Educational Leadership and Administration, Ed.D.
Graduate Studies

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and Administration

Become an educator who is better prepared to serve as a leader in the classroom, school, and community. Your studies will enhance your skills, expand your knowledge, and strengthen your ethical and professional standards.

An Ed.D. in Educational Leadership focuses on preparation of educational leaders in the K-12 environment, such as superintendents, principals, administrators and teacher leadership, who are prepared for the complex and ever-changing life of the school setting.

Program Highlights

  • Extensive alumni network—Enter a professional network of hundreds of Ed.D. alumni, many of whom hold high-ranking positions as superintendents, principals and intermediate unit directors.
  • Flexible program delivery—Take accelerated, seven-week evening classes on Immaculata’s campus starting in fall, spring, or summer and finish in as few as three years, even while working full-time.
  • Experienced facultyLearn from faculty with over 400 years of combined experience in education and administration.
  • Cohorts—If you are interested in starting a cohort near you, please contact us at
  • Dissertation support—Three research courses throughout the program prepare you to choose a topic, conduct research and write your dissertation.

New Online Format

In addition to our on campus format, the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Administration will be offered in a remote synchronous option, providing the tradition you can trust coupled with the convenience today’s professionals require. Applications are being accepted now.

Interested candidates should contact us at, 484-323-3005, or by scheduling a personal consultation with Kristen Lebresco, Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions. Admissions interviews will be scheduled upon submission and review of application materials.

Administrative Certifications

You can earn optional certifications along with your degree:


Program Availability

Admission Requirements

All students entering the Ed.D. program must hold a master’s degree. Learn about the application process and admission requirements. View the per-credit tuition for Ed.D. courses.

Student Spotlight

Jessica Knier

Assistant Principal Jessica Knier worked to provide her school community with research to offer trauma-informed practices to support her students. She found many of her Ed.D. classes were directly applicable to daily issues she was encountering. Read more.




Attend classes online with live instruction from our distinguished faculty. 


Collaborate with your cohort peers



Engage in a supervised dissertation research experience designed for practitioners

Weekly Schedule

Login the same night each week for convenient and consistent scheduling – Thursday evenings from 5-9pm 

Curriculum—54 Credits

• EDL 702 Methods of Doctoral Research

EDL 702 Methods of Doctoral Research

An overview of methods used to conduct educational research with emphasis on locating and evaluating research literature. Course content includes the scientific method, development of research questions, formulation of research designs with ethical considerations, and professional critiques of methodologies. Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method designs will be reviewed. Scholarly writing and APA formatting will be a focus. (Course must be taken within the first 12 credits of the doctoral program.)

• EDL 720 Orientation to Doctoral Research

EDL 720 Orientation to Doctoral Research

Students will refine their skills in scholarly research and writing by framing research questions (Dissertation, Chapter 1), analyzing and synthesizing research (Dissertation, Chapter 2), and completing a mini literature review in APA format on their selected dissertation topic. (Course must be taken within the first 21 credits of the doctoral program).
• EDL 721 School Leadership in Teaching and Learning

EDL 721 School Leadership in Teaching and Learning

Study of administrators’ roles in decision making, evaluation, performance appraisal, school organization and operation, problem identification and resolution, goal setting, planning, as well as management team concepts. Examination of various experiences that affect both teacher and learner.

• EDL 722 Personnel Management and Labor Relations

EDL 722 Personnel Management and Labor Relations

Examination of the personnel function in educational settings. Consideration of trends in staffing, recruitment, selection, assignment orientation, performance evaluation as well as grievances, labor relations, federal, state, and local mandates and negotiations.

• EDL 723 School Business Management

EDL 723 School Business Management

Comprehensive study of school business management. This course is concerned with district-wide business administration policies and procedures essential to conservation and wise use of funds, facilities, equipment and people.

• EDL 724 Organizational Development and Change Theory

EDL 724 Organizational Development and Change Theory

Emphasis on the application of organizational development practices related to educational settings. Focus on change theory and its implementation in schools.

• EDL 725 Communication Theory and Practice

EDL 725 Communication Theory and Practice

Preparation of administrators to develop and use various oral and written communication skills needed to communicate with diverse groups found within the school environment. Theoretical and analytical foundations of communication on intergroup and interpersonal bases.

• EDL 726 Political, Economic and Social Structures of the Culture

EDL 726 Political, Economic and Social Structures of the Culture

This course, aligned with the PA Leadership Core Standards and Corollary Standards and offered in an online environment, examines the historical antecedents of the political processes of education, as well as ways to improve the organization’s culture. The course focuses on the political, social, and economic realities in which the education system operates and considers research and theory which are directly related to issues of education and school reform.

• EDL 727 Pennsylvania School Code and School Board Policies

EDL 727 Pennsylvania School Code and School Board Policies

This course provides doctoral students with a basic understanding and appreciation of the interaction of the PA School Code, PA School Law, School Policies, and landmark court decisions that have influenced the development of education in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. (Prerequisite: EDL 625)

• EDL 728 Curriculum Theory and Evaluation

EDL 728 Curriculum Theory and Evaluation

Analysis of various approaches to curriculum theory. Examination of the educational strengths and weaknesses of these theories as they are implemented in different school environments. Evaluation of the effectiveness of school curriculum programs. (Prerequisite: EDL 622)

• EDL 729 Curriculum Management

EDL 729 Curriculum Management

Assistance for experienced educators in their effort to monitor and evaluate the implementation of curriculum improvement plans. (Prerequisite: EDL 622)

• EDL 730 Pupil Personnel Services

EDL 730 Pupil Personnel Services

This course examines pupil personnel services in public and private schools. The focus includes the nature and development of programs to meet diverse student needs at the building and district levels along with discussions of current issues and trends. Central administration and school leadership must understand the broad and extensive services mandated by state and/or federal requirements and those that derive from student needs at the local level. These services strongly influenced by member constituents requires an evaluation and assessment of their worth and effectiveness in promoting effective learning environments and programs for students.

• EDL 731 Advanced Supervision

EDL 731 Advanced Supervision

This course, aligned with the PA Leadership Core Standards and Corollary Standards, examines the supervisory process as developmental, dynamic, and collegial to promote purposeful, important learning and teaching. Supervisory perspectives, skills, and authority are analyzed. Options for working with teachers in a learning community and for encouraging teacher leadership are included. Through research, problem-based learning, in-class scenarios, case studies, and discussion, the course will focus on leadership and the role of supervision in student achievement. (Prerequisite: EDL 623)

• EDL 732 Staff Development

EDL 732 Staff Development

Focus on the process of growth and change in the adult and various ways of enabling individuals to gain professional competence. Includes skills needed in designing, implementing and evaluating staff development programs.

• EDL 734 Dissertation Research Seminar

EDL 734 Dissertation Research Seminar

Guidance of student efforts to translate theoretical constructions and research ideas into useful plans to be incorporated into the research proposal (Chapters 1-3 Draft). Course includes preparation for all aspects of the dissertation process. Grading is Pass or Fail. (Prerequisite: successful completion of required course work and Degree Candidacy Application.)

• EDL 797 Degree Candidacy Application

EDL 797 Degree Candidacy Application

A culminating experience which reflects the student’s synthesis, integration of knowledge and the academic content of the dissertation research. Successful completion of the Degree Candidacy Application prepares the student for EDL 734: Dissertation Research Seminar. Students will submit Dissertation Chapters 1-2 (draft) with references. Grading is Pass/Fail. The student is allowed to take the Degree Candidacy Application twice. In order to be eligible for the degree candidacy application, the student must complete all required course work prior to the Dissertation Research Seminar with a GPA of at least 3.3 and secure the approval of the chair.

• EDL 798-799-800 Dissertation

EDL 798-799-800 Dissertation

The time when the student works with committee members to complete the dissertation. Students must register for consecutive semesters of dissertation. Grading is Pass/Fail. (A minimum of 6 credits in dissertation is required) Normally, EDL 798 involves completion of the dissertation proposal, EDL 799 involves data collection and analysis, and EDL 800 involves preparation of the final document and the dissertation defense. See Dissertation Handbook for further details.

Prerequisites—12 credits or the equivalent experience

  • GEN 502 Methods of Research (3)
  • EDL 622 Curriculum and Instruction (3)
  • EDL 623 Supervision (3)
  • EDL 625 School Law & the Legal Process (3)

“The opportunity to share experiences mixed with theory and research is something that I really appreciated. I learned so much in my communication and leadership courses, and I was able to see how the different styles of communication impacted the people I interacted with. The professors were really supportive, always willing to meet, and they reinforced my decision to be at Immaculata. Different people were invested in me even when they didn’t have to be. They allowed me to be successful in obtaining my doctorate. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my career for learning experiences.”

André McLaurin ’19 Ed.D.

Principal, Erdenheim Elementary School

“The doctoral program gave me the opportunity to connect and build relationships with professionals outside of my district. The bond we forged in our cohort allowed us to deeply discuss important topics, create solutions, and grow as educators and leaders. Looking back, I am a stronger writer, communicator, and thinker as a result of the program.”

Dean Damiani ’20 Ed.D.

Principal, Southern Middle School

Just the facts


Ed.D. alumni


superintendents and assistant superintendents


public school principals

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