This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2024-2025 VCU Bulletin. Courses that expose students to cutting-edge content and transformative learning may be added and notification of additional program approvals may be received prior to finalization. General education program content is also subject to change. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

Program goal

The purpose of the Ed.D. in Leadership program is to engage leaders in a variety of learning organizations with practitioner-oriented  knowledge and skills, authentic leadership and research experiences, and opportunities for reflection that will enable them to succeed in a variety of organizational leadership positions. Three analytic lenses (equity, accountability and learning theory) guide course work and enable students from diverse backgrounds to consider learning through common perspectives.

Students will examine cases centered on enduring questions in learning and leadership. Questions will be explored through contrasting evidence from a variety of perspectives and contexts.

Program features

The Ed.D. in Leadership is a 48-credit hour, 36-month program. Based upon principles of adult learning, the program has the following features:

  1. Competitive admissions
  2. Midcareer entry
  3. Practitioner-oriented
  4. Learning-community based
  5. Problem-oriented andragogy and curriculum
  6. Two learning communities in K12 and general leadership (appropriate for leaders of schools and districts, nonprofits and other service organizations) and higher education leadership are offered in face-to-face and online delivery modalities, depending on the number of admissions each year. Face-to-face students typically meet one evening each week and five Saturdays each semester. Online students receive a blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning and have three required face-to-face Saturday sessions in the summer of year one and two Saturday face-to-face sessions in the summer of year two.
  7. Program culminates in a three-semester applied group dissertation (the capstone)

Student learning outcomes

  1. Confident and clear communication and presentation skills through formal benchmark presentations
  2. Understanding and application of effective leadership, team-building and learning behaviors through team projects
  3. Appropriate data-gathering, management and analysis techniques through program evaluation and capstone projects
  4. Making of decisions and recommendations based upon data analysis and scholarly research through formal benchmark presentations and capstone projects
  5. Scholarly writing skills through technical report writing
  6. Academic achievement necessary to be considered for doctoral candidate status, as required by the university by meeting candidacy requirements

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.