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College of Education and Allied Professions

Ed.D. Degree

WCU’s Ed.D. Program in Education Leadership is a Carnegie-influenced executive doctoral program that prepares skilled scholar practitioners to lead educational organizations in solving complex problems of practice. Western Carolina University has been selected as a member of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED).

CPED is an ongoing effort to rethink and redesign the professional doctorate in education to better serve those who aspire to practice educational leadership. Our mission is to develop educational leaders oriented toward continuous improvement, scholarly practice, collaboration, student-centered decision making, and equity and social justice.

An Executive Ed.D. for Working Professionals

The Ed.D. Program in Educational Leadership at WCU is a rigorous professional doctorate focused on the needs of senior level educational leaders situated in three contexts: P-12 schools, Community Colleges, and Universities. Applicants in non-traditional contexts are also considered.

The program is designed for working adults who presently serve in a leadership capacity. Cohorts progress through the three-year program in hybrid courses that meet one weekend each month, reinforced and extended with regular online assignments and discussions. Fieldwork is embedded within each course, enabling students to apply their skills and knowledge to address authentic problems of practice.

Prospective Students

The curriculum sequence requires the completion of 53 credits, 44 of which must be taken at WCU. This will be completed by taking two core courses each semester (including summers) for 6 semesters, nine elective credits in the student’s concentration area, and the completion of a supervised disquisition (dissertation in practice).

Three-year curriculum

Cohort size is limited, so admissions are competitive. Applications must be submitted online through the Graduate School's Apply Yourself system. The application deadline is February 15. To apply, candidates must submit:

  • Application letter, including short and long-range objectives for completing the EdD
  • Resume highlighting leadership experience
  • Official GRE scores
  • Official transcripts for all graduate work, documenting a GPA of 3.5 (recommended)
  • At least three references (names and emails) who will complete an online recommendation

In addition, potential candidates for the cohort will be interviewed and asked to complete a writing exercise. Students who want to earn a superintendent's license must complete the requirements for a principal's license prior to applying for the EdD program.

Please see current tuition information for students. Additional fees may be assessed for this program.

• Master's Level Principal License
• Doctorate Level Principal License
• Specialist Level Superintendent's License
• Doctoral Level Superintendent's License

Licensure Criteria

Jess Weiler Assistant Professor and Program Director
Robert Crow Associate Professor
Brandi Hinnant-Crawford Assistant Professor
Kofi Lomotey Bardo Distintuished Professor
Emily Virtue Assistant Professor


Ed.D. Program Accreditation

The Ed.D. Program has been accredited and approved by agencies at the state and national level.

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