inquiry skills necessary for effective leadership and management practice.
The program uses an inquiry approach that employs problem-solving and research skills applicable to multiple problems and issues. The purpose is to generate an inquiry orientation so that participants will learn to solve problems from broad perspectives. Participants identify, diagnose, and define problems, analyze their component parts contextually and systematically, and develop solutions that are immediately applicable and that deal with underlying issues. Experiences over the course of the doctoral program in Educational Leadership become candidate-led, field-based investigations of educational problems and potential solutions.

Key program 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

The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership provides two strand options:

P-12 Administration –

Candidates entering the Ed.D. program with a Master’s degree and L-5 certification enter at Tier 1 which consists of 36 semester hours at the Ed.S. level, but this coursework does not lead to an Ed.S. degree or L-6 certification. The Ed.S. degree program and subsequent L-6 certification is a separate degree program. Candidates entering the Ed.D. program with an Ed.S. in Educational Leadership, or a related field, and L-6 certification may apply courses accumulated in that Ed.S. program to the Tier I requirements. Tier II consists of 30 hours of core content in Educational Leadership. Tier III consists of 9 hours of writing the dissertation.

Higher Education Administration or Teacher Leadership –

Persons pursuing Higher Education Administration or Teacher Leadership strands need not have leadership certification to be eligible for consideration for entry into the Ed.D. program in Educational Leadership.


The Georgia Southern University Office of Graduate Admissions oversees the application process for graduate students. Please review the links below for admission requirements and deadlines.


Graduate Academic Services Center
3166 College of Education Building
Georgia Southern University
Phone: (912) 478-1447
Fax: (912) 478-5093

Ed.D., Educational Leadership Program Director
Dr. Steven Tolman

Spotlight Story

“I find that my work as a leadership educator is more rooted in research and evidence-based practices since completing my work in the program,” “I’m now able to build more meaningful leadership programming through the backwards-course-design approach, and I am able to align leadership learning with evidence-based teaching strategies.”

John Egan, Ed.D. 19″

A new playing field: former athlete turned educational leader inspires students to be campus, community leaders. Read a spotlight story for the Ed.D. Educational Leadership Program.

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: 912-478-1447,  email:

Professional Certification Disclosure.

The College of Education anticipates that graduates of the Doctor of Education: P-12 and Higher Education program will seek state licenses or certifications.

The program listed above leads to a Georgia Certificate Upgrade. Visit the Georgia Professional Standards Commission for more information. The College of Education has not determined where its programs will qualify a graduate to take the required exams in other states or territories. Check the requirements of your state or territory using the link provided.

For all Online Programs:

Federal Law requires colleges and universities to make certain disclosures to prospective students of these programs. These disclosures include information on the University’s authority to operate outside of Georgia, complaint processes, adverse actions, and refunds.

For required disclosures in general with regard to online programs offered by the University, visit the Office of Legal Affairs website.

Last updated: 8/19/2021