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Ed.D.: Doctor of Education in Leadership

Department web site

Program Overview

Designed for the experienced and practicing professional, the Doctor of Education in Leadership program offers opportunities for individuals in education, government, business, healthcare, human services and other fields.

Courses within the program emphasize the practical study of leadership, theory, ethics, technology and organizations, program evaluation and research methodologies. Drake's program is adaptable to a number of leadership-level careers and provides flexibility within its courses for you to pursue your professional or personal interests.

Developed for working professionals, courses are held in a weekend format on Drake's campus, so you can continue to work full time. The cohort program can be completed in as little as three years (two years of coursework, with one year or more to complete a dissertation).

Program Requirements

  • Completion of a minimum of 42-credits (to include required courses and dissertation studies) maintaining a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
  • Continual enrollment in 6-credit hours (two courses) during the fall, spring and summer semesters of the program's first two years and the fall semester of the third year (these are dissertation credit hours).
  • Satisfactory performance on the comprehensive exam typically given at the end of coursework but prior to the start of the dissertation project.
  • Upon completion of coursework and 9-credits of dissertation hours, maintaining an enrollment of 1-credit of dissertation hours until the dissertation is completed and successfully defended.
  • Completion of doctoral studies, including dissertation, within 10 years of admission.
  • Abiding by all policies and procedures as outlined in the Drake University School of Education Doctoral Program Handbook.


Course Credit Hours
First Year
Fall Semester
DOC 301 - Doctoral Seminar 1
DOC 350 - Advanced Foundations 3
Spring Semester
DOC 306 - Qualitative Research Methods 3
DOC 345 - Advanced Leadership 3
Summer Semester
DOC 396 - Advanced Qualitative Research Methods 3
DOC 302 - Doctoral Seminar 3
Second Year
Fall Semester
DOC 360 - Technology and Organizational Leadership 3
DOC 305 - Quantitative Research Methods 3
Spring Semester
DOC 370 - Program Evaluation and Assessment 3
DOC 395 - Advanced Quantitative Research Methods 3
Comprehensive Exams
Summer Semester
DOC 390 - Dissertation Seminar 3
*DOC 399 - Dissertation 3
Third Year
Fall Semester
*DOC 399 - Dissertation 6
Spring Semester
*DOC 399 - Dissertation 1
Total Hours 42

*DOC 399 - Course credit is not earned until the dissertation is completed and successfully defended.


All courses in the Doctor of Education Leadership program are taken as a cohort, with coursework starting during the fall semester.  Cohorts begin each fall with review of applications will beginning January 15th of each year. Applications will be reviewed until the cohort has been filled. New admission decisions will be announced by the middle of March each year.  After the January 15 preferred deadline, please contact the Coordinator of Graduate Admissions at to determine availability.

To complete the application process, submit the following:

  • Online Graduate Education Application and Electronic Supporting Documents
    • Application 
    • Electronic copy of professional resume/curriculum vitae
    • Electronic copy of a personal statement requesting admission, including reasons for pursuing the doctoral degree, an overview of professional background and goals and a discussion of professional philosophy. Suggested word limit is approximately 500 words.
    • Electronic copy of evidence of significant scholarly accomplishment, either a completed master’s thesis or other written product that demonstrates ability to write clearly and coherently and to develop a thesis or idea with supporting literature citations.
    • Reference Contacts (additional information provided within online application) 
  • Official transcripts from all previously attended colleges or universities
    • Evidence of 36-graduate credits to include a completed master's degree from an accredited institution and official transcripts for all post-secondary education. It is recommended that applicants have a graduate grade point average of 3.5 or better on a 4.0 scale. Transcripts and other supporting materials are not returned to the applicant and become the property of Drake University.
  • Official report of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) test scores or the Miller's Analogies Test (MAT). The Drake Writing Competency Exam is not an acceptable testing option for this program.

Online application materials will automatically be forwarded to the School of Education. Please mail transcripts and test scores to:

Coordinator of Graduate Admission
Drake University School of Education
3206 University Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50311-4505

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