The Educational Policy and Leadership Studies Doctor of Education (EdD) will take your leadership to the next level with a supportive cohort in a rigorous and convenient program steeped in the latest research and delivered by renowned faculty.

The EdD is designed for educators seeking a terminal doctoral degree to practice upper-level leadership in PK-20 educational settings. The EdD differs from a PhD because it allows for a more practical-based approach, grounded in problem-based learning pedagogy, to use and perform applied research in educational settings. The EdD program is offered both as a hybrid or Iowa City based program.

Program Overview

This three-year cohort model is designed for practicing school, district, and higher education professionals, and  uses online, hybrid, condensed, and weekend courses to provide convenience and stretch our impact. Our blended learning delivery introduces you to a broad community of learners and applies problem-based learning to identify and address complex issues in educational settings. This strategy promotes active and effective learning in your work settings and will create a learning environment that fosters collaboration and critical analysis. You will be prepared to be part of a workforce of educational leaders who can lead your institutions with wisdom, innovation, and integrity.

Program Requirements

For a complete list of courses and requirements:

Supportive Cohort

You will take your core and applied research courses with your cohort of learners and other graduate students from the Ed Leadership or HESA programs.

Flexible Schedule

Classes will be offered year-round, including January, May, and August short terms.

Courses that require in-person attendance for all students (Hybrid and Iowa City) will be communicated to students in advance.

Each student will select either the Hybrid or Iowa City Learning Center. 


    Classes will be delivered in three ways to address the needs of students:

    • Blended classes with face-to-face enrollment (Iowa City), as well as distance real-time enrollment(Hybrid). Classes will be held primarily in Iowa City.
    • Intensive two-day courses will be held in Iowa City or Des Moines.
    • Intensive one-week courses will be scheduled in Iowa City, with face-to-face enrollment, coupled with 2-3 brief online meetings prior to the one-week meeting. In this format, students are typically allowed 3-4 weeks to complete assignments.

    Faculty and Research

    Faculty associated with the EdD program are from the Department of Educational Policy and Leadership Studies.

    Admissions and Application

    Applications for priority consideration are due by Feb. 1, 2023.

    • A bachelor’s degree from a Regionally Accredited American College or University, or an equivalent degree from another country as determined by the Office of Admissions.
    • A master’s degree in higher education, student affairs, student development, K-12 leadership, or other related field - with a graduate GPA of 3.0
    • Three years of full-time experience in either K-12 or higher education
    • English Proficiency Requirements (international students)

    These are general criteria; the admissions committee considers each applicant's entire portfolio. Applicants will not be considered until they have submitted a complete application packet.

    • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions
    • Official TOEFL scores may be required for some non-native speakers of English
    • A statement of purpose (download instructions).
    • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
    • Letters of recommendation including one from an administrator and one from a faculty member. You will be asked to give the contact information of your recommenders, including their email, on your Admissions Profile. The recommender will then get an email with instructions on how to upload the recommendation letter and/or form.

    Application questions can be directed to:
    Anne Sparks

    Apply Now

    Please review the required supplemental documents above before starting the general graduate application.


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    Contact Us

    Application questions can be directed to:
    Anne Sparks

    EdD program requirements questions can be directed to:
    Brooke Strahn-Koller