The Doctoral (EdD) Program in Educational Leadership at Stanislaus State is designed to prepare effective leaders in P-12 and Community College education. The Doctoral Program, offering specializations in P-12 Leadership and Community College Leadership, integrates pedagogy with administrative and instructional leadership to improve the quality of public education in diverse environments. A three-year cohort-based program, the program builds on a strong tradition in graduate and professional education at Stanislaus State. Admission to the program is based on evidence of and potential for academic and professional achievement.

International Applicants

International applicants who have completed an undergraduate and a master’s degree can take their educational goals to the next level by applying to our Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership. International applicants will need to fulfill both the program admission criteria listed in this website and the graduate admission requirements for international students listed by the Office of International Education and Global Engagement.

Our doctoral program does not offer a fellowship program that covers program tuition and salaries to work as a Teacher Assistant or Researcher Assistant. International applicants will have to show proof of financial ability to cover the program tuition. Program annual fees are estimated at about $20,889 (inclusive of university fees) for a 12-month study. The annual fee for international students includes additional fees as out of state applicants. The program tuition is subject to a projected increase of about 5-10% per year. The Office of International Education and Global Engagement ( can offer guidance to verify the program fees for International applicants. 

Deadline Extended to February 23, 2024

App​​​​lications are now being accepted for Cohort 17. Classes will begin in June 2024. PLEASE email all application materials to 

Attend Zoom Informational Sessions

Application Process

Students are accepted once a year in Summer Term. Admission to the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership is based on a comprehensive review and is highly competitive. Applications received past the priority deadline are considered on a space available basis. Typically, a cohort of 12-15 students will be admitted each year. Applicants who advance to semi-finalist status will be invited to an interview with the admissions committee.

Prerequisites for Admission

  1. Earned master's and baccalaureate degrees from accredited institutions of higher education.
  2. A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 in completed graduate courses.
  3. Good standing at the last institution of higher education attended.
  4. Evidence of sufficient preparation for, experiences in, and potential for educational leadership: successful experience in school, postsecondary, community, and/or policy leadership; academic excellence, problem-solving ability, oral and written communication skills, and technology proficiency; and interest in assessing and improving educational policies and practices.

  1. University Application: Applicants must complete the university application. The university application is also available online at: Cal State Edu
  2. Official Transcripts: Copies of all official graduate and undergraduate transcripts must be submitted. Stanislaus State graduates need not submit Stanislaus State transcripts.
  3. Program Application: To apply to the Doctorate Program in Educational Leadership, you must first apply to the Stanislaus State Graduate School. There is a separate application that must be turned in to the program office.
  4. Recommendation Letters: Three confidential letters of recommendation from academic and professional references attesting to the leadership ability and scholarship of the applicant.
  5. Problem of Practice Statement:  Provide an effectively written essay (typed, double-spaced 1,000 word limit) describing an educational problem (i.e., problem of practice) that you are interested in examining as part of your experience in this program. The Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate states that a problem of practice is "a persistent, contextualized, and specific issue embedded in the work of a professional practitioner the addressing of which has the potential to result in the improved understanding, experience, and outcomes" (CPED, n.d.-c, para. 1). Your essay must have four clearly identifiable sections. These four sections must respond to the following prompts: 1) What is the problem of practice that you want to examine as part of your journey as a doctoral student? 2) Why are you passionate about that problem of practice? 3) How does your personal story and talents help you both examine and address that problem? 4) Why would it be enjoyable studying that problem of practice? This essay will be important to help us identify your research interests and help you narrow down your dissertation focus.
  6. Supporting Statement: Either a statement of support from the applicant's employer for the applicant's participation in the doctoral program or a statement from the applicant describing the applicant's plans for meeting professional responsibilities and the demands of the program.
  7. Resume: A detailed professional resume, including academic degrees earned, professional experience, and personal accomplishments.
  8. Interview: A personal interview of applicants that advance to semi-finalist status.

  1. Number of Units: The program consists of 60 units: 39 units of core courses; 9 units of specialization (either P-12 or Community College); and 12 units of dissertation.
  2. Minimum GPA: A minimum of 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) must be maintained throughout the program. Students whose GPA falls below 3.0 in an academic term shall be placed on academic probation. A student who does not maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average for two successive terms shall be disqualified from the program.
  3. Satisfactory Progress: Satisfactory progress, including adherence to the high standards of academic and professional ethics in all courses, fieldwork, and research activities, must be maintained.
  4. Qualifying Examination: Qualifying Examination must be taken upon satisfactory completion of core courses. Candidacy is granted upon passing the Qualifying Examination. The total time for Qualifying Examination and advancement to candidacy shall normally not exceed three years.
  5. Preliminary Defense: Preliminary defense (dissertation proposal) must occur at end of Year 2 in the program.
  6. Dissertation Defense: Successful defense of the defense must occur at end of Year 3 in the program. Total registered time in the program shall normally not exceed five years.

  1. Admission: A limited number of students may be admitted conditionally on an exceptional basis. The number of exceptional admissions shall not exceed 15 percent of those regularly admitted to the program.
  2. Transfer Credit: A maximum of 6 units of comparable courses completed at the postmaster/doctoral level may be granted. The coursework, taken while matriculated in a graduate program (normally a doctoral program), must not be more than 7 years at the time the doctoral program is completed. Open University, extension, and coursework credits earned through examination or at non-regionally accredited institutions shall not be accepted.

Core (39 Units)

  • EDEL 9001 Qualitative Research for Scholar-Practitioners
  • EDEL 9002 Quantitative Research for Scholar-Practitioners
  • EDEL 9003 Organizational Theory and Behavior
  • EDEL 9005 Policy Creation, Implementation and Evaluation for Equitable Outcomes
  • EDEL 9007 Social Foundations and Structural Inequities in Education
  • EDEL 9009 Adult Learning Theory for Agency and Empowerment
  • EDEL 9010 Inquiry and Research for Scholar-Practitioners
  • EDEL 9011 Applied Inquiry 1: Directed Reading and Literature Review Development
  • EDEL 9012 Applied Inquiry 2: Beginning Research Proposal Design
  • EDEL 9013 Applied Inquiry 3: Advanced Research Proposal Design
  • EDEL 9014 Applied Qualitative Research II
  • EDEL 9015 Leadership Models and Practice

Specialization (9 Units): P-12

  • EDEL 9040 School Law
  • EDEL 9043 Management of Human, Fiscal, and Material Resources for Equity
  • EDEL 9044 Instructional Leadership for Equity and Excellence

Specialization (9 Units): Community College

  • EDEL 9070 Foundations of Community College
  • EDEL 9071 Leadership, Policy, and Organizational Governance in the Community College
  • EDEL 9072 Instructional Planning, Assessment, and Accountability in Community College

Dissertation (12 Units)

  • EDEL 9990 Dissertation

Updated: February 01, 2024