The Educational Leadership (EdD) program at App State

Take that final step. Be the change you want to see in education. As a terminal academic degree, the Educational Leadership (EdD) program at Appalachian State University is a natural extension for driven individuals to enhance leadership capabilities in teaching, research and administration.

The EdD doctoral program attracts professionals intent on making a difference. Through core leadership and research courses, you will learn to apply theory to practice to make educational systems more effective, more equitable and more sustainable.

Through professionally oriented concentrations, you will gain advanced knowledge in your disciplinary specialization and prepare yourself to assume higher levels of organizational leadership.

More information on Educational Leadership


  • Dean/associate dean
  • Provost
  • Department chair
  • Chancellor/vice chancellor

Degree details


Note: Not all courses listed may be delivered to App State Online students. Refer curriculum questions to the program contact.

Program information

  • Up to 30 credits waived for Appalachian EdS graduates; an EdS degree is preferred for applicants to the Higher Education concentration
  • Attendance to an on-campus orientation prior to the start of the program is recommended
  • Classes in this program will meet synchronously online two nights a week

Eligibility and program requirements


Applicants must:

  • hold a master’s degree from an accredited college or university or the Education Specialist from Appalachian.
  • have GRE exam scores no older than five years.

Admissions Exam:

GRE waivers are available if the applicant has

  • An earned graduate degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher; and
  • At least five (5) years of professional experience in education; or
  • An earned Education Specialist (EdS) degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher from Appalachian State University.

No exam waiver is automatic but will require review and approval by the Graduate School upon submission of a complete application. An approved waiver request does not guarantee acceptance into the program. A denied waiver request does not mean that a candidate is denied admission to the program, only that a standardized exam score is needed to more fully evaluate the application. Standardized test scores may be required for scholarship consideration.

Applicants whose graduate GPA is below 3.0 will be required to take the official general GRE exam in accordance with Graduate School policy.

Application requirements:

  • Completed online application to graduate school
  • Application fee
  • Unofficial transcripts (or evaluated transcripts for degrees and coursework earned outside of the United States) should be uploaded showing any completed degrees and coursework.
    Note: Official transcripts will be required prior to enrolling.
  • Resume
  • Four references
  • Letter of intent: Address the following questions without exceeding 6 double-spaced pages. In doing so, consider how you might respond in an integrated manner, in a way that tells your story, rather than responding to each question separately. You may add an additional page for any references using APA 7th edition citation style.
    • What contemporary educational problems/issues do you care most about, given your context and standpoint as an educational leader?
    • What motivates you to pursue a doctorate in educational leadership, and why at Appalachian? At this point in your life/career, why is doctoral study worth the significant investment required?
    • What theories or research have influenced your thinking about those problems/issues? How do you envision that your future scholarship could support change?
    • How prepared do you feel to be successful in a doctoral program, given the intense reading, thinking, reflection and writing expected?
    • How would your membership in our academic community support the vision and/or core values of Appalachian State University
    • What else would you like to tell us about your unique background, strengths, commitments, and preparation to pursue an EdD?

Professional Licensure

Appalachian State programs that lead to a professional licensure or certificate are intended to prepare students for licensure or certification in North Carolina. Check the Professional Licensure webpage for information on licensure requirements in other states.

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