EdD in Education Leadership

Responding to the needs of individuals looking to advance their careers, the University of Pittsburgh School of Education offers a Doctor of Education (EdD) program that serves professionals from various fields through interdisciplinary and practical experiences.

The EdD with a major in Education Leadership is suited for principals and school administrators who desire to become superintendents while earning their doctoral degree. You can earn your doctorate while also completing the requirements for your Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility through the Executive Cohort for Educational Leaders (ExCEL) program. ExCEL’s purpose is to prepare leaders who champion publicly supported schools and who are committed advocates for children and youths.

Quick Facts

  • Program Duration: 3 years over 10 terms of study
  • Time Commitment: Part time
  • Term of Enrollment: Summer
    • The first summer term includes a week-long on-ramp experience, plus four Saturday classes spread across the summer months.
  • Course Requirements: 84 credits, including 24 credits transferred from previous graduate work 
  • Application Deadline: February 1
  • Admissions Requirements: GRE Exam Not Required

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Program Details

Education Leadership is one of the majors of the Doctor of Education (EdD) degree program at the Pitt School of Education. The program accommodates the schedules of working professionals and combines an online learning environment with monthly Saturday in-person sessions. There is a hybrid course delivery model, including a one-day welcome and information event, a week-long intensive on-ramp experience in the first summer, cross-disciplinary practitioner inquiry and foundations courses, and an internship.

The EdD helps graduates advance within their professional areas of practice. This is in contrast to our PhD, which is a full-time program that helps to prepare graduates for research-oriented careers and/or working as faculty within research and doctoral granting universities.


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Degree Requirements

EdD students at the Pitt School of Education complete 10 requirements that are embedded in coursework, including a practitioner inquiry project.


A student who earns the Doctor of Education (EdD) in the Educational Leadership program can also earn the Letter of Eligibility.  The Letter of Eligibility certification enables the holder to pursue administrative opportunities in Pennsylvania School Districts, including the assistant superintendent and superintendent positions.


The EdD program at the Pitt School of Education requires applicants to have 24 credits of relevant graduate work to transfer from a source institution with a B (3.0) or higher according to University policy.

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Career Pathways

Many of our students take on school leadership positions, including as assistant superintendent of schools or superintendent of schools.