School of Education

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 Ed.D. 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.

Developed for working professionals, courses are held in a weekend format on Drake University’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 listed below, with one year or more to complete a dissertation). The program is a minimum of 42 credits with no transfer credits accepted.

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 Credits
DOC 301 - Doctoral Seminar 3
DOC 302 - Doctoral Seminar 3
DOC 305 - Quantitative Research Methods 3
DOC 306 - Qualitative Research Methods 3
DOC 345 - Advanced Leadership 3
DOC 350 - Advanced Foundations 3
DOC 360 - Technology and Organizational Leadership 3
DOC 370 - Program Evaluation and Assessment 3
DOC 395 - Advanced Quantitative Research Methods 3
DOC 396 - Advanced Qualitative Research Methods 3
DOC 390 - Dissertation Seminar 3
*DOC 399 - Dissertation 10
*Students enroll for 1 credit of DOC 399 each semester until dissertation is complete.  
*DOC 399 - Course credit is not earned until the dissertation is completed and successfully defended.



All courses in each of the doctoral programs are taken as a cohort. Cohorts begin each fall. 

Application Process All Doctoral Programs

In order 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
2702 Forest Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50311

The information in this catalog does not constitute a contract between the university and the student. The university reserves the right to make changes in curricula, admission policies and processes, tuition and financial aid, academic standards and guidelines, student services and any other regulations or policies set forth in this catalog without giving prior notice.