Educational Leadership, Ed.D.



The West College of Education at Midwestern State University has received accreditation through the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The Ed.D. program reflects NELP standards developed by a committee comprised of essential stakeholder communities from across the country. Students will work in informal cohorts to apply educational leadership knowledge and skills to current school issues, often in actual school settings. Students who complete the Ed.D. program are eligible to apply for Texas Superintendent Certification upon satisfactory completion of relevant coursework, practicum, and state examination.

All students must meet the admission standards for the University and the West College of Education. The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership requires 54 semester hours (57 for the superintendent certificate).  The curriculum focuses on knowledge and leadership skills for district leadership. Program objectives include: a knowledge of educational theory and practice, the ability to accurately use research methodology and interpretation to impact practice, and skills in district leadership and management.

The program contains five core courses that provide overarching theoretical, cultural, and legal perspectives of educational policy and practice. It contains six required courses in the area of district school leadership. Additionally, there are four courses on educational research culminating with a dissertation. The core courses and research courses are standard for the field. The district leadership courses provide a distinct focus for those interested in school district impact.

Within the District Leadership Courses, students work on relevant real-world projects tied to course content to benefit their district of employment. This focus on project-based learning and hands on application of learning help the students to further develop their skills as problem solvers and critical thinkers that can use their knowledge to create, implement, and assess educational initiatives that impact school district effectiveness.



Applications can be found at: MSU Texas Graduate School Application.

The following are the application criteria and requirements for admission to the Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) doctoral program:

  • Candidates must hold at least a Master's degree in Education Administration/Leadership, Curriculum and Instruction, or other related field in education.
  • All candidates are required to complete and submit the following items to the Office of Graduate Admissions
    • Graduate application and processing fee
    • Official GRE scores (< 5 years old)
    • Official transcripts from all higher education institutions attended by the applicant
    • For students pursuing Superintendent Certification:  Complete program application form and a copy of principal certification.
    • Curriculum Vitae
    • Three reference letters (One letter should be from a college or university professor.)
    • An essay describing candidate's career goals and how obtaining a doctoral degree will impact those goals.
    • A one to two-page case study response
    • Candidates will be required to complete an admissions interview.



Ed.D. courses are hybrid. Each semester the courses will meet three times in person. The remainder of the course will be done through synchronous and asynchronous distance learning.


Required Core - 15 semester credit hours:

EDLE 6093 - Cultural Foundations in Educational Leadership

EDLE 6103 - Leading through Crisis

EDLE 6143 - Theories of Leadership, Administration, and Organizational Management

EDLE 6153 - District Financial Leadership

EDLE 6063 - Advanced Education Law


Research Courses - 12 semester credit hours:

EDLE 6073 - Data-Based Decision Making

EDLE 6083 - Evidence Informed Perspectives on Practice

EDLE 6123 - Qualitative Decision Analysis

EDLE 6133 - Writing and Research Design for Educational Leadership


District Leadership Core - 18 semester credit hours:

EDLE 6003 - District Level Leadership

EDLE 6013 - Politics and Community Relations

EDLE 6023 - Program Evaluation

EDLE 6033 - School Organization and Management

EDLE 6043 - Understanding Teachers & Teaching

EDLE 6113 - Educational Accountability and Student Assessment


EDLE Elective - 3 semester credit hours:

EDLE 6053 - Superintendent Practicum


Dissertation - 9 semester credit hours:

EDLE 6203 - Dissertation