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, business, healthcare, human services, governments, and other fields.

Courses within the EdD program emphasize the practical and theoretical study of leadership, strategic and resource management, research, technology, evaluation, assessment, and analytics. Drake’s program is adaptable to a number of leadership-level careers as well as one’s own personal development. Unique to Drake’s EdD program is the option for students to choose between a dissertation or capstone project.

Developed for working professionals, courses are traditionally held in a weekend format with a mix of online and on-campus delivery, so you can continue to work full time. The program is a minimum of 42 credits.



In general, students may receive credit for academic courses taken through doctorate programs at accredited institutions.  Courses accepted for transfer credit must parallel courses offered at Drake University or otherwise be appropriate for doctorate level credit. Graduate courses considered for transfer must be beyond the required 36 masters-level credits required for admission into a Drake doctoral program. The maximum number of credits that can be transferred into a Drake doctorate program can be no more than 1/3 of the total credit for the full degree program (EdD or PhD). Other details include:

  • Transfer credit requests must be at the time of application into the program. Syllabi should be provided at time of request. Typically, research courses are not accepted for transfer, but will be considered by the committee for exceptions.
  • Transcripts must come directly from the institution; we will not accept any transcripts from students.
  • Requests are formally evaluated by a subcommittee of the doctoral faculty.  Applicants will be notified of accepted transfer credits in writing.
  • You must have earned a grade of "B" or better in the transfer course.

Considerations for Students with Transfer Credits

  • Financial aid implications
  • May not change graduation date
  • May create gaps in coursework
  • Cohort model may require duplicate courses

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-credits (two courses) during the fall, spring, and summer semesters of the program.
  • Satisfactory performance on the comprehensive exam typically given at the end of coursework and prior to the start of the student’s dissertation or capstone work.
  • Upon completion of coursework and 9 credits of dissertation or capstone, maintaining an enrollment of 1 credit of dissertation or capstone until the dissertation or capstone is completed and successfully defended.
  • Completion of doctoral studies, including dissertation or capstone, within 10 years of admission.
Course Credits
DOC 301 - Doctoral Seminar (Foundations of Doctoral Education) 3
DOC 302 - Doctoral Seminar (Policy and Cultural Diversity) 3
DOC 305 - Quantitative Research Methods 3
DOC 306 - Qualitative Research Methods 3
DOC 345 - Theory, Research, and Leadership 3
DOC 370 - Program Evaluation and Assessment 3

DOC 375 - Concepts and Applications of Learning Analytics

DOC 386 - Transformational Systems Leadership 3
DOC 395 - Advanced Quantitative Research Methods 3
DOC 396 - Advanced Qualitative Research Methods 3
DOC 381/390 - Capstone or Dissertation Seminar 3
*DOC 388/399 - Capstone Dissertation 9
*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:

  • School of Education Graduate Application and Electronic Supporting Documents
    • Online Application 
    • Electronic copy of professional resume/curriculum vitae
    • Electronic copy of a statement of interest 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.
    • Letters of Recommendation (additional information provided within online application) 
  • Official transcripts are required from:
    • Any institution where you earned a bachelor’s degree.
    • Any institution where you earned a post-bachelor’s (graduate) degree.
    • Any institution where you earned credit you would like considered toward an endorsement or graduate degree.
    • Upon application review, you may be required to provide additional transcripts, including those with courses taken while in high school or at a community college.
  • 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.

Online application materials will automatically be forwarded to the School of Education. Official transcripts and test scores may be sent via secure electronic transmission to or mailed to:

Coordinator of Graduate Admission
School of Education - Drake University
Collier-Scripps Hall - Rm 221
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.