Jun 12, 2024  
2016-2017 University Catalog 
2016-2017 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Educational Leadership, Ed.D.

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Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership

Admissions Requirements

Minimum requirements for admission include:

  • An earned baccalaureate degree and master’s degree from accredited institutions of higher education with a GPA in upper division and graduate study of 3.0 or above
  • Sufficient preparation and experience pertinent to educational leadership to benefit from the program
  • Submission of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores on the three GRE tests, taken within the last five years
  • Demonstrated educational leadership potential and skills, including successful experience in school, postsecondary, community and/or policy leadership
  • Demonstrated academic excellence, problem-solving ability and an interest in critically assessing and bringing about improvements within current educational policies and practices
  • Three confidential recommendation forms attesting to the leadership ability and scholarship of the candidate
  • A written statement of purpose reflecting understanding of the challenges facing the public schools or community colleges/institutions of higher education in California
  • Professional resume
  • Examples of professional writing
  • Response to a writing prompt administered on-campus prior to the interview
  • Interview with the Admissions Committee

Meeting the minimum requirements qualifies an individual for consideration, but does not guarantee admission to the Program. Admission will be granted on a competitive basis. The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership will not include a foreign language requirement.


Two specializations focus on developing leaders in education:

  • Community College Leadership
  • PreK-12 Educational Leadership

Program of Study

The program includes two summers and two complete academic years of coursework, followed by a period during which the candidate undertakes the dissertation. Classes will be held in the late afternoons and evenings and occasionally on weekends to accommodate the schedules of working professionals.

All candidates are required to be enrolled at CSUF for a minimum of six terms.

The courses offered throughout the program are expected to be taken by individuals who also hold full-time positions. Their full-time employment is viewed as an asset and as providing important opportunities to apply theoretical and empirical material covered in their coursework. The program of study distributed over 12 months will facilitate: (a) integration of graduate studies and practice; (b) periods of intensive study among candidates; and (c) opportunities to work with faculty from CSUF.


All students in the CSUF Ed.D. program will complete a rigorous research-based dissertation that integrates theory and research in the study of an educational problem of practice. The dissertation will include the results of the candidate’s independent research and will typically focus on examination of: (a) an educational problem of practice; (b) a practice or program; or (c) an educational policy or reform. Most dissertations will be studies undertaken in the local context, having the potential to contribute to solutions of local educational problems. Dissertations will utilize a range of qualitative, quantitative and mixed-methods research methodologies. The dissertation will present the results of the candidate’s independent investigation in a manner that contributes both to professional knowledge in education and to the improvement of educational practice. Examples might include studies examining reforms in curriculum and instruction, professional development, applications of technology and investigations of access, equity and inclusion in schools and community colleges.

Each Ed.D. student’s dissertation must conform to the CSU regulations and specifications with regard to format and method of preparation.

Defense of Dissertation

During a final oral examination the candidate defends the dissertation. The dissertation defense will address the theoretical and conceptual background, relevant literature, data collection techniques, data analysis strategies and results and implications concerning the question(s) studied.

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