Educational Administration (Ed.D.) Program Curriculum & Admission Requirements



Students take a major concentration of courses entailing a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework. At least two courses from each of two or more of the department's various program areas must be included in the major concentration. Such courses should offer an opportunity for students to focus on policy questions.

Comprehensive examination

Upon completion of all coursework, the student is eligible for the comprehensive examination. The comprehensive examination consists of both a written and oral part and test the student's knowledge of the areas of the coursework; ability to reason, evaluate and draw supportable conclusions within the context of the subject area; and knowledge of current issues and trends within the field.


The purpose of the dissertation is to study one administrative problem or specialty in depth. The student is expected to generate original knowledge in a specialized field and contribute to resolving important problems or questions within the field of educational leadership.

Program Curriculum

The program’s curriculum reflects the needs and aspirations of each student, and prepares researchers, teachers and educational leaders for a variety of settings. The student will work closely with an advisor to determine a plan of study. The curriculum requirements outlined below are the minimum required for the school district leadership endorsement. Additional courses may be added to complete the building-level endorsement.

Core Requirements


Research Requirements


Dissertation Requirements


Please note, this is a potential plan of study. Please consult with your faculty advisor before enrolling. Individuals who have completed an Educational Specialist degree program and have already earned district level licensure endorsement are not required to complete ELPS 995: District Level Field Experience.

Summary of the Ed.D. program

  • Total core credit hours – 30;

  • Research credit hours – 9;

  • Dissertation credit hours – typically 9 – 18.

Graduate Admission

Applicants must have a master’s degree or equivalent with at least a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. International applicants are strongly encouraged to complete the application process well in advance of the application deadlines, in order to ensure adequate time for processing of visa related paperwork. Meeting minimum admission standards does not guarantee admission to the program. Applicants are strongly advised to contact one (or more) of the faculty members in the department prior to applying for the doctoral program. This cohort program begins in June of each year.

Application Deadlines

April 1
Summer semester priority application deadline

Application Checklist

Ed.D. in Educational Administration

Applicants are required to submit the following materials and meet the following requirements before the application deadline:


  • Online application

    Complete through the KU Office of Graduate Admissions

  • Transcripts

    One official copy of academic transcripts from each college or university attended

  • English translation of transcripts

    Official transcripts from an international university must include an English translation

  • GRE exam scores (optional)

    Official copy of scores no older than five years

  • Resume or CV

  • Statement of purpose

    Please submit a succinct statement of purpose, no more than five pages in length. Click the link above for details.

  • Writing sample

    An article, paper, or other composition

  • Letters of recommendation

    Three names and email addresses of persons to be asked to complete letters of recommendation: one should be from the applicant’s immediate supervisor and at least one of the others should be from a professor

  • Proof of English proficiency

    Non-native English speakers must demonstrate English proficiency

  • Application fee

    $65 for U.S. residents, $85 for international applicants.

Program Faculty

Jennifer Bessolo
Jennifer Bessolo
Professor of the Practice, MSE coordinator for the ELPS department