Doctoral Degree Program in Instructional Leadership

Doctoral degrees in instructional leadership are the culmination of your studies in higher education. This article shows you the fundamentals of a doctoral program, along with examples of coursework and what to expect from your dissertation. Schools offering College Administration & Leadership degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Instructional Leadership Doctoral Degree Program Like?

Sometimes called educational leadership programs, an instructional leadership doctoral degree program can help you become an educational leader at local, state and national levels. You take courses, conduct research and prepare a dissertation that contributes new knowledge to your field. Some programs take up to three years to complete, and you typically earn a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) or Doctor of Educational Leadership (Ed.D.L.) when you graduate.

Most programs have a residency requirement, giving you the opportunity to entrench yourself in academic life and work closely with instructors and classmates. Some programs allow you to study with a flexible schedule, offering evening and weekend classes. Online programs for instructional leadership doctoral degree programs are difficult to find. A master's degree in a related subject and work experience are usually required for admittance into most programs.

Degree LevelDoctoral (Ph.D. or Ed.D.)
Course TopicsBudget management, teaching theory, educational technology, issues in education
Program RequirementsDissertation and defense

What Courses Will I Take?

The core courses you're required to take give you a deep understanding of educational administration and teaching theories. You learn how to manage schools and other educational organizations, develop and analyze policies, manage budgets and relate to school communities. Other courses discuss educational technology, curriculum development and current educational issues.

You also take courses that give you the research and analytical skills you need to write your dissertation, make decisions in your career and contribute to the educational field. These courses typically cover statistics, quantitative research, qualitative research and research design. Some instructional leadership doctoral degree programs allow you to tailor your courses and studies to your individual interests and career goals.

Do I Have to Write a Dissertation?

Your dissertation is usually the culmination of your instructional leadership doctoral degree program. You work closely with advisors to shape your thesis and design research plans throughout the program. The courses you take - especially your research and analysis courses - are meant to prepare you for the demands of preparing your dissertation.

Typically, you present a dissertation topic to a committee or advisor. When you've completed your work, you present your finished dissertation and give an oral defense. Most instructional leadership doctoral degree programs require you to successfully defend your dissertation before you receive your degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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