Become a catalyst for change in education.

Lewis University’s Educational Leadership for Teaching and Learning Doctoral Program is designed to empower leaders to address the most pressing educational, social and political issues of their community and society. Upon graduation, students will have gained knowledge in research, critical pedagogy, moral philosophy, history, cultural difference, curriculum theory, global issues and critical policy studies.

The Educational Leadership doctoral program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and fully approved by the State Educator Preparation and Licensure Board and the Illinois State Board of Education.

Students who are admitted for the doctoral program may also apply for the principal certification program which would include two more courses and a yearlong internship.

Sample Courses:

  • Theories of Critical Transformative Leadership
  • Ethical and Moral Studies in Education
  • Conceptualizing and Designing Research
  • Critical Perspectives in School Law
  • Theories of Institutional Transformation
  • Policy Studies in Education
  • History of American Education

Career Options:

  • K-12 School Administration
  • K-12 Teacher Leadership
  • Higher Education Administration
  • College/University Professor
  • Community Education Leadership

Admission Requirements

  • A master's degree in an educationally-related field from an accredited institution of higher education (to qualify for full admission, a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the final 30 hours is required).

  • Official college transcripts from all institutions previously attended.

  • Submission of a graduate application form.

  • Personal Essay Guidelines
    The purpose of the essay is for you to share your perspective about the nature of the work and values of educators needed in our global society. Your essay should specifically address your understanding of what it means to be a:
    • Knowledgeable critical transformative educator
    • Multicultural educator
    • Social justice advocate
    Following are the guidelines for writing your essay:
    • Maximum of four, double-spaced pages
    • 12 point Times New Roman font
    • Include a cover sheet with your name, contact information and date
  • Two letters of recommendation from professors, employers, or advisors.

  • Submission of a previously completed scholarly paper.

  • Successful completion of a personal interview.

Please refer to the Office of Graduate Admissions for application requirements and specific next steps.

Program Requirements

  • First Year Review – Evaluation that provides early feedback to the doctoral student regarding his/her performance in the program, including areas of strength and areas for improvement. Held at the end of the first year.

  • Mid-Program Assessment – Provides feedback to doctoral student about their developing research skills. This assessment occurs in the second year of coursework.

  • Qualifying Examination and Oral Defense – Evaluation to determine how the student has integrated the program’s major theoretical concepts into practice. A written exam is developed by program faculty, plus an oral defense of the exam. Any student who fails a qualifying exam more than once will not be permitted to continue work toward the doctorate, and admission to the doctoral program will be terminated. Successful completion of the qualifying exam and oral defense will admit the student to doctoral candidacy. Held at the end of the third year.

  • Dissertation and Dissertation Defense – Demonstrates the doctoral candidate’s ability to conduct theoretically grounded, high quality research. Doctoral candidates who formally begin this phase will register for Dissertation Supervision. Once completed, the student must register for the course until completion of the dissertation.

Download the Ed.D. information packet for more information.


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