Program Spotlight: Ed.D. in Executive Educational Leadership

Disrupting, Transforming, and Innovating Education

The Doctor of Education in Executive Educational Leadership degree is a 60 semester hour cohort program that focuses on providing mid-career public school leaders a firm foundation of knowledge and skills to create innovative solutions as they address current and future challenges in the national educational and political climate.

The Ed. D. in Executive Educational Leadership is grounded in the belief that educational excellence can be achieved through visionary and transformative leadership, organizational change, equity and excellence, and a focus on teaching and learning. The program utilizes a Problems of Practice learning approach and is based on the National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) Standards for district-level public school leaders.

Recognizing that educational leaders must work alongside other community institutions, including government agencies, non-profit organizations, and business and industry, for the well-being of our community’s students and families, doctoral students are required to participate in an externship with a school district or education agency outside their own employment. Students must also participate in a one-week policy-based seminar in Washington, D.C.

Application & Admission

Admissions Deadline: March 15 of Odd numbered years

Admission will be limited to the most qualified applicants based on a combination of the following:

  • Hold a master’s from a regionally accredited program in educational leadership or a closely related area.
  • Official copies of all college transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation (One must be from your immediate supervisors).
  • Satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Exam
  • Three years professional experience in a leadership position (Final determination by program faculty)
  • Letter of Interest
  • Resume or Vita
  • Statement of Philosophy of Leadership
  • Proof of writing ability (thesis, professional paper)
  • Successful interview with program faculty.
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE): To find out more about the GRE and how to sign up for a test date, please visit
  • Apply online:
    • Upload all unofficial university level transcripts when completing the on-line application. For the admission process to be complete, you must also supply an official copy of all transcripts to the Graduate College.
    • Three letters of recommendation (one must be from current supervisor). Ask your recommenders to write about: (a) your leadership experiences and strengths; (b) your commitment to excellence; and (c) your judgment and decision-making skills. Recommenders will submit their letters directly into the On-line application system.
    • Resume or Vita
    • Philosophy of Leadership statement. In no more than 3 pages, write your response to the following: What makes an effective district leader? What are the professional responsibilities of an effective district leader in relation to (a) student learning, (b) teacher development, (c) family/community engagement, and (d) one’s own professional obligations, reflection, and growth? Upload completed leadership statement through on-line application system.
  • All applicants will be contacted for an interview in late March. Interviews are conducted by a team of faculty.

Begin the application process:

Submit Application

For further information about graduate admission requirements, go to Graduate College.

The Ed. D in Executive Educational Leadership operates on a differential, market-based tuition model and may include an additional charge per credit hour.

Nevada Residency: For tuition purposes, all new graduate students are classified out-of-state until Nevada residency is determined via the residency application process. In order to obtain Nevada residency, you must download the residency application and submit along with the required supporting documentation by the first day of the semester in which you are applying for residency. Residency is determined by the Registrar’s Office. Get more information about residency requirements.

Program Features

Integrated Problems of Practice

Professional Problems of Practice (PoP) are central to the program, offering participants the opportunity to immediately apply course-based knowledge and skills to real-world situations. Throughout the program doctoral students will work on self-selected Problems of Practice to engage in the real work of creating change in education through innovative design thinking. Leaders will work at their school and district sites to identify and address a Problem of Practice targeting an area of leadership from the NELP content standards. The scholar will focus research efforts on the PoP and use it as a springboard for completing a dissertation in that area of study. In addition, doctoral students are required to participate in an externship with a school district or educational agency outside their own employment. Student must also participate in a one-week policy-based seminar in Washington, D.C.

Cohort Approach

The program is designed so that students participate in a sequence of classes in which students stay together as a cohort. The cohort approach provides a system of support and network for doctoral students.

National Standards-Based

The Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership curriculum was developed based on the National Educational Leadership Preparation Standards for district level educational administrators. Thus, program participants will be engaging in dialogue and experiences that will be expected of their performance as district level educational administrators in any district in the nation.

Scheduling Designed for the Working Professional

The program is designed for professionals currently employed as principals or school district administrators or other educational professionals. Students complete the program as a cohort over three years. Dissertation hours only may be taken at the pace required by each individual student. Classes will be scheduled on weekends during the regular semesters and in week-long sessions in the summer. All courses will include online readings, assignments, and support. Students may apply for the cohort program each odd numbered year, to begin courses in the summer.


Dr. Maria B. Roberts
Program Coordinator
Phone: 702-895-1914
Room: CEB 318
Program Flyer