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DEd in Educational Leadership

Nancy Heapes, PhD
Contact: Angela Burham, Student Services Coordinator


Mailing Address: 
5267 University of Oregon

The Department of Educational Methodology, Policy, and Leadership (EMPL) offers a Doctorate of Education (DEd), the highest degree offered to those interested in developing practice-oriented expertise.

EMPL’s DEd enables its graduates to:

  • Improve K-12 student learning performance & progress
  • Improve effectiveness of professional practice
  • Enhance building/district capacity and capabilities
  • Cultivate and sustain professional communities of practice
  • Advance professional knowledge and analytical expertise

Wondering which type of doctoral degree is right for you? This video explains the differences between our PhD and DEd programs. You can also listen to EMPL alumni and distinguished educational leaders speak about our DEd program.

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Equity Leadership Fellows Program

Find out more about the Equity Leadership Fellows program, a unique funding opportunity for DEd students. Applications for 2017-18 are now closed.

Program Structure & Requirements

EMPL’s DEd is adapted for the realities experienced by working educators. Courses are offered in the evenings and on weekends with on-campus and virtual course delivery, as well as with asynchronous modules that are family and job-friendly. The academic experience can be demanding at times; success requires careful time management. However, the program balances the competing demands of the classroom and the workplace.

To receive the doctorate, students must complete at least 144 credits; students may request to transfer up to 48 prior, related Master’s credits from an accredited university if those credits were earned within 15 years prior to application to this program. Students must complete this program within 5 years.

EMPL DEd students become part of a programmatic cohort. The program’s core curriculum provides practicing educational professionals with a foundation for an advanced graduate degree, emphasizing leadership development, oral and written communication, and understanding of educational assessment and research. Current concentrations in Equity, Literacy, and Policy are being rolled into a single focus of methodological approaches to problems of practice. The completion of the program includes a dissertation and defense.

Concurrent Administrator Licensure Options

Students who begin the DEd with a Preliminary Administrator License (PreAL) will also receive the Professional Administrator License upon completion of their degree program. Students who do not have a PreAL have the option of the PreAL/DEd joint program, in which all 27 credits required to earn a PreAL apply toward the 142 credits needed for the DEd. Click here for more information.