Study Areas

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P-12 Educators/Superintendent Credential 

The P-12 Educator study area is for teacher leaders, principals, central office administrators, as well as private educational roles. The superintendent credential is for educators with principal or program administrator certification who wish to become certified as a district superintendent. Those who have already earned this certificate may apply for the advanced standing program option. The Advanced Standing Program Option would allow students credit for knowledge and skills gained in addition to those they will acquire in the Ed.D. program. Prospective students from states that have “reciprocal certification agreements with Washington State” would also be eligible for the Advanced Standing Program Option. Credits from prior internships may also be applied toward the EdD. Those who will earn the P-12 superintendent credential are required by the state to complete additional competencies, which will require two additional courses. 

For admission to the superintendent credential option in the Ed.D., the candidates must possess either: 

  1. a principal credential,
  2. a program administrator credential, or 
  3. significant executive leadership experience. 

P-12 candidates must be approved by their employer for support of practicum in year two. For other candidates, potential practicum setting(s) must be identified. You will be advised by faculty on site selection criteria prior to and after admission. 

See additional information below regarding the layout, structure, and expectations of the P-12 option. 

The Scope and Sequence of the Ed.D. Curriculum with Disciplinary Sections

Educational Leadership Student Handbook 

Nurse Education and Healthcare Leadership 

This area is for nurses, healthcare leaders and educators from a variety of settings, such as community colleges, health systems, or community-based and public health agencies. The focus is leadership in program development, healthcare education, change management, professional development, and evidence-based practice. 

NOTE: Verification of a current, unencumbered (RN) or other professional license in Washington state is required. 

Higher Education 

This study area is for instructors or staff with leadership experience who seek roles in institutions of higher education, such as Chair, Dean, Vice President, or President. Leadership may be focused also in Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Enrollment or Diversity.

Adult Education 

This is for those who lead in adult education professional development settings.

Public Service 

This is for experienced leaders from OSPI and other government-based educational arenas, such as city, county, or state level employees in which education is a primary responsibility


If you are engaging in Educational Leadership in another domain--tell us about it. We'll discuss the fit of this program for you.


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  EdD Dissertations



Coursework includes courses on leadership, specialty courses for the three study areas, and courses in research and inquiry. 

Year Two Practicum

During the second year of study, you will participate in a practicum for leadership development that is directly related to the context of your employment, or a related site. We will assist you to design practicum activities that will expand your leadership capacity beyond that of your current knowledge and skill.

Year Three Dissertation in Practice

In the final year of study, you will complete a field-based dissertation in practice, which is a year-long project in which you address an actual problem of practice. This must be a project outside of your normal work expectations. Specifically the project should demonstrate leadership at a higher level than that of your current employment. It must include components of: program evaluation, literature review of research and policy, data collection and analysis, proposal for program improvement or other solution to the problem, and implementation of proposed solutions.  A comprehensive report including all of the above will be written and delivered to the University as well as to the employer in whose domain it was conducted. In addition, a manuscript for publication based on the problem of practice and solutions will be completed.