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P-12 Education Administration, EdD

Program Information

Do you have big ideas for improving schools? Do you build relationships supporting student achievement? Schools need your leadership as a K-12 Superintendent. Direct programming, hire and supervise staff, manage budgets, and make decisions that guide your academic community to a thriving future.The requirements for  K-12 Superintendent aligns with the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation standards. This program leads to a superintendent endorsement in Idaho. 

Educational Leadership, K-12 Educational Administration Concentration, Ed.D.

Meet with our Graduate Studies Director

Application, Funding, and Support

Program and Admission Requirements

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) is the degree awarded in recognition of academic preparation for professional practice in Educational Leadership. While research is an important component of the Doctor of Education program, candidates enroll in courses and experiences specifically designed to prepare them to be effective practitioners and leaders in K-12 schools, school districts, and related fields.

The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership is aligned with the requirements for the Education Specialist. The Ed.D. is designed to strengthen a candidate's knowledge, skills, and dispositions in the Core Standards for Advanced Professionals and the Idaho State University Department of Educational Leadership Standards for Educational Leaders, which parallel the Idaho standards for school superintendents.

Admissions requirements and procedures are detailed on

The ISU Graduate School website

The Graduate School graduate catalog

Minimum requirements for admission:

  • Meet the ISU Graduate School admissions requirements
  • Hold a Master's degree in educational administration or a related field from a regionally accredited institution
  • Have a minimum of 3.5 GPA at the graduate level
  • Submit a letter of interest, stating why the applicant is interested in the Ed.D. with an emphasis in K-12 School Administration
  • Submit a current resume with names and contact information for at least 2 professional references
  • Successful complete an interview with faculty in the K-12 School Administration emphasis
  • Successful performance on an on-site writing sample completed in conjunction with the interview
  • Minimum score at the 40th percentile or the Miller's Analogy Test (MAT) OR minimum score at the 40th percentile on either the Verbal or Analytical Writing section on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)

The ED.D. in Educational Leadership (P-12) requires a minimum of 61 credits:

  • 18 credits in the doctoral core
  • 24 credits in the area of emphasis, including a minimum of 3 practicum credits
  • 9 credits of cognate courses (500 level or above)
  • 10 dissertation credits

ISU Course Catalog

P-12 Education Administration, EdD

Required Courses

Doctoral Core Courses (18 credits)

EDLP 7700 Change Strategies 3 credits

EDLP 7703 Leadership & Organizational Development 3 credits

EDLP 7705 Advanced Research Design – Qualitative 3 credits

EDLP 7706 Advanced Research Design – Quantitative 3 credits

EDLP 7721 Intermediate Statistics in Education 3 credits

EDLP 8800 Doctoral Seminar 1 credit

EDLP 8801 Capstone Seminar 1 credit

EDLP 8830 Doctoral Comprehensive Exams 1 credit

K-12 Educational Administration Emphasis Courses (24 credits)

EDLA 6643 School Personnel Administration 3 credits

EDLA 6662 Superintendency 3 credits

EDLA 6664 Public School Monetary and Business Policy 3 credits

EDLA 7720 Legal and Ethical issues in Education Organizations 3 credits

EDLA 7721 Educational Policy and Governance 3 credits

EDLA 7723 Educational Planning and Evaluation 3 credits

EDLA 7724 Data-Informed Instructional Leadership 3 credits

EDLA 6637 Practicum 3 credits

Cognate Courses (9 credits)   

Cognate (minimum 9 graduate-level credit (500 or above); may include courses taken as part of a previous graduate degree; the cognate and the courses that are to comprise the cognate are to be determined prior to cognate study enrollment in consultation with the candidate’s advisor and confirmed by emphasis area faculty).

Dissertation (minimum of 10 credits)

EDLP 8850 Dissertation 10 credits

Comprehensive Examinations 

Candidates are required to take written comprehensive examinations over the Doctoral Core and may take written comprehensive exams over the K-12 School Educational Administration emphasis. Successful completion of the EDLA 7751: Case Study (required for the Ed.S.) may be used as an alternative to the Educational Administration emphasis comprehensive exams. Comps are normally written during or immediately following the last semester in which the candidate takes formal coursework. Procedures for comps are explained in the EDLP 8801 Capstone Seminar.

Continuous Enrollment 

Candidates are required to maintain continuous enrollment, including during summers, throughout the Ed.D. program.

Career Opportunities

  • Public School Superintendent
  • Central Office Administrator
  • Higher Education Faculty
  • Post-Secondary Administrator
  • Higher Education Researcher
  • Community Schools Consultant
  • Alternative Schools Administrator
  • Juvenile Justice Program Administrator 
Geoff Thomas Photo

Dr. Geoff Thomas

Assistant Professor

Office: College of Education 381

(208) 282-4322