Western Kentucky University

Educational Leadership Doctoral Program

Program Information

Planning of Program

See Program Progression and Forms for more information.

The program consists of 60 hours beyond a master’s or other graduate degree. The program includes a) an orientation seminar (3 hours), b) 9 hours of core leadership courses, c) 9 hours of core research and statistics courses, c) 21-24 hours of coursework related to the student’s program specialization (see below) and dissertation topic, d) 6 hours of job-embedded internship, and e) 9-12 hours of dissertation. Each student’s academic background and professional experiences will be assessed at the time of admission, and students may be allowed to count up to 12 hours of previously-completed graduate-level course work toward program requirements. To complete the program, students must 1) pass a qualifying exam that includes questions related to program core and specialization outcomes; and 2) propose, complete, and successfully defend a dissertation. 

Program Components


EDLD 702 Educational Leadership Doctoral Program Orientation (3 hours) - taken during the first semester after admission to the program.

Leadership Courses (9 credits)

EDLD 710 Leadership Theories and Ethics
EDLD 720 Individual and Group Issues in Leadership
EDLD 730 Leading the Organization

Research Courses (9 credits)

EDLD 712 Research Methods and Design for Educational Leaders
EDLD 722 Measurement and Survey Methods for Educational Leaders 
EDLD 732 Program Evaluation for Educational Leaders

Internship Course (1-3 hours per course enrollment for a total of 6 hours)

EDAD 798 Internship in Administration and Supervision (3 hours)

Dissertation course (1-3 hours per course enrollment for a total of 9-12 hours)

EDLD 799 Dissertation*

*Students are encouraged to take EDLD 797 - Dissertation Seminar (3 hours) to prepare for their dissertation experience.


The specific selection of elective courses for a student's program is based on an evaluation of the candidate's background and strengths, as well as on the candidate's professional objectives and needs. With approval of the program specialization adviser, elective courses are chosen to be consistent with the four program specializations and support the student's interest and goals. See the General Overview page for more information about the four program specializations and for links to courses associated with each specialization.


Each student must carry out a substantial, creative project of scholarly quality. In developing dissertation topics, students are required to select real-world topics that enable them to demonstrate the ability to conduct inquiry into processes and problems of educational institutions or organizations.

 Last Modified 7/22/13