Program: Educational Leadership, Ed.D.

Program Description

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program is designed for those individuals who have already demonstrated leadership ability in diverse educational settings. The program will admit candidates who meet the academic requirements for the Ed.D. degree program and who possess personal qualities and professional experiences that suggest a strong potential for success as doctoral candidates and as educational leaders. Normally, the P12 leadership candidate will already hold an administrative services credential.

Program Requirements

A. Admission Requirements

Meeting the minimum requirements qualifies an individual for consideration, but does not guarantee admission to the program. Admission will be granted annually on a competitive basis. The application deadline is July 1 for admission the following Fall semester.

Each applicant will submit:

  1. An application to the University.
  2. A department application to the doctoral program.
  3. Official transcripts from each accredited institution of higher education attended for successful completion of the baccalaureate degree, including evidence of a minimum of a 3.0 upper division undergraduate GPA.
  4. Official transcripts from each accredited institution of higher education attended for successful completion of a master’s degree with a minimum of a 3.5 GPA or the completion of equivalent academic preparation, including but not limited to coursework or experience equal to an earned graduate degree or attainment of the skills and knowledge provided by graduate-level coursework or experience.
  5. Three letters of recommendation (on letterhead) from persons who can attest to the applicant’s leadership experience or potential.
  6. A written statement outlining the reasons for seeking entrance to the program and how it relates to future professional goals.
  7. A professional resume.
  8. A sample of academic or professional writing.

All international applicants whose first language is not English or who have not earned a baccalaureate or master’s degree in an English-speaking country or from an institution in which the language of instruction is English must take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) examination. A TOEFL score of 550 on the paper test or a score of 213 on the computer-based test is required for admission. After the Admissions Committee has reviewed all applicants’ materials, the most highly qualified applicants will be contacted for interviews.

B. Required Courses

1. Core Courses (42 units)

ELPS 700 The Art of Collaborative Leadership (3)
ELPS 705 Organizational Complexity and Change (3)
ELPS 710 Curricular and Instructional Leadership for Systemic Reform (6)
ELPS 715 Leading Change Through Cultural Competence (3)
ELPS 725 Instructional Assessment and Program Evaluation (3)
ELPS 740 Entrepreneurship in Public Education (3)
ELPS 745 The Science of Administration (3)
ELPS 750 The Ethical Dimensions of Leadership (3)
ELPS 755 Human Relations in Educational Organizations (3)
ELPS 760 Field Based Inquiry I (3)
ELPS 770 Applied Quantitative Inquiry I (3)
ELPS 780 Applied Qualitative Inquiry I (3)

One of the following:

ELPS 775 Applied Quantitative Inquiry II (3)
or ELPS 785 Applied Qualitative Inquiry II (3)

2. Option Courses (6 units)

Select (a) P12 Leadership or (b) Community College Leadership.

a. P12 Leadership

ELPS 730 Public Policy in Education (3)
ELPS 765 Field Based Inquiry II (3)

b. Community College Leadership

ELPS 720 Postsecondary Finance and Enrollment Management (3)
ELPS 735 Law and Policy in Postsecondary Education (3)

3. Culminating Experience (12 units)

ELPS 789 Dissertation Seminars (12) (Taken in 2-unit increments)

Note that a minimum of 54 units must be taken at CSUN.

Total Units Required for the Ed.D. Degree: 60

More information

For more information about this program, please contact


Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Chair: Miguel Ceja
Education (ED) 1220
(818) 677-2591

Graduate Coordinator: Nathan Durdella
(818) 677-2403

Program Learning Outcomes

Students receiving a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership will be able to:

  1. Plan systemic reform and manage the change process in collaboration with fellow educators and other stakeholders, based on a shared vision of learning.
  2. Guide and support staff in nurturing a school, district or community college culture and program conducive to the effective instruction of all students and to the professional growth of all employees.
  3. Use data and technology effectively to assess student achievement, evaluate staff and programs, and plan and implement accountability systems.
  4. Become critical consumers of educational research and producers of action research who apply the lessons of research to student, school/district or community college improvement.
  5. Promote culturally proficient policies and practices that recognize and value difference and ensure equity.
  6. Manage fiscal, physical, and human resources to ensure an effective, safe learning and working environment.
  7. Collaborate with families and community members, responding to diverse community interests and needs, and mobilizing community resources at the local, state, and federal level.
  8. Model ethical practice, strong skills in communication and collaboration, and the development of leadership capacity in themselves and others.
  9. Understand, navigate, respond to, and influence the larger policy environment and the political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context of education.