Earn your Doctorate in Education online at GMercyU

Accelerated Executive Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership

Prepare for an Advanced Career in Research, Policy Analysis, or School Administration - Online

Prepare for leadership at all levels of education with Gwynedd Mercy University’s innovative Online Accelerated Executive Doctorate in Educational Leadership. This 54-credit program, which can be completed in less than three years, offers you a motivational learning community in which to develop the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to lead and transform educational institutions.

The GMercyU Difference

The Online Accelerated Executive EdD program challenges you to make new discoveries in your field of interest while honing your professional leadership skills as you prepare to lead in:  

  • U.S. and international schools
  • School districts
  • Colleges and universities
  • Educational policy organizations
  • Government and nonprofit organizations that support education

Our rigorous course of studies will prepare you with the global outlook, research skills, policy analysis capabilities, and practical executive leadership abilities you need to lead and transform educational institutions to meet the needs of all learners. Choose from one of three areas of interest:

  • Leadership in PreK—12 Schools and School Districts (superintendent letter of eligibility courses available)
  • Leadership in Higher Education
  • Leadership in Special Education (special education supervisory certification available)

Rigorous, Accelerated Doctoral Education

The Online Accelerated Executive EdD program challenges you to make new discoveries in your field of interest while honing your professional leadership skills.

Most of your coursework for the accelerated Executive Dorctorate in Educational Leadership takes place online, with classes presented one at a time in five- to seven-week blocks. You will also perform field research, take on practicum experiences, and attend three residencies: two on our Gwynedd Valley campus and one international experience.

From day one, you’ll have the support of a faculty advisor who will help you prepare your dissertation. The result is a program that can help you be part of the next generation of education leaders.

What You Will Learn - Executive Doctorate of Educational Leadership

The online Accelerated Executive EdD program challenges you to make new discoveries in your field of interest while honing your professional leadership skills. 

As a GMercyU graduate, you will be able to:

  • Articulate an educational organization’s mission, goals, and guiding principles that distinguish the organization from others
  • Understand the foundational base of organizational theory and demonstrate the ability to bridge theory and practice
  • Given scenarios of conflict, choose ethical courses of action consistent with Gospel values
  • Synthesize and analyze data to reveal relations and causality and convert raw data into actionable information
  • View problems and challenges through the lens of a scientist , seeking evidence-based conclusions
  • Practice and model steward leadership in transforming organizations to better serve all constituents
  • Demonstrate facility in the application of technology to solve problems, analyze and synthesize data, and manage information

Personal Doctoral Completion Support from Day One

GMercyU faculty members understand the challenges of doctoral education—they’ve all experienced it. That’s why they’ve helped us develop a program that offers superior support to doctoral students like you.

You’ll join a small cohort of classmates and be matched with a faculty advisor early in your program. You’ll take supervised dissertation preparation courses every semester, ensuring your research and writing are on track for timely completion. And you’ll be challenged, day in and day out, to pursue research that makes a tangible difference in the lives of students.

After you complete your program, you can connect to our extensive network of alumni. The colleagues, contacts, and friends you meet will inspire you to continue to discover the Next.

Earn Your Superintendent Letter of Eligibility

If you are an administrator or principal with at least three years’ experience, you have the option of earning your Superintendent Letter of Eligibility as part of your EdD program. Your Letter of Eligibility can open the door to superintendent positions in Pennsylvania. 

Admission Requirements – Doctorate in Educational Leadership Program

To qualify for admission to our EdD in Educational Leadership, you must provide:

  • A master’s degree in a field related to your preferred area of concentration from an institution accredited by the Middle States Association, or comparable accreditation, with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above
  • Official graduate and undergraduate transcripts
  • A Graduate Record Examination score of 155 or higher or a Miller Analogy Test percentile of 65 or higher (waived if you had a graduate GPA of 3.5 or greater)
  • A professional resume showing a minimum of three years’ relevant experience
  • Three letters of reference from persons in leadership roles in your chosen area of concentration attesting that you have the ability to engage in studies at the doctoral level and to conduct research
  • A personal interview with a member of the graduate faculty representing the applicant’s preferred area of concentration (in person or via electronic means, if distance is a factor)
  • A written statement of your professional goals and topic of research interest
  • A 750-1000 word sample of your writing abilities
  • Official results showing a minimum score of 550 (written), 213 (computer), or 79 (internet) on the TOEFL examination if your first language is not English

Personal interviews may be required for any candidates as determined by the admissions committee. After enrollment, you will also need to obtain a Child Abuse Clearance, Criminal Background Check, and Federal Criminal History. 

Curriculum

The online Accelerated Executive EdD program requires completion of at least 54 credits of coursework. The exact courses you take depend upon your chosen area of interest. No matter which area you choose, you’ll have the support of a faculty advisor as you progress through your coursework and develop your dissertation.  

Doctorate in Education: Leadership in PK-12 Schools and School Districts
Online with Three Residencies 
Required Courses

EDU 801 Educational Policy in Research and Practice in the U.S.*
EDU 811 Dissertation Advisement I
EDU 802 Organizational Research and Theory Development
EDU 803 Statistical Analysis, Methods and Research
EDU 804 Cross-Cultural Perspectives and Educational Leadership
EDU 805 The Ethics of Educational Leadership and Policy
EDU 806 Equity, Equality and Equal Opportunity
EDU 807 Advanced Statistical Analysis, Quantitative and Qualitative Research
EDU 812 Dissertation Advisement II
EDU 808 Technology, Data and Program Evaluation
EDU 821 The Superintendency*
EDU 809 Global Educational Policy and Practice
EDU 822 School Boards and School District Governance*
EDU 842 School Law and Policy in Special Education
EDU 813 Dissertation Advisement III
EDU 824 Transformational Leadership, Supervision and School Turn-Around*
EDU 825 Labor Relations and Fiscal Management
EDU 814 Dissertation Advisement IV
EDU 828 Practicum I (PA Superintendent Letter of Eligibility candidates only*)
EDU 829 Practicum II (PA Superintendent Letter of Eligibility candidates only*)

*Indicates courses required for a Superintendent Letter of Eligibility. The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires 360 hours of district office practicum. 

You may also need to take the following prerequisites to qualify for the Superintendent Letter of Eligibility:

EDU 571 The Principalship
EDU 574 School Law and Policy Issues
EDU 576 Human Resources and Staff Development

Doctorate in Education: Leadership in Special Education 
Online 
Required Courses

EDU 801  Educational Policy in Research and Practice in the U.S.
EDU 811 Dissertation Advisement I
EDU 802 Organizational Research and Theory Development
EDU 803 Statistical Analysis, Methods and Research
EDU 804 Cross-Cultural Perspectives and Educational Leadership
EDU 805 The Ethics of Educational Leadership and Policy
EDU 806 Equity, Equality and Equal Opportunity
EDU 807 Advanced Statistical Analysis, Quantitative and Qualitative Research
EDU 812 Dissertation Advisement II
EDU 808 Technology, Data and Program Evaluation
EDU 841 Designing Interventions and Assessing Outcomes
EDU 809 Global Educational Policy and Practice
EDU 842 School Law and Policy in Special Education*
EDU 843 Administration and Supervision of Special Education Programs*
EDU 813 Dissertation Advisement III
EDU 844 Neuroscience of Learning
EDU 845 Foundations in Special Education Practice for School Leaders*
EDU 814 Dissertation Advisement IV
EDU 848 Practicum I (PA Supervisor of Special Education certification only)*
EDU 849 Practicum II (PA Supervisor of Special Education certification only)*

*Indicates courses required for Certification as Supervisor of Special Education. The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires 360 hours of central office practicum experience.

Doctorate in Education: Leadership in Higher Education
Online with Three Residencies 
Required Courses

EDU 801 Educational Policy in Research and Practice in the U.S.
EDU 811 Dissertation Advisement I
EDU 802 Organizational Research and Theory Development
EDU 803 Statistical Analysis, Methods and Research
EDU 804 Cross-Cultural Perspectives and Educational Leadership
EDU 805 The Ethics of Educational Leadership and Policy
EDU 806 Equity, Equality and Equal Opportunity
EDU 807 Advanced Statistical Analysis, Quantitative and Qualitative Research
EDU 812 Dissertation Advisement II
EDU 808 Technology, Data and Program Evaluation 
EDU 831 Leadership and Administration of Higher Education
EDU 809 Global Educational Policy and Practic
EDU 832 Legal Issues in Higher Education
EDU 833 Finance and Fiscal Policy in Higher Education
EDU 813 Dissertation Advisement III
EDU 834 Enrollment Management in Higher Education
EDU 835 Future-Focused Trends and Innovations for Educating Diverse Learners
EDU 814 Dissertation Advisement IV

Lead in 21st Century Education

Learn more about how you can prepare for roles of influence in policy, administration, and school leadership with our innovative online executive doctorate (EdD) program. Call 844-707-9064 or send e-mail to accelerate@gmercyu.edu to contact an admissions counselor. You also can begin your application online now ! 

Our Outstanding Faculty

Career Outcomes

What You Can Do With a Doctorate in Educational Leadership

The Accelerated Executive EdD program prepares you for the highest levels of education leadership. The exact nature of the roles you pursue will vary depending on your area of interest and previous experience, but job prospects should be good. 

For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 15% growth  in the number of post-secondary education administrators needed over the 2012-2022 period. 

Job titles may include, but are not limited to:

  • Superintendent of schools
  • State board of education official
  • College dean or administrator
  • Education policy analyst