Curriculum & Degree Requirements

The degree requirements for the EdD in Educational Leadership in Higher Education are completion of all coursework, dissertation capstone, and the qualifying examination. No

professional portfolio or internship is required. A professional internship is optional and should be arranged with the program faculty in significant area of responsibility such as Dean, Director, or higher administrative levels.


The distinctive program curriculum is 55 credits. Students must complete all coursework within the research core (12 credits), higher education content courses (28 credits), and dissertation seminars (15 credits). Please explore our curriculum course descriptions and program distinction.

Qualifying Examination

All students are required to pass the Qualifying Examination. It is an exam designed to provide students an opportunity to demonstrate their analytical writing ability by conceptualizing and synthesizing their knowledge in an organized and cogent manner through addressing a problem of practice. The schedule of this exam is included in the cohort plan of the program provided to all the students at the time of New Student Orientation.

Dissertation Capstone

The Ed. D. program at the Delaware State University offers several different options for the final capstone experience such as Case Study Analysis, the Project Study, and the Dissertation. The dissertation capstone is taught in a dissertation cohort model in which students must complete a 5-course seminar sequence. The sequence presents an organized and highly supervised 5 phases of dissertation development which ranges from three to four semesters to complete. These are:

  1. Prospectus development where you select your research topic, focus of practice, and methodology (EDUC 840)
  2. Develop first three chapters and defend the proposal (EDUC 841)
  3. Obtain Institutional Review Board approval and begin data collection (EDUC 842)
  4. Analyze data and draft findings to connect to implications for practice (EDUC 843)
  5. Finalize dissertation and defend to dissertation committee (EDUC 844)

All doctoral candidates must complete, orally present, and defend a research capstone to meet their final degree requirement. Students who do not complete this required must enroll in continuing dissertation credits (EDUC 829) to maintain continuous enrollment until the dissertation is completed and approved by the approved, supervising dissertation committee.

Learning Outcomes

The following Learning Outcomes for its doctoral program in consonance with the standards of CAS (Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education) to ensure that our candidates are able to:

  1. Develop, design, and implement a higher education institution’s mission, and vision that reflects a core set of values, priorities and strategic goals that include data collection, technology use, diversity, and digital citizenship.
  2. Demonstrate the ability of realistic self-appraisal, intra-personal growth, capacity to advocate for ethical decisions and cultivate professional dispositions for institutional growth.
  3. Cultivate and maintain a supportive, equitable, culturally responsive, and inclusive institutional culture.
  4. Evaluate, design, cultivate, and implement coherent system of data collection, assessment, evaluation and integrate authentic practices to achieve institutional strategic goals.
  5. Develop, monitor, evaluate, and manage data-informed and equitable institutional systems for operations, resources, technology, and human capital management.
  6. Cultivate meaningful relationships, lead collaborative decision making in governance and represent institutional needs in broader policy conversations.
  7. Collaborate with diverse community partners to develop and implement a comprehensive system of responsibility, accountability and decision making for increasing campus diversity, improving campus climate, advancing the knowledge base for creating and sustaining a culturally diverse institution.
  8. Demonstrate critical and reflective thinking, effective reasoning, and creativity to conduct strategic inquiry and the application of data-driven decisions through analytical review and scholarly writings to lead the institutional improvement.
  9. Demonstrate authentic leadership qualities by being involved in the real administrative roles and collaborate with the stakeholders in the organizational, strategic, and contextual decision-making processes to ensure the success and well-being of each student and adult in the institution.

Plan of Study