Educational Leadership EdD - Doctor of Education

Doctor of Education

Respond to change as a leader in Education

As an educator, the way you manage a culture of learning and address current educational issues can be vital to making a difference in your school or organization. Capella University offers an online Doctor of Education (EdD), Educational Leadership that can help you grow as an informed decision-maker and innovative leader.

Focus on the leadership competencies of successful academic professionals. Gain expertise to address critical, real-world problems. This doctoral program can help you enhance your ability to conduct inquiry and analysis, communicate, and make decisions.

At a Glance

  • Online
  • 16 courses
  • Capstone

Classes Start August 10th

Ready to get started? We’re ready for you. Chat with an enrollment counselor or apply now to take the first step on the journey toward your future.

$50 application fee (waived w/promo SPRING)

EdD Leadership—program highlights

Capstone with focus on real-world impact

A doctoral project provides the opportunity for you to apply action research to solve a real problem in your field.

Application-based curriculum

Create artifacts in your courses and use them as teaching tools in the classroom.

Resources and academic support

Access resources such as our EdD Success Pathways tool and support services to help you succeed throughout your doctoral journey.

Reduce your tuition by $20,000

Enroll in a qualified program and apply for a $20K Capella Progress Reward, a scholarship to help fund your doctoral degree.

Apply now »

No residencies

Designed to be completed without residencies or other in-person learning experiences, this wholly online program can help you complete your degree as flexibly as possible.

Emphasis on diversity

Expand your approach to encouraging a culture of diversity, inclusion, and equity.

25 years of online doctoral experience

With over 25 years of experience in online doctoral education, we understand the unique needs of doctoral students, and have designed our programs to meet those needs. We've structured our programs to help you reach your goals and obtain critical skills—with our expert faculty, support teams, and online resources to help guide you every step of the way.

Meet your Education faculty

We have more than 200 faculty members who teach in our P-12 programs, many of whom also teach and work in districts across the country, providing authentic experiences around best practices and innovative ideas.

Get the support you need for success

Our dedicated support teams guide and advise you through every step of your educational journey.

Enrollment counselors

These experts will set you up for success. They’ll help you find the right degree and program, and answer all your questions about Capella.

Writing support

Sharpen your writing skills with our free tutoring services and other resources.

Doctoral advising

Doctoral programs are specific and challenging. That’s why you’ll have access to expert support at every step along the road to your degree.

Cost & learning format

A more structured learning format with an active peer community and faculty guidance. We’ll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines. 

  • Based on the quarter system; 1-3 courses per 10-week quarter
  • 1 semester credit = 1.5 quarter credits
  • Weekly assignments and courseroom discussions
  • Pay for what you take, price varies by courseload or term
$745 per credit, 64 total quarter credits, 0 max transfer credits

Get the details

Speak with an enrollment counselor to get a personalized cost estimate for what you can expect to pay.

Accredited & recognized

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Accreditation and recognitions provide the assurance we meet standards for quality of faculty, curriculum, learner services, and fiscal stability. See all of our accreditations and recognitions

“I was able to utilize my capstone project to develop school improvement plans for the Georgia Department of Education, simultaneously fulfilling the requirements of my Doctor of Education degree while applying the same work to my role as the deputy superintendent of school improvement.”

Stephanie Johnson*
Doctor of Education
*Actual Capella student who agreed to appear in Capella promotional materials.

Ways to save

At Capella, we believe your education is an investment in your future. It’s also an investment within your grasp. Your goals are achievable—there are more ways to save than you might think. 


There are a variety of need-based federal grants available to help pay for tuition and costs.

$20K toward your doctorate

Apply for a $20K Capella Progress Reward, a scholarship to help you fund your doctoral degree.

Federal work study

Part-time jobs sponsored by the U.S. government are available to help you reduce loan debt.

EdD sample courses

The EdD, Education Leadership coursework covers finance, human resources, operations, change management, decision-making, curriculum and instruction improvement processes, cultural competency, and advocacy. With your capstone, you'll effect change with a research project that addresses real-world issues in lieu of a dissertation.

Foundational coursework

Core coursework will help lay the foundation for your entire program, with a focus on research, critical thinking, and setting you up for success as a doctoral student.

Capstone: doctoral project

The culminating project of the entire program, the capstone focuses on applied research to solve a specific organizational problem, improve outcomes, or resolve a gap in the field.

Show course with description
EDD8520 *
Educational Leadership by Design

Learners in this course continue the study of systems thinking and foundational leadership concepts and apply them to workplace environments. Learners examine systems thinking, use of systems tools, and inquiry and design cycles as ways to maximize available resources to solve problems under conditions of uncertainty and ambiguity. This course emphasizes the importance of evidence-based reasoning and critical analyses as essential skills of practitioners who plan action research interventions or engage in the design and implementation of any improvement process.  Prerequisite(s): EDD8010, completion or concurrent registration in EDD8020. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
EDD8522 *
Leading a Culture of Learning and Inclusion

In this course, learners explore the role of culture in supporting an organization's ability to learn, improve, and successfully adapt to a changing environment, and the leader's role in shaping it. Learners focus on patterns of behaviors within organizations, as well as the knowledge, skills, and dispositions of the inclusive leader that support values of diversity and equity in organizational culture and in organizational development and improvement processes. Additionally, learners examine the characteristics and theoretical bases of cultural awareness, sensitivity and responsiveness, and their roles in achieving the goals of a learning organization. Prerequisite(s): EDD8520. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
EDD8524 *
The Future of Educational Leadership

Learners in this course demonstrate leadership skills that support the ability to exercise influence regardless of position in an organization and the importance of deep knowledge and understanding of internal and external environmental factors impacting an educational organization. This course emphasizes ongoing learning about current research and future trends in education in a rapidly changing environment. Learners also examine social influence and communication skills, commitment rather than compliance, empowerment of others, creative practice, and management of self, along with a robust professional knowledge base as they consider ways to build the capacity of an organization to envision its future.  Prerequisite(s): EDD8520.  Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
EDD8526 *
Change Leadership in a Learning Organization

In this course, learners focus on leading and managing organizational change processes. Learners evaluate several change models, and examine the theory and practice of change leadership and the application of collaboration and communication skills that lead to organizational learning and desired outcomes. Learners apply knowledge of systems thinking and tools, organizational development principles, and research methods to planning, implementing, and monitoring improvement interventions. Prerequisite(s): EDD8520, EDD8522, EDD8524.  Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
EDD8528 *
Assessment and Evaluation in the Learning Organization

In this course, learners examine the varied purposes of evaluation and evaluation models and how and when to apply them. Evaluation and assessment processes are framed as learning tools leading to new knowledge and understanding with a focus on emergent and evidence-based recommendations to determine next steps leading to ongoing cycles of continuous improvement. The course emphasizes reflective practice, data literacy, research reasoning, and habits of mind as leadership characteristics that support a continuous personal and organizational learning process.  Prerequisite(s):   EDD8030, EDD8526.  Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits

What you’ll learn

The right education can change everything. Discover your path to gaining real-world skills as a thought leader in your school or district.

  • Apply professional knowledge base and leadership theory to organizational learning and innovation.
  • Promote a culture of diversity, inclusion, and equity.
  • Communicate effectively.
  • Evaluate data and evidence to assess organizations and problems of practice.
  • Use systems thinking and needs analysis tools to evaluate and frame problems of practice.
  • Lead evidence-based and collaborative inquiry and research cycles to address problems of practice.
  • Practice change management strategies and leadership skills that support stakeholder commitment and organizational learning.
  • Practice and promote habits of mind to lead people and organizations.

EdD career insights

Quick Guide to EdS, EdD, and PhD Degrees

Compare advanced degree options for K-12 educators, including Doctor of Education and Education Specialist degrees.

Capella EdD Graduate Turns Classroom Concepts into TEDx Talk

Once an avid TED talk viewer, Capella EdD graduate Jeffery Huston became a TEDx presenter, sharing his passion in systems thinking.

EdD professional paths

Here are some of the jobs and employment settings to explore with an EdD specializing in educational leadership and management.

Related job titles to explore*

  • Director of academic and student services departments
  • College faculty of education courses
  • Associate dean

Employment settings to explore

  • P–12 public, private, virtual or charter school
  • Colleges, universities, and professional schools
  • Government
  • Nongovernmental education organizations
  • Corporations

*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.

Other programs to explore

Is this program close to what you need, but maybe not a perfect fit? The programs below might be interesting. Check them out to find one that suits your academic and professional goals.

Ready for the next step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.