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Earn Your Doctorate Here

WKU’s 60-credit-hour, year-round Educational Leadership Doctoral Program focuses on meeting the needs of practicing professionals to develop leadership skills in cross-disciplinary settings. Students are typically full-time employed and fit our coursework around their busy lives.  We consider students “full-time” if they complete 6 hours per semester (spring, summer, fall) each year.  A typical semester includes enrollment in one cohort class shared by other students entering the program at the same time and an elective related to program specialization (see below). Courses typically meet one weekend per month and/or in "hybrid" format in the fall/spring semesters. Summer courses follow similar patterns of weekend and/or hybrid formatting but over a shorter and more compact duration. Students continually enrolling three semesters per year should be able to complete all coursework excluding dissertation hours within three calendar years.


Four program specializations are offered (click on each specialization for additional information):

P-12 Adm. Leadership

Designed for individuals desiring to serve or to enhance their capacity to serve as public school/school district administrators.

Teacher Leadership

Designed for individuals desiring to serve or to enhance their capacity to serve in leadership roles related to areas such as assessment, curriculum, technology, literacy, and classroom teaching.

Postsecondary Leadership

Designed for individuals desiring to serve or to enhance their capacity to serve in two-year and four-year institutions.

Organizational Leadership

Designed for individuals desiring to serve or to enhance their capacity to serve in education-related organizations that are not classified as schools, colleges, or universities. 


Admission Requirements

Intended candidates for the degree are individuals who have completed at least a master's degree (or other appropriate graduate degree), have demonstrated leadership capacity within their organizational settings, and/or are committed to enhancing their abilities to learn and to enhance the educational missions of their organizations and communities.                               

Program admission is based on a holistic evaluation of the candidate's application file, which must include:  

  1. Transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work;                                                                                                                   
  2. Documentation of a master's degree (or other graduate degree) from an institution accredited by a nationally recognized accreditation organization;                                                                                                                                                               
  3. Completed application;                                                                                                                                                           
  4. Current (within 1 year of application deadline) resume or vita;                                                                                                                         
  5. An in-depth personal statement including qualifications, rationale, and goals related to pursuing the WKU Ed.D. program;                                                                                                                                          
  6. Three current (within 1 year of application deadline) letters of recommendation from persons in a position to evaluate the applicant's potential for success in a doctoral program; and                                                                                               
  7. Official GRE scores. Minimum scores of GRE-V = 145, GRE-Q = 145 (or their equivalents on older versions of the GRE), and 4.0 analytical writing are preferred.                                                                                                                                                          
  8. Submission of a writing sample (requested during the admission review process) if applicants took the GRE without the Analytic Writing portion or if Analytic Writing score falls below preferred minimum.                                                  

International students are encouraged to apply and must submit the following additional documents for admission consideration:                                                                                                                                                                                                  

  1. Evidence of ability to communicate in English (as evidenced by a minimum of 570 on the paper based TOEFL, a minimum of 88 on the iBT TOEFL, a minimum of 7.0 on the IELTS; or a degree from an institution with English as the language of instruction).                                                                                                                                      
  2. Evidence of adequate financial resources

*Please note: For Fall cohort admission, the application deadline is April 1.* 
*For Spring cohort admission, the application deadline is November 1.*


Tuition Information

The tuition rate for the program is based on current WKU graduate tuition rates. Additionally, there is a course fee per credit hour for students in the program. Information about tuition and fees is available at the following link: Tuition and Fee Schedules 

Potential financial resources include:

  • Fellowships
  • Scholarships
  • Student loans
  • Tuition waiver for credits obtained by P-12 teachers providing supervision of student teachers/interns
  • Tuition credit waivers for state employees
  • Employer/district matching contracts and/or professional development funds
  • Contracted organizational incentive discounts
  • Personal funds
  • Graduate Student Research Grants


Let's chat more about the EdD






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 Last Modified 1/17/19