Doctor of Education in Leadership for Educational Equity, Urban and Diverse Communities

School of Education & Human Development


Degree: EdD

Classroom Type: Online and on campus classes

Prepares leaders to see opportunities in the range of complex challenges facing the education system. Graduates of the program will have the aptitude to properly serve diverse and urban student populations in P-12, post-secondary, and nonprofit educational systems. The program hones the skills needed to work within communities and address issues to lead systems change.

Application​ deadlines

December 1

Program Details

Interest Categories: Education & Counseling

Campus: CU Denver

Urban communities are complex and diverse. Unfortunately, they're often represented in oversimplified ways in modern literature and the media. CU Denver's Doctor of Education (EdD) concentration in urban and diverse communities prepares practitioners in P-12, post-secondary, and community settings to lead for impact and change through:

  • A complex and contextualized view of urban and diverse communities 
  • A strengths-based understanding of the experiences of families, children, and their communities 
  • An understanding of policies and practices in housing, employment, urban development, and education 
  • An understanding of the cultural and historical realities and identities of diverse communities 
  • An understanding of relevant and applicable critical and social theories 
  • A disposition to work alongside, and with, local communities 
  • The leadership skills for supporting systems development and change 
  • The experience of completing a doctoral research project dissertation. 


Choose CU Denver's School of Education & Human Development;

The program strives to provide an education that prepares students for excellence in their career as a leader. Graduates will be keenly aware of the value, complexities, and unique opportunities of urban and diverse communities. The School of Education and Human Development (SEHD) are recognized for preparing leaders of distinction who value educational excellence and social justice. Additionally, SEHD is counted among U.S. News & World Report's “Best Graduate Schools,” making us one of the top education schools in the country.


The 54-credit program begins each summer.

The curriculum includes a combination of on-campus, hybrid, remote, and online courses each semester. 

Every student must be available to attend on-campus courses each semester. 

The curriculum includes the following elements: 

  • 12 hours in EdD core courses within equity, leadership and learning core areas (four 3-credit courses) 
  • Nine hours in the research core (three 3-credit courses) 
  • 12 hours in the concentration areas (four 3-credit courses) 
  • Six hours of elective courses (two 3-credit courses) 
  • 15 hours of seminars and the completion of a doctoral research project 

The program strives to expose students to context-specific best practices, interdisciplinary connections, and applied research. This is all set within an environment that stresses the application of theory to practice. The EdD program has been designed to enable students to complete program requirements in three or five years.

Why the Doctor of Education in Leadership for Educational Equity, Urban and Diverse Communities at CU Denver?


Flexible option for working professionals

Most of the students in our cohort-based program are working full-time. To accommodate this, all courses are taught in the late afternoon, evening or online. This 54-credit-hour plan of study may be completed in a three-year or five-year track through blended-learning courses that use online activities coupled with face-to-face sessions.


EdD students culminate the program with a dissertation-in-practice. During this final phase, you’ll engage with faculty and our district and community partners on problems of practice and policy. This includes opportunities to learn with the support of leaders of the Center for Practice Engaged Education Research (C-PEER) and developers of the Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM) as you work with real data and engage in authentic inquiry. We prepare you to problem-solve, innovate, and improve learning outcomes for preschool – higher education environments.

Commitment to diversity and social justice

CU Denver resides in the center of a thriving urban setting, creating a diverse university community. Our EdD students are prepared for the real world. This program partners with diverse, urban schools and community organizations. Many of our faculty members speak Spanish. This knowledge and skills enhance our student’s ability to serve culturally diverse and underrepresented individuals and families.

Executive coaching

Our alumni receive executive coaching services for up to one year after graduation for a reasonable fee delivered by qualified faculty focused on your success after program completion.

Sample Courses

  • EDFN 7410 - Power and Privilege: The Social Construction of Difference 3 credits
  • EDUC 7100 - Leadership in Education 3 credits
  • EDUC 7230 - Organizational Performance In Educational Contexts 3 credits
Course Catalog

Recommended Completion Time:3 or 5 Years

Required Credits for Completion:54

Admission Requirements

The EdD in Leadership for Educational Equity, Urban and Diverse Communities concentration, is a three or five-year program, designed for working professionals, with the following application requirements:

  • Master's degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Written Statement of Purpose that includes the following information:
    • A brief summary of your educational and leadership experiences, including your values related to leadership and equity, and experience working in diverse communities.
    • A brief summary of your current professional role and responsibilities and how you use research and data to inform planning and decision making.
    • Your purpose in pursuing the EdD, intentions for applying the skills and knowledge gained from the EdD degree, and future career goals.
  • Resume/CV
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can best speak to your leadership, professional accomplishments, academic skills, and career goals (two professional and one community-based if possible).
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended.
  • After the initial review of application materials, faculty will contact eligible applicants to complete a writing activity and to schedule individual interviews.

Register for an application support session

For more information, email or call 303.315.6300.