Doctor of Education (DEd) in Educational Leadership

DEd Program Manual   |   Information Session   |   Program Requirements

About the Doctorate of Education Program

Our goal is to develop effective, highly-regarded, and influential educational leaders. The Doctorate of Education (DEd) program focuses on providing school and district leaders with the knowledge and tools they need.

The purpose of the University of Oregon’s Doctorate of Education (DEd) degree in Educational Leadership (EDLD) is to provide practicing educational professionals with an advanced graduate degree that emphasizes leadership development, oral and written communication, and understanding of educational research.

The DEd 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, with a clear equity lens.

The program’s mission is to develop 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 relevant sources of evidence in making decisions that serve the best interests of students, communities, and their schools.
  • Take targeted, evidence-based actions that change systems to better meet the needs of all students

What can I do with this degree?

Learning both content and analytical skills allows leaders to address contemporary educational and societal challenges effectively and efficiently 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.

The DEd program is designed to address the growing need for education professionals to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to lead school systems in a data-driven, change-oriented environment. The DEd 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 differs distinctly from a PhD 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 earned concurrently with a Principal or Professional Administrator license, anchoring its content to case-based problems in the field.

Our DEd program blends real-time interaction with faculty and students with online content using the Zoom application for classroom instruction, and our Canvas application for course assignments, discussion boards, and other online interactions.

Our courses are offered in the evenings and weekends to enable students to continue to work while earning their degree.

DEd Progam Manual

Information Session

Missed one of our information sessions? That’s okay, we've got you covered! Hear from Julie Alonzo, PhD, Research Associate Professor, who offers more detail on the program.

Doctor of Education Program Requirements

The program requires 81 credits completed over three years, with the first two years consisting of a prescribed sequence of coursework:

  • Year 1: Students understand better the contextual factors that relate to a variety of outcomes for students, teachers, families, classrooms, schools, districts, and the state.
  • Year 2: Students develop skills to improve schools and school systems through the application of data collection, analysis, and interpretation.

The combined emphasis in the first two years on methodology, writing, and content (policy, leadership, and equity) provides the broad basis for conducting a dissertation study that addresses a problem of practice in the field in year 3 of the program

Content: Research Methods 22
Content: Equity and Leadership 15
Content: Education Policy and Law 12
Writing Communication 14
Dissertation 18

Three-Year Degree Plan

First Year — Total Credits: 34

Summer Term — Total Credits: 6

EDUC 611 Survey of Educational Research Methodology 3
EDLD 615 Leading Change 3

Fall Term — Total Credits: 9

EDLD 624 Leading for Equity 3
EDLD 644 Learning Organization 3
EDLD 696 Professional Writing I 3

Winter Term — Total Credits: 9

EDUC 614 Educational Statistics 3
EDUC 615 Intro to Qualitative Research 3
EDLD 697 Professional Writing II 3

Spring Term — Total Credits: 9

EDUC 640 Applied Statistical Design & Analysis 3
EDLD 643 Evidence Based Decision Making 3
EDLD 698 Professional Writing III 3

Second Year — Total Credits: 27

Summer Term — Total Credits: 0

Fall Term — Total Credits: 9 

EDUC 620 Program Evaluation I 3
EDLD 632 Educational Policy Analysis 3
EDLD 638 Oregon Advanced School Law 3

Winter Term — Total Credits: 9

EDUC 621 Program Evaluation II 3
EDLD 627 Leaders Serving Special Populations 3
EDLD 692 Research Writing 3

Spring Term — Total Credits: 9

SPED 528 Law and Special Education 3
EDLD 631 Ed Policy for Multilingual Students 3
EDLD 694 Dissertation Preparation 3

Third Year — Total Credits: 21

Fall Term — Total Credits: 9

EDLD 603 Dissertation 6
EDLD 699 Dissertation Apprenticeship 3

Winter Term — Total Credits: 6

EDLD 603 Dissertation 6

Spring Term — Total Credits: 6

EDLD 603 Dissertation 6