Educational Administration and Leadership (Ed.D.)

Graduate students at a hooding ceremony

About the Program

Convenient * Blended * Career-Driven * Affordable

The program approaches learning with academic excellence that has been the hallmark of St. Cloud State since 1869. Our approach to learning has quality at its core and emphasis on student support. As a leader in technology and innovation, St. Cloud State constantly searches for the best ways to educate and engage our students.

You'll enjoy an engaging and interactive learning experience that accommodates working professionals at an affordable price. This allows you to balance life, work and education.

Enjoy convenient, blended courses typically held online Friday evening and in-person on Saturday. You attend classes six weekends a semester (fall, spring, summer) in St. Cloud or Brooklyn Park (location varies by cohort). Summer courses may be offered in an accelerated 1-week format. 

Our comprehensive and thorough programs are tailored to sharpen your skills to lead PK-12 schools or districts. You'll enjoy a practitioner-focused program that prepares you for positions such as principal, superintendent, special education, community education, consultant, and more. Plus you further refine your skills in the areas that most interest you. And, you'll grow as a leader.

You select your own research topic you are passionate about and prepare for your dissertation as you progress in your coursework. The dissertation journey is provided in a step-by-step approach where the task of completing a dissertation is broken into small, manageable parts.

Your instructors are available to answer questions and the University provides online resources, academic resourcesstudent services, and financial assistance to help you succeed. Plus, our faculty will guide you as you begin your career and advance in it.

You'll develop both deep disciplinary knowledge and expertise that support successful careers. This is accomplished through formal instruction, professional reflection and discourse, and through partnerships with peers, professional organizations, and successful practicing school leaders.  

A diverse body of students come from across the country and around the world.  Varied professional backgrounds and culture provide enriching and engaging discussions in which you learn with and from your peers.  You grow together as a collegial group which develops life-long friendships. Together you advance your knowledge and improve practices in your field.

We have a history of helping students achieve their career goals. Our students and graduates have successfully launched and advanced their careers in a multitude of positions at K-12 schools and districts. They have earned many professional awards. Obtaining a doctorate will open many doors for your future.  Employers value our high quality program.

Join the Husky Pack today for a fun, challenging, and engaging learning environment that supports your career goals.  Apply Today!

Cohort Course Delivery Method

Fall 2021 Cohort

  • This cohort will take all of its courses on the St. Cloud campus six weekends a semester with courses typically held online Friday evening and in-person on Saturday. Summer courses may be offered in an accelerated, 1-week format. 

About Our Students

  • Students come from Minnesota and around the world.
  • A majority of students work full-time or part-time.
  • Over half our doctoral students are 40 or older, 61 percent are women and 26 percent are students of color.
  • Graduates have launched successful careers in a variety of educational administration and leadership career areas.

Hybrid Program Delivery

The learning experience allows you to engage with professors and your cohort in online and in-person discussions. You attend classes online synchronously on Friday evenings and in-person on Saturdays. Courses meet six weekends a semester (fall, spring, summer). Summer courses may be offered in accelerated, 1-week format.

Follow course lectures, read materials, submit assignments, communicate in discussions, video conference, meet industry experts and converse with professors — all while connecting online or in the classroom. Utilize technology such as D2L Brightspace and Zoom. Plus, receive an online orientation to prepare you to begin your education journey.

Faculty provide a syllabus with structured requirements for each course, including assignment deadlines. Students are expected to review course materials, participate in learning activities and complete assignments.

Your instructors are available to answer your questions and the University provides online resources and financial assistance to help you succeed. Plus, your classmates will be a source of professional support as you work toward your degree.  

Students varied professional backgrounds provide enriching and engaging discussions in which you learn with and from your peers. Together you will advance your knowledge and improve practices in your field.

Personal Attributes for Success in Program

While online courses offer greater flexibility, they also require more self-discipline, independence, internal motivation and perseverance than courses on campus. You will be most successful if you are a self-starter able to work on tasks on your own without someone helping keep you focused. Faculty are there to help and guide you as needed but you will be responsible for getting course assignments completed by the deadline. Students who are self-disciplined to log into classes and discussion forums regularly are the most successful. Persistence is an important skill so when you run into a challenge, you keep trying and ask for help.

The online learning experience is as rigorous as the in-class experience with faculty who are experts in their fields. The textbooks and in class resources are in most cases the same in online and on campus courses. Faculty are there to help and guide you along the way.

It will be important for you to be comfortable with online technology as this is your main source of classroom participation. Reading lecture materials, submitting assignments, discussion forums, and conversing with professors will all be done online. You will need basic computer literacy and Internet skills including a computer and good bandwidth.

Also keep in mind that online courses require as much time as on-campus classes and you’ll need to schedule that time into your calendar. Plan to devote about 12 hours a week to most three-credit courses.

It will be important to have excellent time management and organizational skills. Many distractions can arise so it will be important to set up a distraction-free work space to focus on your coursework.  You need to be diligent about scheduling ample time on your calendar to complete assignments by course deadlines. Breaking up assignments into smaller portions is a great way to manage the course workload and to avoid procrastinating large assignments until the last minute. Students who review their syllabus and develop a plan for completing their assignments are the most successful. 

Self-care is important for keeping your mind and body healthy.  Maintain healthy habits including exercise, sleep, eat well, and take breaks.

Online classes rely heavily on reading, writing, speaking and typing skills to communicate with classmates and faculty. As you actively participate in discussion forums you will want to articulate intelligent comments rather than providing poor English grammar or put little effort into discussion posts. Many assignments will involve short or long papers or providing an oral presentation.  As a result, you may want to take some refresher courses to become more comfortable communicating or to increase your typing speed before beginning online classes.

Another component to consider for online courses is to create a good study environment, whether that be in an office in your home or a place at a local library.  You will want to find a place to work without distractions (i.e. television, cell phones) that is comfortable and has good lighting.

It is important to develop a good support system as you pursue your degree.  That may include communication with family members to let them know how they can best support you while earning your degree. Communicate with your supervisor to let them know your career goals, how to best support you while earning your degree, and how this degree will positively impact your knowledge and skills you can apply towards your employment.  Find a colleague or friend who has pursued their doctorate for support.  Once in the program, seek out the support of your faculty advisor and classmates for support.

Have a plan to finance your entire education and have a back-up plan if something changes.  St. Cloud State provides you with assistance to finance your education through financial literacy, money management, borrowing loans and seeking out graduate assistants, scholarships or tuition waiver.

For some additional tips for being successful in an online program, visit