Online Program with a 1-Week, On-Campus Residency Each Summer


Doctor of Education in Leadership in Schooling, Ed.D.

Learn to create thriving learning environments with UMass Lowell's online Doctor of Education in Leadership in Schooling.

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Online Doctor of Education in Leadership in Schooling

Earn your terminal degree online through UMass Lowell's Doctor of Education in Leadership in Schooling and prepare for leadership roles in PK-12 districts. This program emphasizes the development of thoughtful and reflective scholar-practitioners.

Complete online courses in Summer, Fall and Spring semesters supplemented by a one-week summer residency each year. Delivered through a cohort model, the program starts in the middle of May. You will take two courses each semester and complete the program over a three-year period.

Please note that this degree does not lead to licensure. For more information on licensure programs for Massachusetts teachers, explore our M.Ed. and Ed.S. degrees.

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Earn a Top-Ranked Master's for Under $20k

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One of the Most Affordable Tuitions in the Nation

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No GMAT/GRE Required

Career Outlook

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Curriculum Outline

- Number of Courses Required: 14 (42 credits)

Course Descriptions

EDUC.6440 Foundations for Practitioner Scholars (3cr)

This course will introduce students to seminal and recent work in the fields of philosophy, history, and psychology as they relate to education. Students will critically examine research and scholarly theory in these fields and their relationship to PK-12 Practice.


CSCE Graduate Restrictions

EDUC.6910 Developing Inclusive School Contexts (3cr)

This course will introduce students to theory and research about structural inequities, barriers to education, and promising practices for addressing these barriers. Students will examine theory and research and implications for practice in PK-12 Leadership.


CSCE Graduate Restrictions

EDUC.6911 Applied Research Design (3cr)

This course is designed to provide PK-12 practitioners with an understanding of the principles of research design and the ethical responsibilities of conducting a research study. Participants will learn a broad range of research methodology approaches that can be applied to problems of practice. Participants will become skilled at reading, evaluating, and judging the trustworthiness of studies using different methodology approaches. They will design a practitioner-oriented research study.


CSCE Graduate Restrictions

EDUC.6920 Law, Policy, and Finance (3cr)

In this course students will examine scholarship and research in the areas of law, policy and finance as these affect educational practice. They will analyze law, policy and finance and its implications for leaders in PK-12 schools and school systems.

EDUC.6921 Quantitative Data Analysis for Practitioner Leaders (3cr)

The primary focus of this course is to prepare practitioner leaders to understand, interpret, and analyze quantitative data as it relates to their identified problem of practice.

EDUC.6922 Qualitative Research Methods Practitioner Leaders (3cr)

This is the first in a two-part sequence of courses that will introduce students to the scope of issues, techniques, and perspectives that compose qualitative research methodology. In this first course students will be introduced to historical, philosophical, and theoretical issues undergirding the approach, principles of research design, data collection techniques, and approaches for preliminary organization of the data. Students will also be introduced to literature and technologies of the field.

EDUC.6930 Organizational Learning (3cr)

This course will introduce students to research and theory in the field of organizational learning and its application to PK-12 practice. Students will study the origins, evolution and contemporary findings of research in this field. Students will explore the practical implications of organizational learning for PK-12 leadership.


CSCE Graduate Restrictions

EDUC.6931 Data Analysis for Practitioner Leaders (3cr)

This course is designed to provide second year EdD students opportunities to learn how experts in the field are applying principles of improvement science to address educational problems--particularly those related to equity. At the end of the course, students are expected to demonstrate how they will apply improvement science methods to address a persistent educational problem in their own school or system contexts.

EDUC.6940 Systems Leadership I (3cr)

Drawing on organizational, management, and educational scholarship, this course introduces students to concepts and practices associated with strategic systems leadership. Students will apply their understandings of how to leverage both formal and informal sources of influence in their analysis of relevant teaching cases and the data they collect in an extensive field study project.


CSCE Graduate Restrictions

EDUC.6960 Strategic Partnering with Families and Communities (3cr)

This course will critically examine the variety of issues associated with partnering with parents, families and community organizations. Through analysis of theory, research and collective knowledge, doctoral students will learn how to strategically engage parents, families and community organizations and recognize the different forms of engagement. This course will emphasize collaborative strategies that "shares power" with key stakeholders in U.S. schools.

EDUC.6991 Reading and Applying Educational Research (3cr)

This course is designed to build student capacity for evidence-based decision making in K-12 schools. Specifically, it will advance student ability to locate educational research, evaluate it for quality, extract findings, and apply those findings to practice. Critically, the process of applying research to practice will consider local context and draw on stakeholder experiences, weaving them together with scholarship to develop school improvement plans.

EDUC.7501 Dissertation in Practice (3cr)

Ed.D. students will design their study, complete their proposal, conduct their study and defend their dissertation in practice, while enrolled in dissertation credit. This course is for ED.D. cohort students only.

EDUC.7502 Dissertation in Practice: Data Collection and Analysis (3cr)

In this second course of the EdD dissertation course series, students will collect and analyze data with the support of the course instructor.

EDUC.7503 Dissertation in Practice: Dissertation Completion (3cr)

In this final course of the EdD program students formally report on their data in a written dissertation that they defend at the end of the semester.

Ed.D. Program Requirements

The Ed.D. requires completion of 42 credits beyond the master's or education specialist (CAGS) degree. Nine of these credits are focused on dissertation research. The research for the Ed.D. is applied in nature and may examine an issue pertinent to a local setting. The Ed.D. program requires completion of 11 online courses (33 cr) and 9 credits of dissertation research support through online dissertation seminars. Additionally, candidates must attend a week-long summer residency each year they are in the program.

In order to complete either degree, candidates must:

  • Complete the required minimum number of credits in the specified program;
  • Complete all courses, including residency requirements, with a cumulative grade point average of B or better;
  • Have no more than two courses below the grade of B counted toward their degree;
  • Pass two doctoral examinations;
  • Satisfactorily complete and defend a dissertation proposal;
  • Satisfactorily complete and defend the dissertation;
  • Submit all required paperwork at each stage of the degree;
  • Maintain continuing matriculation if not enrolled in coursework or dissertation research credit;
  • Conform to all human subjects requirements for research as specified by the Institutional Research Board (IRB);
  • Complete the program within eight years from the date of admission.

Program Requirements

To be recommended for a University of Massachusetts Lowell doctorate degree, candidates must satisfy all of the general requirements below, plus any additional requirements that may be required by the department through which the program is offered. Any additional requirements for this program are either listed below or may be found in the University's Graduate Program Catalog.

General Requirements:

  • Students must complete the program of study designed by the Department in which they are enrolled and approved by the University.
  • Satisfactory grades in all subjects offered for the degree must be earned. See Academic Standing.
  • All financial obligations, including tuition, fees and expenses, must be satisfied as evidenced by completion.
  • Upon completion of all their courses, graduate degree candidates must submit a signed Declaration of Intent to Graduate (DIG) form to their coordinator. The coordinator will apply them in SIS, Graduation Tracking.

Graduate Program Policies

In applying for a degree program or registering for courses, each student assumes full responsibility for knowledge of and compliance with the definitions, regulations and procedures of UMass Lowell as set forth on our website. For additional information, please refer to the Graduate Program Policies found within the UMass Lowell Graduate Catalog.

Tuition & Fees

Tuition at UMass Lowell is typically half the cost of private colleges, and our online tuition is among the lowest in the nation. Tuition for online programs offered through the Division of Graduate, Online & Professional Studies is the same whether you live in-state, out-of-state or outside of the U.S.

Summer 2024 Tuition

Cost Per Credit Cost Per 3-Credit Course*


Online Education1 $470 $1,410
Online 7000-Level Education $655 $1,965
*Tuition is priced on the listed credit hour unless the contact hour is different. Tuition is then based upon the listed contact hour.
1Applies to EDUC courses excluding 7000-level courses.

Additional Costs

Term Registration Fee $30
Returned Check Fee $30
Graduate Degree and Certificate Application $50

Please note: Tuition and fees are subject to change.

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Looking for Financial Assistance?

UMass Lowell offers a variety of financial aid and scholarship options.


Applying into a Graduate Degree Program

The Ed.D. is an online cohort-based program that begins once each year in May. Applications are accepted during the preceding year between April 1 and October 15, the priority deadline. Priority applications are reviewed after the October 15 deadline.

Applications with missing materials are not reviewed. Admission decisions are sent by year end, with a commitment date in January for accepted applicants. Should spots in the cohort become available, waitlisted applicants will typically be notified in February.

Applications are accepted after the priority deadline but will only be processed on a case-by-case basis if there are open spots in the cohort.

All applicants must submit:
    • An application
    • An application fee ($50)
    • A statement of purpose in which the applicant describes their understanding of equity-based educational problems and identifies and articulates the reasons to address a contextually relevant, equity-based problem—should span two pages
    • Two letters of recommendation that speak towards the candidate's capacity for/record of leadership in or relevant to K-12 settings and their commitment to learning and continued personal and professional growth including an ability to give and receive feedback/engage in interchange of ideas
    • A resume
    • Offcial test scores
        • GRE not required
        • If English is NOT the national language in your home country, please submit one of the following English proficiency tests:
            • TOEFL: minimum acceptable score is 90
            • IELTS: minimum acceptable score is 7.0
            • Duolingo: minimum acceptable score is 115
            • ASC English: minimum acceptable level is 6
            • Pearson Test of English: minimum acceptable score is 53

Admission Requirements

  • Master's degree in a field relevant to K-12 education, M.Ed. or Ed.S. from an accredited institution
  • Should be currently working in a K-12 school or other setting that serves these students, have at least three years of experience as a teacher and/or as an instructional leader, have a commitment to continuing to serve such students as a leader who will influence excellence and equity
  • Demonstrated leadership skills in such settings

Additional Information

F1 student visas are not issued for this program.

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Questions Regarding Your Graduate Application?

Email or call 800-656-4723 (for U.S. students) or 978-934-2390 (for international students).

For General Assistance:

For general questions about registering for courses or to find out who the advisor is for your graduate program, call 800-480-3190. Our admissions and advising teams are here to help!

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