Jun 19, 2024  
2010-2011 Graduate Catalog 
2010-2011 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Educational Leadership

Roberto A. Peña, PhD, Program Director
John Jacob Zucker Gardiner, PhD, Department Chair


This post-master’s program leads to the doctor of education (EdD) degree with a major in educational leadership. The program is designed so that it can be completed in three years but candidates have six years to meet graduation requirements. The program uses a cohort model and is designed to meet the needs of a very broad spectrum of leaders whose current or future careers include P-12 education, higher education, consulting, nonprofit organizations, business, health care, military, and human services.

Educational leadership students may complete their degree while at the same time continuing full-time employment.

The program includes a common core of studies in educational leadership theory and practice, as well as courses, internships, projects, and independent studies oriented toward the specific needs of each student. Individual programs of study can include earning a Washington state P-12 superintendent, principal, or program administrator certificate.

The cohort program begins once each year in July.

Admission Requirements

NOTE: Although entry decisions are made by a faculty committee after consideration of a number of criteria, the following are desired minimum qualifications:

  • Application for Graduate Admission with non-refundable $55 application fee. (Application fee waived for SU alumni.)
  • Evidence of a master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university and any additional graduate-level course work
  • Minimum GPA of 3.50 in all graduate-level course work calculated from transcripts submitted for any regionally accredited institution
  • Two recommendations, one from a master’s degree major professor and one from an immediate on-the-job supervisor, using the College of Education forms
  • Official test scores from either the GRE or the MAT. Scores must be from tests taken within the last five years.
  • Résumé reflecting three years of successful work experience (in P-12 schools, colleges, universities, service agencies, or consulting settings, or in instructional, developmental, or training roles)
  • Minimum of one year in a leadership role
  • Interview with College of Education and educational leadership program faculty members usually followed by on-site writing skills sample
  • College of Education Self-Evaluation form


Full-time residency is not required; however, 31 credits must be completed in the first 13 months, including EDLR 600 , EDLR 621 , EDLR 622  and EDLR 623 . The program is designed for completion within three years by those continuing to work full-time in leadership positions. Doctoral students who do not complete all program requirements in three years (by the spring of the third year) must register for and pay a continuation fee beginning with the fall following the conclusion of the spring of the third year and continuing during all subsequent quarters (fall, winter, spring and summer) until and including the quarter when the student completes all program requirements. As long as students are active in the program, enrollment every quarter is required. Formal leave may be granted for cause. Credit applied to the degree may not be more than six years old when the educational leadership program is completed.

Transfer Credit

Up to 15 credits of post-master’s graduate study may be transferred, if the credits meet Seattle University criteria: taken at a regionally accredited institution; completed with a minimum grade of 3.00 on a 4.00 American grading scale; taken for graduate credit; and course completion date is within six years of the date all doctoral degree work is concluded. Post-master’s graduate credit taken at Seattle University prior to acceptance into the program is also eligible for consideration within the 15 credits allowed to transfer.

For students who have completed the College of Education’s Executive Leadership Superintendent Post-Master’s Certificate Program at Seattle University and are admitted into the EDLR Program, up to 30 credits of the superintendent program may be used to fulfill professional studies, cognate, and/or internship courses toward the 90 credit minimum requirement of the EDLR program.

For graduates of Seattle University who have completed the EdS degree in school psychology and are admitted into the EDLR program, up to 29 credits of the EdS degree may be used to fulfill elective and or cognate courses toward the 90 credit minimum requirement of the EDLR program.

All of the College of Education SPSY graduates who are accepted into the EDLR program will be expected to complete:

  • all of the educational leadership (EDLR) core courses
  • the dissertation and dissemination requirements, and
  • the following professional education courses which were not included in the SPSY EdS degree requirements: finance, human resources, and curriculum.

If any of the three professional education courses is waived, students must substitute the equivalent number of credits by taking other graduate-level courses at Seattle University. Unless otherwise approved by the dean, three will be the maximum number of school psychology students who could be admitted to the program in any one year.

Credit at Seattle University

At least three-fourths of the applicable credits taken at Seattle University must be 500 level or higher. In any case, no more than 15 credits at Seattle University below the 500 level may be applied, and then only with specific advanced, written approval. (Inclusion in an approved graduate program of studies will satisfy written approval.)

Formal Degree Candidacy

An EDLR student is eligible for candidacy when EDLR 621 , EDLR 622  and EDLR 623  have been completed, and a program of studies has been approved.

Comprehensive Examination

A six-hour exam is required of all students. It consists of a four-hour exam which covers educational leadership studies common to all students and a two-hour exam tailored to each student’s program and cognate area.


Students who complete superintendent, program administrator and principal programs may earn a Washington state P-12 administration certificate as part of their doctoral program. Further details on requirements for integrating studies toward any of these certificates into a doctoral program are available from the program office at (206) 296-6170.