College of Education2012-2013

Department of Educational Leadership

Educational Leadership, Doctor of Education

We designed this doctorate primarily for individuals interested in K-12 Educational Administration or Community College/Higher Education Administration. Area III provides the opportunity for students to select their preferred emphasis.

This program is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).


What Can I Do with a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership?

If you are a doctoral student, you can pursue a degree in Educational Leadership with specialization in Educational Leadership K-12 (which would include Arizona Superintendents Certification) or Education Leadership Community College/Higher Education. The Ed.D. program of study will include courses in Educational Administration, Educational Foundations, Educational Research and Evaluation, Community College/Higher Education along with field experiences and a leadership internship.

University Requirements

  • To receive a Doctor of Education Degree (Ed.D.) at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses, from one or more disciplines, ranging from at least 63-90 units of graduate-level courses. Most plans require research, a dissertation, and comprehensive exams. All plans have residency requirements regarding time spent on the Flagstaff campus engaged in full-time study.

    The full policy can be viewed here.


In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 63
Additional Admission Requirements Required
Emphasis, Minor, Certificate Required
Dissertation Dissertation is required.
Oral Defense Oral Defense is required.
Fieldwork Experience/Internship Required
Research Individualized research is required.


Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Doctoral Requirements
  • Take the following 63 units:

    Area I - Professional Foundations
    Area II - Leadership Theory
    Area III - Professional Leadership Emphasis (Select One)
    • K-12 Administration Emphasis (18 units)
      • EDL 734, EDL 736, EDL 797 (9 units)
      • Electives: graduate courses (doctoral preferred) from the College of Education or other Northern Arizona University colleges. (9 units)
      Community College/Higher Education Administration Emphasis (18 units)
      Select from the following list of approved CC/EDL electives (15 units):
      You may also choose from other NAU 600/700-level courses, upon approval by your advisor.
  • Please Note:
    • EDR 610, or equivalent, is a prerequisite for Area IV.
    • Dissertation units must be at taken a minimum of 3 units at a time in continuous enrollment until 12 units are taken. If additional dissertation units are needed, students may enroll in 1 unit at a time, after they have completed 12 units. Students must be enrolled in 3 units of EDL 799 during the semester they defend their dissertation.
    • No graduate credit-units may be transferred into the program with the exception of credit-units taken from Northern Arizona University for the purpose of Superintendent Certification.
    • For more information about residency and other requirements that pertain to this degree, see Doctoral Requirements Policy.
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

  • State Teaching Certification Plans

    You can apply to a plan preparing you for state teaching certification in Principalship or Superintendency. You must have a master's degree before you can obtain any of these state administrative certifications.

    Certification plans vary in the number of educational leadership units that are required:
    • Principalship requires 30 units.
    • Superintendency requires 36 units.

    All educational leadership units are as approved by Northern Arizona University's faculty and the State Board of Education.

    Each certification includes other requirements that need not be in leadership.

    You must apply separately for these plans. Contact our Educational Leadership office for additional information.

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