Doctor of Education (EdD) with a concentration in Leadership and Management

The online Doctor of Education degree program emphasizes course work in leadership and management in a variety of educational and public service settings. It requires no classroom or seminar attendance. The Program is of particular interest to individuals with public or private school teaching experience who seek administrative positions or middle level managers who are interested in moving into higher levels of administration.

The objectives of the Program are:
1. To offer a program of coursework and practical exercises in educational leadership, management and instruction that will enhance the professional and personal lives of its students.
2. To prepare professional educators to serve the needs of both public and private institutions from the elementary to postsecondary level in their community and beyond.

Successful graduates of the Program will be able to:

  • Apply best practices, current concepts, theories, and research about effective teaching, learning, and administration to improve one’s professional practice as a teacher or administrator.
  • Employ effective and appropriate leadership techniques that support educational and administrative objectives.
  • Use multiple strategies in efforts to help students of various levels and backgrounds to learn subject matter.
  • Discuss with a level of authority on the funding and budgeting practices and legal principles of the American public school system.
  • Use information and technology to plan instructional and administrative strategies, and improve learning, productivity, and professional practice.
  • Develop, organize and perform sound research studies in institutional settings.
  • Communicate effectively with learners, their families, and other professionals in ways appropriate to purpose and content.
  • Author a properly formatted and presented Dissertation that represents a substantive research topic of original work.

Successful students should demonstrate high quality communication and writing skills, become more critical of the status quo, and be well prepared to initiate school and process improvement based on solid reasoning backed by valid research. Graduates of the Program will emerge with a recognized degree and a set of diverse and relevant skills that are applicable in the pursuit of administration, and advanced level positions in education fields.

The University acts to fulfill the purposes of the Doctor of Education program through appropriate coursework, coupled with continuing direction, evaluation of student progress, and regular assessment of student learning outcomes, supervised and administered by qualified faculty.

Coursework in the Program is geared toward those in school settings. Applicants are encouraged to contact the admissions office if they have questions regarding the curriculum and their individual professional backgrounds.

William Howard Taft University is institutionally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The Doctor of Education Program is not designed to lead to Professional Licensure or certification and applicants must already be employed at the elementary, secondary, or higher education level in their state. Consequently, a determination has not been made whether the Doctor of Education program will meet professional licensure for any state. Applicants interested in licensure or credential certification are encouraged to contact the relevant licensing body for their state before enrolling: 

“If it weren’t for William Howard Taft University, I would not have been able to complete my doctoral degree.  Because the program is self-paced, I was able to do my work when it fit best with my busy schedule between working full-time, an extra online teaching position, and being a parent. Taft’s online program made my school experience so much less stressful than it could have been.  My faculty mentors were supportive, provided great feedback, and were always accessible when needed.  It is surreal being referred to as Dr. Gray by students and colleagues and I know that earning my doctorate will give me a more competitive advantage if I decide to pursue new career opportunities in the future.”

Robert Gray
Ed.D. L&M Graduate & Roger J. Duthoy Scholarship Winner

“As a full time principal and mother of a young family, I required a high quality doctorate program that had built-in flexibility and focused on my personal learning goals.  I searched exhaustively before landing on Taft University.  It has allowed me to accelerate when I have the time and to manage the realities of a busy life when I could not.  I have enjoyed the learning and quick feedback from my instructors.  As an international student, I also appreciated the opportunity to personalize my assignments in a way that has still met the University’s requirements.  With every  handed in assignment, I am one step closer to achieving my lifetime dream of completing my EdD.  Thank you, William Howard Taft University.”

Sharlene McHolm
Current Ed.D. L&M Student


The University’s Directed Independent Study modality recognizes that education is an individual process where individuals with different learning needs and study schedules can be accommodated. It emphasizes learning that is meaningful, where individuals enjoy the learning process, and acquire knowledge to better understand and manage their own careers. The Program’s Faculty Members support the student’s independent-study learning role by guiding and stimulating the learning process in one-on-one interaction. Our faculty mentors recognize individual learning styles and emphasize the relevance of the material to the individual’s situation.

Each course in the Program contains a series of lesson assignments generally consisting of reading requirements and research projects. Students are evaluated through examinations and/or research assignments which are submitted for faculty evaluation. All assignments are submitted electronically. As set forth in the University’s General Catalog, Internet access and minimum computer requirements and skills are required as a condition of admittance. The first three courses in the curriculum are known as qualifying courses. A student must take and pass a Qualifying Examination before a student can earn academic credit for a core course. The Qualifying Examination is a three hour proctored test that covers material covered in the qualifying courses. It consists of a combination of objective and subjective questions.


To earn the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree, a student must complete the courses outlined below in good academic standing, pass a Comprehensive Examination, and present a successful oral defense of the dissertation/ADP, all with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00. The requirements may be completed in as little as 27 months. All requirements must be completed within seven years from the date of initial enrollment. The following courses are required for the Doctor of Education with a concentration in Leadership and Management Program.

Qualifying Courses
(13 units)


Educational Administration

4 units


Leadership in Institutional Settings

4 units


Educational Finance

4 units


Research Seminar 1

1 unit


Qualifying Exam


Core Courses
(26 units)


The Laws and Politics of Education

4 units


Organizational Behavior in the Educational Setting

4 units


Principles of Curriculum Development

4 units


Societal Diversity

4 units


Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education

3 units


Educational Psychology

3 units


Research Methods

4 units

Electives from the 600 Series
(6 Units)


Contemporary Topics in Educational Policy

1-4 Units


Management of Adult/Occupational Programs

4 Units



3 Units

Comprehensive Exam and Dissertation/ADP
(15 Units)


Comprehensive Examination

1 unit


Research Seminar 2

2 units



Dissertation Proposal

3 units



9 units



Applied Doctoral Project Proposal

3 units


Applied Doctoral Project

9 units

Total Semester Units Required for Graduation: 60 

*EDU511 must be taken as the final course, prior to beginning the dissertation/ADP process. 

Admission Policies and Requirements

To be admitted to the Program, applicants must possess a master’s degree in education or a master’s degree in another discipline and a teaching or administrative credential. In either case the degrees must be from appropriately accredited institutions and the applicant must have a minimum of two years of teaching or administrative experience in an educational setting from elementary through higher education. Other factors affecting admission include the strength of the applicant’s personal statement (the importance of demonstrating graduate level writing skills cannot be over emphasized), references, record of involvement in professional organizations and associations, an aptitude for leadership based in part on employment and educational background. An applicant may be conditionally admitted into the Program based on a completed Application for Admission, receipt of the $75 Application Fee, student copies of transcripts reflecting the applicant’s highest relevant degree, documentation of the applicant’s professional work experience, and the receipt of two Professional Reference Letters. Official copies of all relevant college level credits received directly from the institution of origin will be required within 30 days of enrollment.

The vast majority of the institution’s applicants are mature adults working in a variety of professional settings. Many have not attended college for several years. Consequently, prior class rank and grade point average are not significant factors in the admission process.

Should additional information be required the applicant will be contacted.

All payments must be payable in U.S. dollars. Payments may be made by MasterCard®,Visa®, American Express® or Discover®.

Foreign Applicants and Applicants with International Credentials

It may be necessary for applicants who have attended colleges or universities outside of the United States to obtain an evaluation of their education from a credential evaluation service approved by the University. Upon request, the Admissions Office will provide a list of approved evaluators. In addition, applicants who do not possess a degree from a postsecondary institution where English is the principal language of instruction must receive a minimum score of 550 on the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL PBT) or 80 on the Internet Based Test (iBT) or 6.5 on the International English Language Test (IELTS). For more information on TOEFL visit the website:

Transfer Credit

The acceptance of transfer credits between academic institutions lies within the discretion of the receiving college or university. Credits earned at William Howard Taft University may or may not be accepted by another institution depending upon its own programs, policies, and regulations. Transfer credit toward the Program may be awarded for post-Master’s degree courses completed by the student at other accredited institutions if such courses were completed within the last seven years and are found to meet the standards and learning objectives of the specific course for which credit is sought. The courses considered for transfer must be equivalent in both content and degree level. Transfer credit must be from an accredited institution, and is limited to 15% of the total doctoral credits required to complete the degree (9 units). No credit may be awarded for experiential learning (Portfolio Credit) in this program.

Financial Information

Tuition is billed at the rate of $420.00 per month during the term of enrollment. The obligation of students to pay tuition shall continue until the earliest of the following events:

  1. satisfaction of all degree requirements;
  2. 48 billing months (four years);
  3. withdrawal from the Program;
  4. academic dismissal from the Program.

Additional information on tuition financing can be found under Tuition Financing. The cost of books and materials, other than each course syllabus, is not included in the tuition. The University does not sell books or materials. Most books and materials may be purchased at local colleges, retail bookstores, directly from publishers or over the Internet. The cost is estimated to average approximately $150.00 per course. Students are always provided with a mail or Internet source for acquiring all required materials.

California residents can find more information about the California Tuition Recovery Fund here.


Application Fee



Registration and Orientation Fee

This one-time fee is charged at the time of a student’s initial enrollment and is related to the costs associated with setting-up the student’s file.



Dissertation/ADP Defense Fee

(Payable when the oral defense is scheduled)


Dissertation/ADP Fee

(Payable after the oral defense)


APA Reader Fee (Per Hour)

(Up to five hours will be paid by the University)


Continuation Fee (Per Month)

Students who have not completed all degree requirements after four full years of active enrollment in the Program will be assessed a monthly continuation fee for the balance of the enrollment period or until they have satisfied all degree requirements.

(This is in lieu of tuition.)


Diploma Fee



Transcript Fee

(Two Provided at No Cost)


Late Payment Fee 

(Returned Check/Declined Credit Card/ACH) (Per Item)


Student Tuition Recovery Fund *

(California Residents Only)


How to Enroll

If the applicant is accepted for admission to the Program, a formal enrollment agreement will be prepared and sent to the applicant for review and signature. Students may elect to begin the Program on the 1st day of any month. All payments submitted for tuition and fees must be payable in U.S. dollars. Payments may be made by MasterCard® / Visa® / American Express® or Discover®. Applicants are encouraged to call the Admissions Office if there are any questions regarding enrollment procedures.

Course Descriptions

  • EDU501 - Educational Administration (4 Units)
  • EDU503 - Leadership in Institutional Settings (4 Units)
  • EDU505 - The Laws and Politics of Education (4 Units)
  • EDU506 - Organizational Behavior in the Educational Setting (4 Units)
  • EDU507 - Educational Finance (4 Units)
  • EDU508 - Principles of Curriculum Development (4 Units)
  • EDU509 - Societal Diversity (4 Units)
  • EDU511 - Research Methods (4 Units)
  • EDU512 - Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education (3 Units)
  • EDU514 - Educational Psychology (3 Units)
  • EDU602 - Contemporary Topics in Educational Policy (Elective) (1 to 4 Units)
  • EDU604 - Management of Adult/Occupational Programs (Elective) (4 Units)
  • EDU607 - Principalship (Elective) (3 Units)
  • EDU700 - Comprehensive Examination (1 Unit)
  • RES101 - Research Seminar 1 (1 unit)
  • RES102 - Research Seminar 2 (2 units)
  • DIS701 - Dissertation Proposal (3 Units)
  • DIS702 - Dissertation (9 Units)
  • EDU703 - Applied Doctoral Project Proposal (3 Units)
  • EDU704 - Applied Doctoral Project (9 Units)

EDU501 - Educational Administration (4 Units)

This course examines conceptual foundations of educational administration with the aim of using theory and research to solve the problems of practice. The focus of this course is on the school as a social system with special emphasis on structure, politics, decision making, and quality outcomes. Course objectives underscore a belief in the value of informed “reflection on Practice” both individually and collectively. Prerequisites: None.

EDU503 - Leadership in Institutional Settings (4 Units)

This course explores concepts of leadership and leadership styles in the context of educational administration. Students examine the role of institutional leader, as well as factors that influence decision making, initiating change, psychological constraints, and techniques for establishing and maintaining a unique culture in the institutional setting. Prerequisites: None.

EDU505 - The Laws and Politics of Education (4 Units)

This course provides an overview of the legal and political framework of education in the nation. Emphasis is on current issues and how they affect the learning environment. Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses

EDU506 - Organizational Behavior in the Educational Setting (4 Units)

This course studies theory, strategies and techniques of effective organizational behavior in educational/institutional settings. Intervention techniques will be studied to improve organization effectiveness. Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses

EDU507 - Educational Finance (4 Units)

This course explores the economic theories of institutional finance. Emphasis on the management and evaluation of fiscal operations in an institutional setting. Prerequisites: None.

EDU508 - Principles of Curriculum Development (4 Units)

This course provides an analysis of the influences of curriculum and instruction from a philosophical, psychological and sociological perspective. Various approaches to the design and evaluation of curriculum and instruction will be examined. Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses

EDU509 - Societal Diversity (4 Units)

This course examines diversity in society and in schools. Emphasis is on understanding the similarities and differences in culture, economic backgrounds and academic diversity. It will prepare teachers for the wide diversity of students that they are certain to meet in their classrooms, schools, and communities. It provides an updated and broad treatment of the various forms of human diversity found in today’s schools including nationality, ethnicity, race, religion, gender, class, language, sexual orientation, and ability levels – highlighting the need for differentiation of instruction. Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses

EDU511 - Research Methods (4 Units)

This course emphasizes the types of research designs and the skills needed to develop and organize research studies in institutional settings. Prerequisites: Completion of all other Core Courses. This will be the last course prior to the Dissertation phase.

EDU512 - Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education (3 Units)

This course deals with systematic philosophies, with attention to individual philosophers who developed important philosophical and educational ideas and with a critique of each philosophy to present its strengths and weaknesses. We also review major social influences as they are applied to current movements in educational instruction, research and curriculum. Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses.

EDU514 - Educational Psychology (3 Units)

This core course studies psychological principles as related to learning. Learning theories, motivation and quantitative methods will be explored. Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses

EDU602 - Contemporary Topics in Educational Policy (Elective) (1 to 4 Units)

This elective course allows students to examine several broad range contemporary topics in institutional management and policy. Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses.

EDU604 - Management of Adult/Occupational Programs (Elective) (4 Units)

This course presents an examination of the social forces involved with adult education. The history and philosophy of adult and occupational training will be reviewed, as well as training and development programs in both public and private sector settings. Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses.

EDU607 - Principalship (Elective) (3 Units)

This course contains an overview of the principalship at all levels. The emphasis is on expectations for principals as well as the practical aspects of the principal’s job. It is based on a leadership accomplished by relationships not on traditional, top-down authority. Prerequisites: Completion of Qualifying Courses.

EDU700 - Comprehensive Examination (1 Unit)

This proctored examination, which can be taken anytime between the completion of the core courses and the Dissertation Proposal, is designed to measure a student’s knowledge and understanding of the curriculum content that has been covered in the Program. Students must pass the examination prior to advancement to candidacy. Prerequisites: Successful Completion of all Required Courses.

RES101 - Research Seminar 1 (1 unit)

A three week online seminar on developing a concept paper or prospectus for the dissertation or applied doctoral project. Students leave the course with a quality draft prospectus for their dissertation or applied doctoral project.

RES102 - Research Seminar 2 (2 units)

A three week online seminar that covers all aspects of the dissertation or applied doctoral project proposal. Students leave the seminar with a quality draft proposal that can be presented to their chair and committee.

DIS701 - Dissertation Proposal (3 Units)

This course assists students through the process of organization and design of a formal proposal including a substantive research topic of original work. An accepted proposal constitutes the framework for the Statement of the Problem (Chapter 1), Review of the Literature (Chapter 2), and Research Methodology (Chapter 3). Prerequisites: Successful Completion of the Comprehensive Examination (EDU700).

DIS702 - Dissertation (9 Units)

The successful completion of a dissertation results in a quality research effort, documented and written following American Psychological Association, (APA) guidelines, an oral defense consisting of a PowerPoint presentation presented to the student’s dissertation committee, and written in a format ready for publication. The completed dissertation document is a five-chapter dissertation beginning with the Introduction to the Problem, Chapter 1; Review of the Literature, Chapter 2; Research Methodology, Chapter 3; Research Findings, Chapter 4; and the Summary, Conclusions, and Recommendations of the Researcher, Chapter 5. In addition, the final document will include the frontal pages as described in the University’s Dissertation Handbook, as well as necessary appendices, references, and other appropriate documents. Prerequisites: Approval of Dissertation Proposal (DIS701).

EDU703 - Applied Doctoral Project Proposal (3 Units)

The commencement of the Applied Doctoral Project begins with development of the ADP Proposal.  The Proposal consists of three phases: Phase 1 is the Project Justification; Phase 2 is the review of the literature; Phase 3 is the Project Approach. The Project Justification should include a discussion of the specific problem you propose to address. You should then provide a brief description of the methodology you plan to use and why the methodology is appropriate (for example, review and analysis of previous work versus new research). The Review of the Literature entails a critical analysis, synthesis and integration of work that others have done in order to show where the proposed study fits into current debates and inquiries. Phase 2 is thus a formal summary and analysis of the literature directly related to your particular study. The Project Approach describes the procedures that will be followed in conducting the study. The format and content of this phase will vary depending on the nature of the study. For example, a project that requires collection of data will differ significantly from a project that analyzes data from a third party, or a study that relies on a scholarly review of the literature.

EDU704 - Applied Doctoral Project (9 Units)

The Applied Doctoral Project (ADP) is an alternative to the traditional dissertation in the Doctor of Education program. The ADP students are expected to expand and apply existing knowledge and research to existing problems in their professional field. It allows a student to apply theories, principles, and processes they have learned in the Taft ED.D. program to an actual problem in education or an issue of interest and relevance to them in their professional activities.  The focus of the work in the ADP is on development of an extensive scholarly document that will provide a professional value to the student’s work as an educator.

News & Events

2021 DBA Tuition Grant

This summer and fall, we're offering a 20% tuition grant for our DBA program to...

EdD Tuition Grant Opportunity

This summer, we're offering a tuition grant for all EdD program concentrations, offering 25% off...

Request Information

Blank pixel being used for spacing

Blank pixel being used for spacing