Ed.D. in Leadership

The Ed.D. in leadership is a 48-hour, 36-month program which centers on action-oriented andragogy and curriculum, includes the application of theory and research, and focuses on addressing practitioners’ problems of practice, culminating in a collaborative group Capstone study the final year in the program.

The Department of Educational Leadership is a member of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED) which ascribes to six critical guiding principles for Ed.D. Programs.

Delivery methods

Students will have the opportunity to choose whether they want to take the Ed.D. program face-to-face or online.

Face-to-face: The face-to-face program is held on the Monroe Park Campus in vibrant downtown Richmond, Virginia. Classes will usually meet one evening every week and five Saturdays a semester.

Online: The online program is administered using BlackBoard Learning Management Software and requires yearly face-to-face summer residencies that are two designated days in mid-May, including a Friday evening and full Saturday.

Summer 2019 Orientation: Friday-Saturday, May 17 & 18, 2019

Summer 2019 Residency (online cohorts): Saturday, June 1, 15, 29; July 13, 27. All day, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. VCU Main Campus.

Learning communities

The Ed.D. program offers opportunities for students to participate in Learning Communities* in the following areas:

  1. General Leadership
  2. Higher Education Leadership

When applying to the Ed.D. program, students should designate their chosen Learning Community on the Ed.D. application checklist.

​Online and in-person learning communities are determined by accepted student preference each spring semester after the admissions deadline. In the supplemental questions area in the online application, students note which learning community and classroom method (online or in-person) they prefer. Each learning community completes the same Ed.D. courses with slight differences in the cases and examples used in each of the courses per the learning community. We are committed to our program's reflective and responsive engagement with our learners in all classrooms.

*Be advised that a minimum number of students is required to administer a Learning Community.

Curriculum requirements

The Ed.D. in leadership requires a minimum of 48 total graduate credit hours. Since this program is built on a cohort model, no external transfer credits are accepted. Please review our most current course table to review a draft program outline.



How to apply: Graduate application
Semester of entry: Summer
Application deadline: Feb. 1
Additional materials: Ed.D. application checklist [PDF]


  • VCU Graduate School requirements
  • Three years of full-time leadership experience in a learning organization or unit
  • Master’s degree in appropriate discipline
  • Transcripts from previous academic work
  • Must submit graduate examination scores. The GRE is preferred with at least an expected score of 300 or better.
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume or CV with academic, employment, and community service history
  • Statement of intent that addresses your career interests and philosophy of leading for equity, accountability, and learning environments

Ready To Get Started?

Jenna Lenhardt, Ph.D.