Educational Leadership: DEd

The goal of Educational Methodology, Policy, and Leadership is to develop effective, highly-regarded, and influential leaders in educational practice, policy, and scholarship. The Doctorate of Education (D.Ed.) program focuses on the processes by which educational outcomes and systems change are measured and how Pre-K-12 educational improvement can be diagnosed, prescribed, and managed. 

The purpose of the Doctorate of Education (D.Ed.) degree in Educational Leadership (EDLD) offered by the department of Educational Methodology, Policy, and Leadership (EMPL) is to provide practicing educational professionals with an advanced graduate degree that emphasizes leadership development, oral and written communication, and understanding of educational assessment and research. The D.Ed. is the highest degree offered to those interested in developing practice-oriented expertise. The program’s curriculum content, sequence, and proficiency requirements are tailored to develop advanced leadership capabilities that enable individuals to lead school districts and buildings in making decisions and implementing programs grounded in evidenced-based practices. The program’s mission is to develop translational and transformational education leaders who are equipped to apply data-driven evidence to promote equitable outcomes and address opportunity gaps for students, schools, and education systems by working to:

  • Raise the most pressing problems of practice in the service of ensuring equitable outcomes and eliminating disparities for students
  • Identify, analyze, and synthesize all relevant sources of evidence in making decisions that serve the best interests of students and school. 
  • Communicate and integrate the best available research evidence with knowledge and expertise of professional educators in the field aligned with specific community needs and assets
  • Take targeted, evidence-based actions that change systems to better meet the needs of all students

Attainment of these goals allows leaders to address contemporary educational and societal challenges effectively and efficiently by learning both content and analytical skills. EMPL endorses a systems-level organizational theory of education and implementation of objective research and evaluation methods to both understand and affect that system. The DEd provides value-added skills and perspectives for educational leaders (principals and superintendents) as well as researchers and consultants working with local and state educational agencies. Finally, the DEd is designed to consider the consequential validity of translating findings into practice while concurrently considering policy, leadership, and equity.

The D.Ed. program is designed to address the growing need of education professionals to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to lead school systems in today’s data-driven, change-oriented environment. The D.Ed. program follows current recommendations from the University Council for Educational Administration, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and the Education Schools Project to craft a degree that is distinctly different from the Ph.D. in how educational research is used and studied, and also in specific degree requirements. The orientation of this degree program is toward problems of practice. The degree is designed for working professionals who can initiate reforms in current educational settings. This degree can be aligned with an administrative license program, anchoring its content to case-based problems in the field.

The program is organized around a set of competencies presented in a sequential curriculum that enables students to build the knowledge, skills, and expertise necessary to complete the dissertation successfully and to function as effective educational leaders. The program fully integrates high-quality educational research and effective research methodologies applicable to the field of practice. Upon completion of their doctoral program coursework, graduates can employ critical theoretical frameworks, appropriate methodological approaches, and reflective analysis at an expert level.

Application at a Glance

You apply for admission through your program. Detailed instructions are available on the program’s website. The following are required for your application:

Program-Specific Application Requirements:

  • CV or Resume
  • GRE or MAT scores (UO Institution Code: 4846)
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Personal Goal Statement
  • Writing Sample



Doctor of Education (DEd)
College of Education
Campus: Eugene
Summer Term: April 24