Educational Administration Ed.D.

Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Administration

Program Overview

This Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) in educational administration was designed to further the academic and practical development of kindergarten through grade 12 school leaders/administrators at the building and/or district level. This innovative doctoral program was modeled in large part on the University at Buffalo’s (UB) highly successful cohort-based Leadership Initiative for Tomorrow’s Schools (LIFTS) administrator certification program. Depending upon prior academic preparation in school leadership, the program requires 49-55 credit hours, which typically takes students a minimum of 4 years of part-time, intensive study to successful completion.

The Ed.D program features:

  • Small, highly selective cohort groups working together throughout much of the program
  • Cohort seminars on school leadership
  • Focus on team work and collaborative problem solving
  • Integration of theoretical and experiential learning
  • Some classes offered through distance learning
  • Collaborative applied research on school-based issues and leadership actions
  • Individual or collaborative capstone or dissertation research

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to Ed.D.) program in educational administration at the University at Buffalo (UB), a perspective candidate must hold at least one of the following school administrator certificates from New York State (SBL, SDL, SDBL, SAS, SDA or SBA). Administrator certificates from other U.S. or international jurisdictions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. At the time of admission, candidates shall have completed an officially approved administrator preparation program leading to state certification, such as UB’s 36 credit hour Leadership Initiative For Tomorrow’s School’s (LIFTS) program. Experience as a school administrator is preferred but not required, although in such cases where a candidate has not served formally as an administrator or supervisor, evidence of having assumed informal leadership responsibilities will be requested (such as teacher team leader).

To apply, students must submit the following:

  • A completed online application.
  • Official undergraduate and/or graduate transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended. Applicants who are currently at UB or have studied at or graduated from UB do not need to request an official UB transcript. GSE's Office of Admissions can download and print the transcript.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) scores.
  • (Preferably tests should have been taken within the last five years.)
  • A statement of career goals and objectives.
  • At least three letters of recommendation (at least one letter must be from an academic reference and one from a professional reference)
  • A sample of academic writing (as recent a work as possible).

The required, non-refundable application fee must be submitted along with the online application.

Transfer Credits

The work specified in the Doctor of Education program is built upon the requirements of a candidate’s prior approved administrator preparation, from which up to 30 course credit hours can be transferred into the Ed.D. These transfer hours may not include credits that were assigned to an internship or clinical experience. Subsequent to formal admission, the student’s advisor will determine which prior courses can be applied to the Ed.D. Courses older than 10 years at the time of admission may have to be petitioned before they can be accepted.

Program Components

The Ed.D program in educational administration is built upon four basic components:

Required Cohort Core Seminars

The following four courses are required of all cohort members and are completed one every semester for the first two years of the program.

Course Number Course Title Credits
ELP 624 Research Paradigms and Problems in Educational Research 3
ELP 626 Educational Policy Formation and Analysis 3
ELP 630 Leading and Managing People in Education 3
ELP 677 Leading Curriculum and Instructional Improvement 3

Component total: 12 credits

Specializations and Electives

Candidates must complete a sequence of at least five courses (15 credit hours) that reflect their particular academic and professional interests. Areas of specialization might include school business and human resource administration; policy formulation, implementation and analysis; or leadership for curriculum and instructional leadership, to name just a few. This specialization can also incorporate the requirements for an existing Graduate School of Education (GSE) advanced certificate such as the Advanced Certificate for School Business and Human Resource Administration (SBHRA).

Courses for the specialization can also be chosen from a wide range offered within or outside the Graduate School of Education, dependent on the student’s particular interests and background and in consultation with the student’s advisor.

Component total: 15 credits

Research Methods

In order to acquire and demonstrate their proficiency in research methods, students must take a minimum of 12 credit hours in this component. These courses must include the following:

Course Number Course Title Credits
ELP 500 Nature of Inquiry or Equivalent 3
ELP ### 1 introductory quantitative research methods 3
ELP ### 1 introductory qualitative research methods 3
ELP ### 1 advanced quantitative or qualitative research methods 3

Component total: 12 credits

Doctoral Research

Upon successful completion of the required coursework and with their advisor’s permission, students may begin registering for 1 or more hours of ELP 702 per semester in order to maintain matriculation while they complete their Qualifying paper (QP), capstone or dissertation project proposal, and the final project itself.

Minimum component total: 10 credits

Minimum program component total: 49 credits

Minimum Ed.D program total (including transfer credit): 76 credits