Leadership Doctorate

In its 29th year, the Doctoral program in Leadership is a distinctive degree program that prides itself on braiding theory with real-life application. Here, as you are immersed in the reflective practice of leadership with your fellow cohort members, you can apply everything from academic research findings to the brainstorms of cohort members to your organization’s critical issues and challenging situations. To learn more about our Doctoral program in Leadership, view our online information session.

The Doctorate course of study:
The Doctoral program in Leadership coursework has been developed to meet your scheduling needs and provides working professionals with the opportunity to obtain this doctoral degree while maintaining a reasonable work-life balance. You will know your professors, and they will know you. You will develop bonds with your cohort members that will last a lifetime.

The application deadline for our next cohort is April 15, 2016.

What you can earn

  • Doctorate (Ed.D.)
  • Doctorate with a Concentration in Music Education
  • Doctorate with a Concentration in Critical Pedagogy

Where you will learn

  • On-campus (St. Thomas)

When to start

  • Apply now for the cohort beginning in September 2016



 Ed.D., Ed.D. with Concentration in Music Education,
or Ed.D. with Concentration in Critical Pedagogy

Ed.D.:     66

Ed.D. with Concentration in Music Education:        66

Ed.D. with Concentration in Critical Pedagogy:    66


For the Ed.D.:

EDLD 902   Survey Research
EDLD 904   Qualitative Methods of Research and Evaluation
EDLD 910   Leaders and Organizations: Multidisciplinary Perspectives 1
EDLD 911   Leaders and Organizations: Multidisciplinary Perspectives 2
EDLD 912   Critical Issues in their Political, Social and Economic Contexts
EDLD 913   Power, Freedom and Change
EDLD 914   Ethical Dimensions of Leadership
EDLD 915   Leadership Narrative Seminar
Research Courses (3 credits)
Collateral              (24 credits)
Dissertation          (15 credits)

For the Ed.D. with Concentration in Music Education (add the following):

15 credits concentrating in Music (towards collateral requirement)

For the Ed.D. with Concentration in Critical Pedagogy (add the following):

15 credits concentrating in Critical Pedagogy (towards collateral requirement)

Full course catalog with descriptions


Find current course offerings

How to Apply


  1. Candidates for this degree have:
    • Completion of Master's degree
    • 3 years professional experience with at least one year in a leadership position
    • Preferred cumulative G.P.A. of 3.5 when graduate and undergraduate GPAs are averaged (4.0 scale). 
  2. Submit the following application materials and components:
    • Application form
    • Official transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate work (unless that work was completed at the University of St. Thomas).
      • Submit transcripts to: Graduate Admissions, University of St. Thomas, Box 5, 1000 LaSalle Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55403
    • Admissions test results.  Miller Analogies Test (MAT), Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT accepted.  MAT preferred.
    • Three letters of reference evaluating leadership skills, including evidence of experience in communicating, decision making and taking initiative, by an advisor, supervisor and/or a colleague
    • Assigned writing sample
    • Complete interview with doctoral faculty members
  3. Submit the supplementary materials:
    • International Applicants:
      1. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) required for any candidate whose primary language is not English.
      2. Transcript Review: All international transcripts must be reviewed by an accredited evaluation service to determine U.S. equivalency of the degree awarded and the institution awarding the degree. Applications will not be reviewed for admissions until the official review is submitted.

Special Opportunities

Ongoing Professional Development

Whether networking with leaders in the area of policy reform, being inspired by change agents in microfinance or simply catching up on the latest qualitative research findings, annual events and conferences sponsored by the department of Leadership, Policy and Administration offer a variety of networking and professional development opportunities. Most events include continuing education units for a variety of professions.  


Real-world field experience

If your program includes a field experience element, the dedicated faculty and staff in your program will work with you to ensure that your experience will meet your interests and facilitate your growth, both personally and professionally. Throughout your time in your program, regularly scheduled meetings with faculty and peers offer the opportunity to form a strong professional network as you prepare to enter your field.


Community Partnerships

The College of Education, Leadership & Counseling takes pride in engaging in innovative partnerships with a variety of organizations. Students in the College of Education, Leadership & Counseling will find many opportunities for professional growth as a result of working with these organizations. Partnership examples include the Northwest Suburban Integration District, Center for Academics and Sports, FAIR School and the Collaborative Urban Educators program.