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Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Ed.D.

All students must meet the Requirements for the Doctor of Education Degree.


A Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree is offered in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. This is an applied research based program for professionals serving in educational management positions in schools and school-related organizations, e.g. state departments of education, professional associations, higher education, and human service agencies.

Program emphases include: the design and implementation of educational research; policy studies; adaptation of theoretical constructs and models related to leadership and change in educational and social service settings; knowledge and skills in interorganizational relationships; budget and strategic planning; and program evaluation.

This program has been designed to respond to the expanding demands placed on leaders in educational and human service organizations where leaders are increasingly expected to design and supervise local research and varied evaluative studies; interpret and apply recent national research findings; analyze and apply governmental regulations and court decisions; develop organizational responses to emerging social expectations; organize and lead staff development programs; understand and apply broad-based economic principles and social and fiscal policy; develop and manage budgets; assess and respond to the psychological needs of educational consumers; and employ effective interpersonal management and decision-making skills.

Specific Requirements

Requirements for Admission to Graduate Studies for the Degree of Doctor of Education

Applicants must possess a master's degree or equivalent, from an accredited institution and a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 for previous graduate study. Other requirements include three letters of recommendation, a representative scholarly writing sample and a resume.  Applicants will provide GRE general test scores taken within the last 5 years.

Students admitted to graduate studies must complete successfully a core of study consisting of courses in research, foundational and policy studies, and organizational change and leadership. Upon such completion and submission of a qualifying paper, students will be considered for candidacy for the degree. Students must also pass a written comprehensive examination prior to the award of the degree of Doctor of Education.

The application deadline is January 15th.

Minimum Degree Requirements

All course credits related to the core are distributed in educational leadership, research, critical perspectives, organizational change and selected specialty content areas.  Students complete course work in selected elective and/or concentration content areas.  Students complete research courses.  Students must satisfactorily complete:

Core Requirements9
EDFS 455Soc Process & Institutionl Chg3
EDLP 431Adv Sem Organizational Ldrshp3
EDLP 437Sem on Educational Policy3
Required Research Courses9
EDLP 409Applied Educational Research3
EDLP 419Quantitative Research Methods3
EDLP 459Mixed Method Research3
Elective Research Courses3 from the list below
EDFS 347Qualitative Research Methods3
EDLP 350Survey Research Methods3
EDLP 429Adv Quantitative Rsch Methods3
EDLP 439Hierarchical Linear Modeling3
EDFS 348Analyze&Write Qualitative Rsch3
Strongly Suggested
EDLP 449Dissertation Writing Seminar3
Guided by student interest and committee approval
Dissertation Research Credits17
EDLP 491Doctoral Dissertation Research1-12
Total Required Credits59

A maximum of nine (9) semester hours may be accepted in transfer from an accredited graduate program, and additional 6 credits may be applied for courses taken at The University of Vermont prior to admission. Transfer credit may be completed prior to admission to the Doctor of Education program provided that the credit is approved by the student's graduate studies committee and that the credit conforms to all other Graduate College requirements.

Comprehensive Examination

Consistent with Graduate College requirements, the EDLP doctoral program requires students to complete a comprehensive examination of core knowledge prior to the completion of the degree program.  This examination occurs in the semester following the completion of the core course curriculum.  Currently the comprehensive examination is taken in October, following the spring semester and completion of the core courses.  The examination will test knowledge in areas of study germane to all Ed.D. students.  Students may not sit for the comprehensive examination until they have successfully completed their core courses.

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Education

A minimum of fifty-nine credits of doctoral studies, at least forty-four of which were completed at UVM following formal admission to the program, meeting the above distribution.

For further requirements concerning graduate studies committees, research and dissertation, and the dissertation defense examination committee, refer to General Requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education.

Detailed information on the course of study is available from:

University of Vermont
College of Education and Social Services
499B Waterman Bldg.
Burlington, VT 05405-0160

And on the program Educational Leadership and Policy Studies website.