Doctor of Education in Leadership for Educational Equity, Research Leadership

School of Education & Human Development


Degree: EdD

Classroom Type: Fully Online

Actively gain research expertise that will prepare you for leadership roles in school districts, community-based organizations, P-12 assessment offices, and higher education institutional research. Learn how to lead long-term strategic research agendas and policy analyses, while proactively including diverse audiences who are affected by and can learn from research.

Application​ deadlines

January 1, 2025

The first cohort in this concentration starts summer 2025.

Program Details

Interest Categories: Education

Campus: CU Denver Online

Designed for research and assessment professionals working with schools and community organizations supporting research and data management, preschool through postsecondary, CU Denver’s fully online EdD concentration in Research Leadership provides a supportive learning environment focused on equity, diversity, and inclusion. You will develop foundational skills in applied research methods and practical measurement and use them in place-specific and practical ways to achieve aspirational goals – like improvement, implementation, formative evaluation, supporting equity and diversity – in your organization and community.

The goal of this concentration is to prepare you to:

  • Design and carry out practical, partner-engaged research with peers and faculty members in educational settings
  • Become ethical and collaborative applied researchers who excel at working with students, parents, community members and leaders on identified problems of practice and policy
  • Gain expertise in practical, applied quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research techniques and data visualization strategies
  • Manage critical aspects of data operations and governance, including risk mitigation, data security and organization.

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 first cohort in this concentration starts in summer of 2025.

The online curriculum involves two 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 this concentration area
  • Two 3-credit courses selected for your degree focus
  • 15 hours of seminars and the completion of a doctoral research project
The program strives to expose students to context-specific best practices and interdisciplinary connections. This is all set within an environment that stresses the application of theory to practice. This EdD program concentration is designed so that students complete program requirements in three years.

Why the Doctor of Education in Leadership for Educational Equity, Research Leadership 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 online in the evening, with online coaching sessions. Course work is completed with the cohort in seven semesters, followed by the Doctoral Research Project. This 54-credit-hour plan of study may be completed in a three-year track through blended-learning courses that use online activities and optional synchronous online support sessions with course instructors.

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 a diverse array of urban and rural schools and community organizations. Experiences throughout the program enhance our students’ abilities to serve culturally diverse and underrepresented individuals and families.

Doctoral Research Project (DRP)

EdD students culminate the program with a doctoral research project. During this final phase, you will engage with faculty and 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 P12 education environments and research organizations that support them.

Sample Courses

  • EDFN 7410 - Power & Privilege 3 credits
  • EDUC 7520 - Strategic Systems Management 3 credits
  • RSEM 7110 - Intermediate Statistics 3 credits
Course Catalog

Recommended Completion Time:3 years

Required Credits for Completion:54

Admission Requirements

The EdD in Leadership for Educational Equity with a concentration in research leadership has 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 with diverse communities.
    • A summary of your current professional role and responsibilities and how you use research and evidence 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 schedule individual interviews.

For more information, email or call 303.315.6300.

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