Online Doctor of Education (EdD): Educational Leadership

Educational Leadership

College of Education, Health & Human Sciences 

Program Overview

Are you ready to turn your passion for education into impactful leadership? If you have a minimum of three years' experience in K–12 education, apply for our online Doctor of Education (EdD) program in Educational Leadership.

At the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, our online EdD program offers advanced study that empowers K–12 leaders nationwide to serve as practitioner-scholars in a variety of positions, such as a school district or state leader.

Credit Hours


Cost Per Credit Hour*

In-State $700

Out-of-State $775

Test Requirements


Admission Terms


*Cost per credit hour is an estimate based on maintenance and university fees. Some programs may have additional course fees. Please contact your department for additional information on any related fees, and visit Tuition and Fees in Detail at One Stop.

group of diverse educators meeting around a table

A Pathway for k-12 Leaders to Become Practitioner-Scholars

Are you ready to take on greater challenges of K-12 leadership and administration?

Today’s K-12 environment is full of opportunities, challenges, and uncertainty…whether that be in accelerating student academic progress, building community trust and confidence, creating conditions for educators to thrive, or advocating for adequate funding.  At the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, we know it takes experienced educational leaders to tackle these complex issues.  That is why we offer a pathway for K-12 school leaders nationwide to become practitioner-scholars and to serve in a variety of leadership positions. 

We conduct application reviews in the spring and begin a new cohort each fall term.  In order to apply, you will need a minimum of three years in a K-12 leadership role(s).   Our online program format is designed to accommodate your busy schedule as a professional educator while we provide ongoing one-on-one support and guidance throughout the program.  Our curriculum seeks to develop in our students the skills and dispositions needed to succeed as K-12 school administrators.  Our graduates will be equipped to produce research impacting educational policy, instructional programs, curriculum enhancement, and organizational advancement which generates effective and socially just school districts.

As the state’s public, land-grant, and research-intensive institution, the faculty and staff of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies within the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences are committed to preparing administrators and scholars with the knowledge, skills, and values needed in today’s K-12 environment.  Our focus is to prepare educational professionals to lead and serve the students and staff of their K-12 organization or state department.  

If you are ready to dive deep into the top K-12 educational issues, challenges, and uncertainty confronting leaders today, and to make a bigger impact on the K-12 educational environment…join us today to begin your journey!

Featured Courses

During the Doctor of Education Degree (EdD) in Education Leadership program, you will have the opportunity to take a variety of courses. Here are just a few:

EDAM 632: School District Leadership

Will thoroughly examine the complex role and potentially significant impact of today’s school district superintendent (as well as their Charter Management Organization leader counterparts). Particular attention will be paid to the challenges of instructional leadership in today’s complex education organizations that operate in a resource constrained, politically charged, and publicly scrutinized environment. 

ELPS 615: Research Design

The foundations of designing, conducting, and evaluating quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research and the philosophical assumptions underlying these approaches. Topics covered include: identifying a research problem, reviewing the literature, specifying a purpose, writing research questions and hypotheses, and collecting and analyzing data. 

EDAM 629: Seminar in Policy Issues in Education 

Local, state, and federal education policy: theory analysis, development and implementation. Why education policy is changing rapidly, ways to follow and influence education policy, and conceptual frameworks to use for future understanding. 

EDAM 670: Values and Ethics in Education Leadership 

Examination of moral and ethical dimensions of the work of educational leaders. 

young white male student and white male professor looking at laptop together

Ready to Take the Next Step in Meeting Your Full Potential?


The Value of Student Cohorts 

Each fall a new EdD student cohort begins. Having a group of students working toward their doctorate of Education degree studying the same curriculum at the same time gives them a built-in support structure of fellow students. 

woman teacher in classroom

“A cohort offers students opportunities to engage with the professors and with their learning community during the four-year program. Students share common interests and goals. Through the EdD they develop a network and relationships with others working in K-12 school leadership. In addition to learning from the instructor, students benefit from learning from each other.”

Associate Professor Mary Lynne Derrington