Doctor of Education (Educational Leadership) K-12 Administration

Total Graduate Faculty in Program:
Total Core Graduate Faculty in Program:
Graduate Students in Program:
Priority Deadlines:

  • Fall – March 1

Program Deadlines:

  • Fall – (Closes July 1)


  • Pullman
  • Spokane
  • Tri-Cities
  • Vancouver
  • Everett

International Student English Proficiency Exams

International students may need to surpass the Graduate School’s minimum English language proficiency exam scores for this program. If the graduate program has unique score requirements, they will be detailed below. Otherwise, please refer to the Graduate School’s minimum score guidelines.

  • TOEFL – iBT
  • Duolingo

Degree Description:

The statewide Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership prepares practitioner-scholars for leadership in education at the local, state, and national levels. Program content is both practical and scholarly; it blends issues important to practicing educational leaders with scholarship that can help analyze and address these issues. Program faculty are highly experienced school professionals and nationally recognized academic scholars who contribute to the central purpose of the program: preparing practitioner-scholars for effective and meaningful leadership. The Ed.D. dissertation is intended to study and address a contemporary problem of practice in k-20 schools through a leadership lens.

This is a modified cohort program, with a new cohort admitted once each year in the fall. Students enroll part-time in two classes each semester will finish the coursework portion of their program in 2½ years. Students making continual progress could complete the degree in four years, though it is common for students balancing educational, professional, and personal demands to finish in five years. The program is offered on-site at WSU’s campuses (Pullman, Spokane, Tri-Cities, and Vancouver). This is a part-time program for working professionals and classes are taught via Zoom with occasional required in-person attendance.

Admission Requirements:

NOTES: The Ed.D. program does not offer teaching or research assistantships. Degree and certification programs in Educational Leadership do not accept state of Washington tuition waivers. This includes the following graduate programs: Ed.M., M.A., Ed.D., and Ph.D., as well as these certification programs: principal, program administrator, and superintendent. GRE scores are not required. There are no assistantships for this program.

Here’s a “checklist” of information you’ll need when you apply through GradCAS.

01. WSU Graduate School general application requirements (including application fee). Once in GradCAS search for Washington State University in K-12 Administration (then choose your campus).

02. Current resume or vitae, including any currently held positions, documenting your educational attainments and highlighting any education related work and/or research experience.

03. Written Statement: Please provide a written statement of your scholarly and professional objectives, and how you believe your enrollment in Washington State University’s Ed.D. program will advance these objectives. Your statement should be no more than two pages, single-spaced, and must include the following:

  • A summary of your beliefs and/or values about leadership
  • A description of leadership or other life experiences that relate to graduate study in educational leadership
  • Your scholarly and/or research interests as an educational leader
  • The contributions you hope to bring to the Ed.D. program and the community of scholar-practitioners

NOTE: Statements that do not address these prompts will be scored lower.

04. Academic Writing Sample: For the sample you should be named as the sole author. Please submit ONE from this list:

  • Academic research paper, master’s thesis, or published article
  • Literature review
  • Case study
  • Paper presented at a conference or workshop (NOT Power Point slides)
  • Professional / work-related report (NOT Power Point slides)

If you do not have one of the above samples, please respond to the prompt below in 750 – 1,000 words. Include your name and “WRITING SAMPLE” as the header.

PROMPT: Decision-making has been characterized as the heart of educational leadership. Yet, how school and district leaders identify what issues to address, with whom to work with them on, and on which resources they draw to inform their thinking, is less well understood. In many ways, this is true because the contexts of school and district leadership vary so greatly. Using your professional context as your foundation:

  • Identify what you believe to be a substantive concern/issue/problem for your school and/or district.
  • Describe why it is a concern and what kinds of formal and informal data inform your understanding of this issue.
  • Discuss your school/district’s current response and who is engaged in that work.
  • Describe the resources (e.g. readings, professional learning/development, community resources and/or consultants) your school/district is drawing on to address the issue.
  • Conclude with what might be a positive and appropriate resolution.

Citations to readings and research are welcomed but not required.

05. Three letters of recommendation. Letters should address your 1) scholarship; 2) facility with written, oral, and interpersonal communication; and 3) leadership and/or interpersonal skills.

  • Two of these letters should be from persons from whom you have taken previous coursework. If you are unable to contact previous professors, letters should be from individuals qualified to address your ability to be successful academically and professionally.
  • One letter should come from an education leader for whom you have worked.
  • All letters should address your qualifications as a potential doctoral student.

06. Complete Educational History and Transcripts from any colleges/universities:

  • Where any degrees have been granted or are expected.
  • That show any graded bachelor’s work and/or graduate-level work (including doctoral) taken after the bachelor’s degree.
  • Unofficial copies may be uploaded with your Graduate School application for application review. If admitted, you will be required to submit official copies to the WSU Graduate School.
  • Official WSU Transcripts are NOT required for coursework taken at WSU.

07. International Students must meet the university’s English proficiency and funding requirements. Please view the current requirements.

08. If applicable, copies of currently held education certificates, front and back.


Career Opportunities:

K-12 district leadership positions, higher education administration, public administration or non-profit leadership

Contact Information: