Doctor of Education in Leadership for Educational Equity, Executive Leadership

School of Education & Human Development


Degree: EdD License

Classroom Type: Fully Online

Equips passionate visionary leaders with new tools to create long-lasting positive change in their organizations or communities that is focused on equity, educational access, and social justice where students could flourish. Gain the skills you need to address the critical issues and challenges that exist in the field of education and educational leadership.

Application​ deadlines

December 16, 2024

Program is designed for working professionals in K-12 settings or closely related fields

We value work-life balance, and thus have designed the online 54-credit program into structured accelerated schedule of courses (8-week courses) to attend to the needs of our students who may have full-time jobs but also strive to achieve meaningful impact within their educational spaces. Online doctoral students engage with peers and professors in synchronous and asynchronous interactive online coursework, participate in guided research seminars, and work toward a final dissertation project that aligns with their career goals usually in partnership with educational organizations and school communities.

Doctoral research project

The EdD students culminate the program with an equity-focused Doctoral Research Project. During this final phase, students partner with faculty and partner with organizations on problems of practice and policy. This provides opportunities to learn and engage with the support of educational leaders and faculty as they work with real data and conduct authentic inquiry that is mostly action research or evaluation oriented. We prepare students to problem-solve, innovate, and improve practices and outcomes within K-12 spaces.

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 many diverse partners and community organizations. This knowledge and skills enhance our students’ ability to serve and champion culturally diverse and historically excluded individuals and communities.

Program Details

Interest Categories: Education & Counseling

Campus: CU Denver

Designed for busy school leaders — teacher leaders, counselors, directors, student deans, principals, assistant principals — who wish to continue working while pursuing a doctoral degree, CU Denver’s fully online EdD concentration in Executive Leadership provides a supportive learning environment focused on equity, educational access, and social justice. You will develop new tools to create long-lasting positive change in your organization and community, while addressing critical issues and challenges in education and educational leadership.

Join a cohort with students from diverse professional backgrounds who progress through coursework together followed by their Doctoral Research Project while being supported and guided by program faculty throughout your journey. Our students also have the option to pursue administrative licensure from the Colorado Department of Education.

The goal of this concentration is to prepare you to:

  • Design and carry out practical research with peers and faculty members in educational settings to inform and guide improvement of programs, practice, and/or policy
  • Become ethical and collaborative leaders who excel at working with students, parents, community members and leaders on identified problems of practice and policy
  • Develop a professional knowledge base that integrates practical and research knowledge
  • Engage in leadership, innovative program development, or evaluation that can promote systemic change and improvement

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

This program provides an environment that prepares students for a career as an executive leader of educational organizations. The School of Education & Human Development (SEHD) is 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 online cohort completes coursework in two years, followed by the Doctoral Research Project which lasts approximately one year. However, each project is unique and may extend time to completion. The curriculum includes a combination of asynchronous online courses with embedded synchronous options. Courses are scheduled in eight-week segments during the academic year and four-week segments in the summer. Students must be available to participate in online courses each semester, each year of the program, following the cohort schedule.

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 area (four 3-credit courses)
  • Six hours of elective courses (two 3-credit courses) selected by the cohort
  • 15 hours in seminars and the completion of a doctoral research project

All courses and experiences strive to expose students to context-specific best practices, interdisciplinary connections, and applied research in an environment that stresses the application of theory to practice.

Helpful Links & Documents

Meet our faculty

Sample Courses

  • EDUC 7100 - Leadership in Education
  • EDUC 7500 - Strategic Human Capital
  • EDFN 7410 - Power and Privilege
  • EDUC 7230 - Organizational Performance in Educational Contexts
Course Catalog

Recommended Completion Time:3 years

Required Credits for Completion:54

Admission Requirements

Application Dates

Application Opens: July 1, 2024
Application Deadline: December 16, 2024

The EdD in Leadership for Educational Equity with a concentration in executive 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/or 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.

CMS Login