Ed.D. FAQs

FAQs for Ed.D. in Educational Leadership Students

Coursework generally takes 3 years to complete. Students take 2 courses in the fall, 2 courses in the spring and 2 courses in the summer for 3 years. After your coursework is complete, you must complete a dissertation. Below is a sample of a schedule used in a previous cohort.

Year 1
Fall: A600 & A638
Spring: Y520 & A675
Summer: A615 & A671

Year 2
Fall: Y502 & A640
Spring: A720 & Y611
Summer: A653 & elective
Suggested elective for superintendent licensure: A785 (meets over two semesters)

Year 3
Fall: A720 & elective
Suggested elective for superintendent licensure: A560; for non-licensure: H504
Spring: 2 Minor Courses
Summer: 1 Minor Courses, A795 Write Qualifying Exam

Year 4
Fall: Dissertation Proposal (first 3 Chapters of Dissertation drafted/defended)*
Spring: A799 Dissertation Data Collection & Analysis*
Summer: A799 Dissertation Analysis & Drafting*

Year 5
Fall: A799 Dissertation Defense*

*= Progression on dissertation varies by individual student. Some complete in one year and others take more time.

The Executive Ed.D. program is 60 credits. You must have completed a master’s in a related-field before finishing the Ed.D. program. If you complete the Ed.S., superintendent licensure, or Kelley MS, you will need to complete additional credits.

Typically, courses meet on the IU Bloomington Campus three weekends each semester and on-line between the face-to-face meetings. Students schedule two courses each semester. The weekend schedule allows students to meet for two classes on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday classes are typically held from 10:00-2:00 and 2:30-6:30. On Sunday, classes are typically held from 8:00-12:00 and 12:30-4:30. The program was set up this way in order to be accessible to students all over the state. If traveling from out of town, students generally stay in area hotels.

Due to the Ed.D. program delivery, course format, and schedule, attendance is essential during the face-to-face classes that occur three weekends per semester. As a result, class absences are reflected in a student’s course grade. Students are required to attend all classes, participate in discussions, and read the assigned material prior to each class. Regardless of the reason (illness, funeral, family or personal emergency), students will be deducted up to 5% of the course grade for every missed face-to-face class. If a student must relocate during the duration of the program, s/he may need to exit the program unless s/he is able to attend the face-to-face classes. If there is inclement weather predicted for a face-to-face class, the professor will notify students of alternative class plans.

We generally begin cohorts every other year. The next cohort begins Fall 2024.

Our program is cohort based. The next cohort will start Fall 2024.

Up to 18 credits may be transferred into the 60 credit EdD program; however, such credits must be above and beyond master’s level coursework. Typically, students are approved to transfer no more than 9 credits, reflecting the student’s minor or elective credits. These courses require prior approval. Students must have earned a B or better in any transfer coursework. After admission, students should submit a completed transfer of credit form found on the graduate student portal. This form along with the email approval from the student's advisor or chair must be submitted to Ed Leadership Student Support at educlead@indiana.edu. The approval process typically takes 2-3 months.

You do not need to revalidate ANY of your master’s credits that were part of your admission to the executive EdD program (remember a master’s is a prerequisite for this program). However, any courses that you transfer in (those above and beyond your master’s degree) that are older than 7 years must be revalidated. Students will work with the instructor of record for the course in order to determine what needs to be done to revalidate (e.g., retake the course, take an exam, attend a conference, etc.). Contact Ed Leadership Student Support at educlead@indiana.edu or 812-856-8371.

We consider a variety of factors including undergraduate and graduate GPA, 2 letters of recommendation (at least one from a supervisor), a resume and a personal statement. Requirements and application can be found here. We are interested in highly motivated students who have demonstrated strong leadership skills. A strong academic record is also required.

Students should check Student Central for the latest information about tuition and fees.

Our program consistently ranks very highly in US News & World Report. You can see our current rankings here.

It is competitive. Students are encouraged to submit their application materials at least five months prior to the start of the next cohort. Cohorts generally fill several months before they begin. We generally accept 10-12 students per cohort.

The Educational Leadership faculty review EdD admission applications periodically and commit to rendering an admission decision well in advance of the next cohort. Cohorts begin every other year, thus it can take some time to receive an admission decision if you apply well before the beginning of the next cohort. If you have applied and would like more information about the status of your application, please contact Ed Leadership Student Support at educlead@indiana.edu or 812-856-8371.

Please see the School of Education Graduate Bulletin for a list of required courses for this program.

Your courses will generally be taught by full-time faculty members at Indiana University. Our professors have worked as teachers, principals, superintendents, lawyers, and have published widely in their areas of expertise. Several of the faculty members have been school and district administrators Indiana and/or other states.

Students are able to choose their own minors based on their areas of interest. The minor is 9 credits. A complete listing of Ed.D. minors offered within the School of Education can be found here. Potential options for online minors include minors in: Education Law; Adult Education; Human Development; Information Systems Technology; Learning Sciences; and Language Education. Ed.D. students can also complete their minor courses at the Kelley School of Business and earn an MS in Strategic Management. If they are not interested in earning an additional MS, they can also complete a 9-hour online minor at Kelley. Students may propose other minors as well. Importantly, minor courses do not typically operate on the Ed.D. weekend schedule. Thus, students may choose minor courses that are offered online or during the evenings.

The Ed.D. dissertation is usually developed around a problem of practice in your school. Students generally choose topics that are relevant to their work and research interests. The average dissertation is 100-120 pages. Students begin their dissertations as part of their qualifying exams. Thus, by the time you finish coursework and take your qualifying exams, you will have the first three chapters of the five chapter dissertation completed.

Yes, courses in the Ed.D. count toward the specialized certificate programs. To be eligible, you must take coursework required for the certificate prior to earning the Ed.D. In other words, you can’t graduate with a doctorate degree and then return to IU for this certificate and transfer courses in. IU has a policy that credits from a higher degree can’t transfer to a lower degree. Students interested in earning a certificate must submit an application to that certificate program, complete an ePOS, and apply to graduate.

Yes, but only if you have not already been nominated to candidacy. Students who are not enrolled at the IU School of Education for more than two years (and not yet nominated to candidacy) will need to submit a new application for the EdD program. Students who reapply are not guaranteed admission.

Visit the Doctoral Guide in the Graduate Student Portal for a variety of information related to our programs.

Contact Ed Leadership Student Support at educlead@indiana.edu or 812-856-8371.