Earn your Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership
The University of Bridgeport's accelerated online program in Educational Leadership allows you to earn your doctoral degree with a specialization in International Education in as little as three years.
Years to Complete
- Master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a graduate cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher
- Official TOEFL scores are required of applicants whose native language is not English. The University of Bridgeport school code for TOEFL is 3914.
- University of Bridgeport Application
- $50 application fee (non-refundable)
- Official transcripts from every school attended
- World Education Services (WES) evaluation for any foreign coursework
- GRE (General Test) or MAT scores
- In place of exam scores, you may submit a one-page bulleted description of your professional and educational activities over the last five years
- Two recommendation letters
- Provide one letter from a colleague, and one letter from a supervisor, that attests to your demonstrated leadership, potential for further leadership development and the ability to benefit from doctoral study. Letters should be on letterhead with a current date and an ink signature
- Personal statement
- In 500 words or more, detail:
- your reasons for wanting to undertake doctoral studies
- your most significant personal and professional accomplishments
- the extent to which your personal and professional responsibilities will allow you to devote the necessary time and effort to the program
- a detailed description of your potential research topic
- In 500 words or more, detail:
- Writing Sample
- Provide a sample of your writing. This may include your Masters’ thesis, a published or submitted journal article, a scholarly paper, or a document created for your institution.
Completed application and all supporting documents must be received by:
- May 1 for priority consideration, August 1 (final deadline) for the fall semester
- October 1 for priority consideration, December 15 (final deadline) for the spring semester
Visit How to Apply to learn more about the process and how to contact your admissions counselor.
The Online Doctoral Program in Education Leadership (Ed.D.) at the University of Bridgeport is a distinct program that offers you an expedited and convenient way of pursuing an Ed.D. degree with a specialization in International Education.
The program is designed to enhance the effectiveness and enlarge the perspective of public and private organization leaders, policy makers, and researchers. The advanced graduate curriculum integrates the sound principles of administration, management, organizational psychology, law, program evaluation, international education, and research methodologies. The successful completion of the program leads to the Doctor of Education degree (Ed.D.).
As a student, you will complete coursework in international education including topics such as:
- International Education Concepts & Theories
- Ethical Issues in International Education
- Comparative Education
- Culture, Society, and Education in International Contexts
The Ed.D. program can be fulfilled by completing 62 credits in the following strands: educational leadership, research, and analysis, international education and dissertation.
Students who have completed an accredited Sixth-Year or Education Specialist post-master’s degree can complete the Ed.D. program with as few as 42-credits.
Educational Leadership Strand (29 Credits)
This course provides an introduction to conceptions of curriculum and their effects on pedagogy from a historical perspective, with particular emphasis on discerning and interpreting how social, cultural, and political circumstances shape educational practices. Emphasis is placed upon a historical overview of curricula theory and the current research and practice relevant to curriculum design, planning and monitoring in educational settings around the globe.
This is a project-oriented course focusing on the application of curriculum design principles and related instructional systems development. Emphasis is placed upon current research and practice relevant to curriculum design as well as the planning and monitoring of curriculum plans in educational settings. Topics to be examined include the following: curriculum assumptions, understanding by design, concept-based curriculum and instruction, Curriculum for the 21st Century, alignment with the Common Core Instructional Standards, goals and objectives, knowledge and content standards, needs assessment and curriculum evaluation, the curriculum cycle, curriculum implementation strategies, and professional development strategies.
Note: For students who do not possess a 6th year degree in Educational Leadership, this course will be taken with EDLD 801: Curricula Theory.
Legal questions relating to personnel, students, community, religion, finance, school property, teacher organizations, equality of opportunity, and other legal and political issues with which the educational leader must be familiar in order to be effective in decision-making and organizational development are investigated. Emphasis is placed on landmark judicial decisions, recent statutory developments, and constitutional background. Students will read, analyze, and interpret significant Supreme Court decisions regarding educational matters as well as pertinent lower federal and state court decisions. The principal of non-judicial remedies will be explored and the appeals process will be examined in detail. Additionally, education-based laws in other countries will be researched.
The purpose of this class is to provide background and experience in the grant writing process for major federal and state discretionary competitions and private funding agency grants. The course will focus on the preparation of proposals to National Science Foundation, the United States Department of Education (USDOE)-including Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP & OSERS), The Institute of Educational Science (IES), The United States Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS), and the Connecticut State Education Department. Private foundations and organizations will also be considered for competitions that total $100,000 or more.
How does policy shape educational institutions? This course seeks to answer that question, through a review of policies that have impacted K-12 and/or postsecondary schools locally, nationally, and internationally. Emphasis will be placed on the educational policies-regulations-procedures-practices in school districts/private schools and states, as well as the role (or non-role) of the federal government in policymaking. Additionally, education-based policies in other countries will be researched.
This course is an introduction to the theories and research utilized in the leadership of educational organizations. It covers a historical overview of, and perspectives on, several schools of organization theory. The culminating project is defining and defending a personal philosophy of organization leadership.
This is an investigation of concepts, research findings, and practices focusing on the development and change of educational organizations in relation to relevant goals and objectives. Emphasis is placed on such areas as leadership theory and behavior, organizational climate, human relations and communications within the organization, and change strategies. Theoretical concepts of leadership are integrated along with practical applications.
Note: For students who do not possess a 6th year degree in Educational Leadership, this course will be taken with EDLD 807: Organization Management.
The structure of this seminar is three-fold. The impetuses, purposes, issues, and controversies surrounding human relations, assessment, and program evaluation with emphasis on organization development, teaching, and learning. Program evaluation techniques including multiple means of assessment will be discussed and considered. Concepts such as reliability, validity, credibility, and authenticity will be explored as well as summative and formative data collection and analysis strategies. The program evaluation approach will be applied to authentic experiences and scenarios that focus on assessing and evaluating institutions, programs, teaching, and learning. Research-based factors that are associated with effective schools and how to use various sources of data to evaluate and assess educational organizations and programs is also emphasized. The process of strategic planning as a vehicle to improve school effectiveness, standards for school leaders, and Common Core Standards all provide a framework for understanding the role and responsibilities of school leaders for school improvement.
This course examines the various ways to evaluate the effectiveness of a school’s performance: student achievement, faculty performance, faculty morale, provision for diverse student needs, and development of student emotional growth. The course examines how data can and should affect instructional issues.
Note: For students who do not possess a 6th year degree in Educational Leadership, this course will be taken with EDLD 808: Program Evaluation.
Post-secondary teaching provides students the opportunity to determine if working in higher education is preferred. This class is to be taken as a final class in the program course sequence. A Leadership Internship may be arranged to fulfill the requirements.
To be completed the summers following Year 1 & Year 2
Residency is established through two on-campus summer Doctoral Residency weeks. Residency provides the opportunity for a mentor-apprentice relationship between faculty and students and time for in-depth and direct faculty support of students. Thus, the intent of the residency requirement is to ensure that doctoral students contribute to and benefit from the complete spectrum of educational, professional, and enrichment opportunities provided on and off the University of Bridgeport campus.
Research and Analysis Strand (9 Credits)
Introduction to Research is an overview course in research methodology and evaluation techniques relevant to the conduct of qualitative, quantitative, action, and mixed methods studies of leadership, curriculum, teaching, and learning. Fundamentals of, quantitative, qualitative, action and mixed methods research will be introduced from five prominent dimensions: leadership, curricula, program evaluation, teaching, and assessment.
One of the greatest challenges faced by school leaders is harnessing the power of data to drive school improvement. To this end, in the present climate of rapidly emerging research findings and data-driven decision-making, today's leaders must be able to perform, analyze, and critically interpret statistics. Hence, this course is designed to prepare doctoral students to perform dissertation research by giving them fundamental understanding of the quantitative research methodology. Overall, this course will provide students with: (a) the fundamental of descriptive and inferential statistics necessary to manipulate quantitative information, (b) the necessary frameworks to describe, interpret, and critique the components of various quantitative research studies in education, and (c) the conceptual understanding of the experimental and non-experimental research methodologies.
Qualitative research and evaluative Strategies introduces students to theoretical, paradigmatic and methodological research perspectives associated with the qualitative tradition. Case studies, grounded theory, ethnographic, and narrative approaches will be presented in this class paying particular attention to interpretive, critical, and participatory research techniques, methodologies and methods. Qualitative evaluation techniques used in program evaluations will be emphasized. EDLD 814 additionally introduces students to practical research techniques including the development of semi structured and open ended interview questions, how to conduct, record and analyze interviews, and the use of field notes when collecting observation data. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the ramifications of purposeful sampling, forms of credibility, the role of the researcher, and ethical dimensions associated with qualitative inquiry.
International Education Specialization (12 Credits)
Students will explore the theoretical foundations of educational systems around the world, as well as a range of topics and issues related to the cultural and historical underpinnings of these systems. Topics will include an examination of the challenges associated with education reforms and the unique educational practices in international contexts. Students will integrate an understanding of diverse educational perspectives through the evaluation of worldwide educational systems.
Students will analyze ethical issues confronting educational systems from an international perspective, including comparative points of view. The course will examine aspects of educational inequality by employing various empirical approaches and by encouraging students to consider practical solutions.
Students will examine the processes and problems of educational systems in selected areas throughout the world. The course will introduce students to theories of comparative education and will rely on an interdisciplinary approach to understanding complex educational issues from selected countries.
Students will explore and analyze common issues from Cultural Studies and Communication in the context of international education, by examining the social, religious, and political implications on education worldwide. The course will provide students with an understanding of the influence of various cultures and associated communication practices on education.
Dissertation Preparation Strand (12 Credits)
Literature Review EDLD 813 is designed to be taken in the summer of the first year after students have taken introductory research and quantitative research methods in the program. Conducting the literature review helps refine the student’s topic, the dissertation proposal, and prepares students for writing the Human Subject approval application.
The main focus of this course is on the use of theory in research. The theoretical framework introduces and describes the theory that explains why the research problem under study exists. It helps integrate the research questions with the methodological approach while placing the findings in the context of the theory that supports the study. Inclusion of the theoretical framework in the literature review demonstrates an understanding of theories and concepts that are relevant to the research topic and that relate to the broader areas of knowledge being considered.
Prerequisite: EDLD 813 Literature Review
Comprehensive Examination Preparation (3 Credits Repeatable Until Passed)
During the third year of the program, students participate in this seminar in preparation for their 30 day, 3 question 45+ page comprehensive examination. Students should only take EDLD 845 after they have completed all of their courses or with the prior approval of their Chair.
During the third year of the program, students participate in this seminar which focus on the selection and development of a dissertation proposal. Students are ordinarily expected to complete the major portion of their work on the dissertation proposal prior to the conclusion of the formal part of the program.
Individual research and advisement relative to a student’s dissertation topic is the sine qua non of this course. Doctoral candidates are expected to register for Continuous Dissertation 850 every semester (Fall, Spring and Summer) until their dissertations have received final approval.
Prerequisites: Successful completion of EDLD 845 Dissertation Proposal and EDLD 846 Comprehensive Examination.
Upon graduation from the Educational Leadership distance learning program, you will be able to:
- Exhibit the mastery of principles of educational leadership while infusing cross-cultural, global issues into organizations and classrooms
- Integrate principles of administration, management, organization, and program evaluation in a research agenda
- Research, write, and defend a doctoral dissertation
An online Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Bridgeport can position you as a leader in the field of education. With many career paths to choose from, you may find success in one of the following areas:
- College Professor
- Academic Dean
- Higher Education Administrator
- Curriculum Specialist
- Leadership in K-12 educational settings
- Leader of independent/private schools around the world
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Once admitted, to remain in the program, a student must maintain a 3.0 GPA for all course work per semester. If at any point in time a student’s GPA falls below 3.0, the student will be placed on academic probation. The student will be required to meet the 3.0 GPA standards by the end of the following semester and maintain that GPA continuously in order to remain in the program. If a student’s GPA falls below 3.0 a second time, that student will be subject to dismissal from the doctoral program. The minimum grade eligible for doctoral credit for any single course is a "B-."
This program requires a minimum of 62 post-master’s credits, or 42 credits for students with an accredited Sixth-Year or Education Specialist post-master’s degree, to meet the credit requirement of the doctoral degree. All coursework from other institutions must be approved by both the Director of the Education Leadership doctoral program and the Dean of the School of Education.
The University of Bridgeport allows up to six or, with the approval of the Dean, nine credits earned in a regionally accredited institution in which the student was enrolled at the graduate level to be transferred and applied to the requirements for a doctoral degree. Only credit that was earned during the five-year period (15 fall, spring, and summer semesters) preceding admission to the doctoral program may be considered for transfer. Revalidation (recertification) of credits more than 15 semesters old at the time of admission to a doctoral program is not an option.
A period of residence must be included in a doctoral program to provide significant faculty-student interaction, opportunities for exposure to and engagement with cognate disciplines and research scholars working in those disciplines, and significant face-to-face peer interaction among graduate students. Residency is established through continuous enrollment, fall, spring, and summer with a minimum of 3 credits per semester in the first two years. It is also established through two on-campus summer Doctoral Residency weeks. Residency provides the opportunity for a mentor-apprentice relationship between faculty and students and time for in- depth and direct faculty support of students. Thus, the intent of the residency requirement is to ensure that doctoral students contribute to and benefit from the complete spectrum of educational, professional, and enrichment opportunities provided on and off the University of Bridgeport campus. In addition to registration for Fall and Spring semesters, domestic students must register for at least 3 credit hours each summer for the first two years. EDLD 845-DL Comprehensive examination and EDLD 846-DL Dissertation Proposal Defense should be taken in sequence and are the last two seminars required in the program. Students enrolled in EDLD 845-DL or EDLD 846-DL are considered making adequate progress in the program. Students enrolled in EDLD 850-DL Continuous Dissertation, which is a 0 credit course, are considered full time.
All requirements for the doctoral degree must be completed within the seven-year period (21 fall, spring, and summer semesters) following admission to the doctoral program. In exceptional cases, the department may recommend that the Dean grant an extension of this limit.
Comprehensive Examination and Dissertation Proposal
All matriculated doctoral students wishing to become doctoral candidates must pass the EDLD 845 course inclusive of the written comprehensive examination. The comprehensive exam consists of: (a) one research methodological question; (b) one program focus question, and (c) one area of specialization question related to the students’ dissertation topic. Questions for the comprehensive examination are created by doctoral faculty with input from the student to rigorously assess mastery and knowledge garnered during coursework. The comprehensive examination also gauges the student’s potential for independent dissertation research. Students should take the exam after all coursework has been completed.
Doctoral students who passed their comprehensive examination can consequently enroll in the EDLD 846 course inclusive of the defense of the dissertation proposal.
The UB Doctoral Guidelines are derived from standard practices among universities, libraries, and publishers. The student, their committee, and the School of Education expects careful attention to APA 6th style and format in the proposal document. The proposal includes the student’s statement of a research problem and the chosen method of investigating it. The proposal is the first step toward completion of the dissertation, which is an original contribution to one’s field of study. The study may be applied research; it may be experimental, quasi-experimental, or non-experimental in its design; it may include quantitative, qualitative, action, mixed or critical methodology.
The dissertation proposal is an overview of the student’s ideas for their dissertation. The purpose for the dissertation proposal is to state the problem, purpose, research questions, outline the method and procedures to conduct the research project. The proposal draft will include a graphic depiction of the methods proposed and a time line for completion of the dissertation proposal including literature review and Institutional Review Board approval. Discussing the research proposal in draft format with a potential committee chair, other potential committee members, and peers will enable the student to obtain advice early in the dissertation process as to the suitability of the topic and as to whether or not the research questions, method, and procedures are logical, appropriate, and sound.
Dissertation – Doctoral Candidacy
Once the student has successfully passed the Comprehensive Examination (EDLD 845) and completed the Dissertation Proposal (EDLD 846), they are eligible to apply to be a Doctoral Candidate. The student should submit the form “Admission to Doctoral Candidacy” to the Program Director. This designation is conveyed to the student by an official letter from the School of Education. Doctoral Candidacy allows the student to register for dissertation advising (EDLD 850), which is a 0-credit course but is deemed to be full time. Once students are advanced to candidacy, they must be enrolled in EDLD 850 continuously for dissertation advising and supervision until graduation. If the student is not advanced to candidacy within five years from the time of admission to the doctoral program, the student should be dismissed from the program. The dissertation committee is composed by three faculty members.