Endicott students and faculty in class

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Endicott is the first college on Boston’s North Shore to be authorized to award a doctoral degree. With endorsement by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, Endicott College will award a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership to qualified candidates.

Now accepting applications to begin January 2015 cohort!

Links and Contacts

Interested in trying one of our classes before applying? Just click the register here button to send us a note and we can get you started!

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership will focus on preparing unique leaders for small to mid-size organizations in higher education, non-profit agencies, and schools. Emphasizing Endicott College’s strength, the program will focus on theory, research, and applying these skills to improving organizations.

For a list of current courses, please visit the Doctoral schedules.

For featured online article, please visit Boston Globe .

Doctoral students say why they chose Endicott.

Program Mission Statement

Leadership for small higher education institutions requires creativity, flexibility, strategic thinking, an entrepreneurial stance, and a respect for student-centered institutions. The mission of the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership is to prepare professionals for leadership roles in the administration of small colleges and universities, non-profit agencies and schools. 

This doctoral program integrates research and practice so that doctoral students understand the historical, political, social, and philosophical aspects of small colleges and universities which have challenges and opportunities that distinguish them from larger institutions. Applied learning, the hallmark of Endicott, is demonstrated through an apprenticeship in which doctoral students explore areas of specializations within senior leadership positions such as academic affairs, student development, institutional advancement, financial affairs, faculty development, and facilities. 

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership is designed for career professionals in higher education who wish to attain leadership positions in small- to mid-sized colleges or universities, including both two and four-year college settings, or in smaller colleges or satellite campuses within larger universities. In this cohort-based program, a combination of different roles, perspectives, and experiences enriches the program and its participants.

Program Overview

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership program is a cohort-based degree option which allows students to complete coursework within five semesters, followed by completion of the qualifying examination. Upon successful completion of phases I and II, students engage in a unique apprenticeship where they apply and reflect on leadership knowledge and skills, test theory in a practice setting, acquire credentials for advancement , and concurrently design and develop their dissertation proposal.   Dissertation research and writing is completed with the support and guidance of a faculty committee. 

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership program is not an online program. The program is structured to offer face to face week-end courses to cohort groups of students.  Students are expected to have information and communication technology (ICT) skills and capability. Online elements will supplement the classroom interactions.

A distinguishing feature of Endicott’s educational leadership program is the administrative apprenticeship designed to assist doctoral students in acquiring the credentials needed for advancement. The apprenticeship will help develop talented leaders who will be able to assist small- to mid-sized institutions in the challenging years ahead.

Program Components

Phase I. Students accepted to the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program will be admitted in cohort groups. Students will complete 33 required credits of coursework in educational leadership, administration, and qualitative and quantitative research. 

Phase II. In Phase II of the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program all students are required to pass a comprehensive exam that is based on the core courses. Students will take the exam in the spring of the second year (semester five) or when all the required courses are completed. Students must pass the exam before beginning EDL 770 Administrative Apprenticeship and EDL 755 Dissertation Proposal.   A student will advance to Phase III—Doctoral Candidate after passing the comprehensive exam. 

Phase III—Doctoral Candidate, This is the final phase of the program and includes the completion of an apprenticeship and a dissertation. The administrative apprenticeship, a 6 credit course will be two semesters long and have a minimum of 224 hours of apprenticeship, which will be documented by the student and submitted at the end of the class with the remaining course requirements. By enrolling in EDL 770-Administrative Apprenticeship and EDL 755 Dissertation Proposal, simultaneously, the student will be able to link their dissertation topic with their apprenticeship experiences. The dissertation is research-based and must include original research. Students will develop dissertation proposals in consultation with their dissertation committee. 

Program of Study

Program of Study Ed.D. in Educational Leadership: Higher Education

Phase I

          Fall  – Semester I

EDL 701

History and Administration of Small Colleges, 3 credits

EDL 715

Research Methods I: Qualitative, 3 credits

          Spring  - Semester II

EDL 726

Organizational Management in Higher Education, 3 credits

EDL 735

Research Methods II: Quantitative, 3 credits

EDL 762

Leading in a Technological World, 3 credits

          Summer - Semester III

EDL 732

Creativity and Leadership in Challenging Times, 3 credits

EDL 764

Theories and Practice in Academic Leadership, 3 credits

          Fall - Semester IV  (New Tuition Rates Apply)

EDL 760

Student Development: History and Issues, 3 credits

EDL 740

Research Methods: Inquiry in Higher Education, 3 credits

          Spring - Semester V

EDL 746

Finance, Budget, and Operations, 3 credit

EDL 768

Teaching, Learning & Institutional Culture in Higher Education, 3 credits

Phase II

EXM 700

Comprehensive Exam, April & May, 0 credits

Phase III

          Summer – Semester VI

EDL 770A

Doctoral Fellowship/Administrative Apprenticeship: Part I, 3 credits

EDL 755A

Dissertation Proposal: Part I, 3 credits

          Fall – Semester VII (New Tuition Rates Apply)

EDL 770B

Doctoral Fellowship/Administrative Apprenticeship: Part II, 3 credits

EDL 755B

Dissertation Proposal: Part II, 3 credits

          Spring – Semester VIII

EDL 782

Dissertation Study, 0 credits *

EDL 752

Research Methods III: Issues in Research, 3 credits

* Students continue to register for EDL 782 – Dissertation Study, 0 credits each semester until the dissertation is completed with signatures from the Dissertation Committee members.

Student Advising

Each student admitted to the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership program will be assigned a faculty advisor who will guide his/her study until Phase III.  The Dissertation Committee serves during Phase III. It consists four members: the student, who serves as convener of the committee; a chair, who can be the student’s advisor; and two additional professional/faculty members, one of whom can be from outside Endicott College. The responsibilities of the Dissertation Committee are to approve the dissertation prospectus and the dissertation research methodology, to advise students to seek approval of the IRB before proceeding with data collection, and to evaluate the dissertation as a contribution to the field of Educational Leadership. The student convenes a final meeting, during which the student will make an oral defense of the dissertation to committee members and the Director of the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program. The student also makes a public presentation to the Endicott community, once the committee has approved the dissertation

Application Requirements

Students must submit an application form, an application fee, plus:

  1. Complete, official transcripts from all previous, post-secondary education.
  2. Three letters of recommendation. At least one letter of recommendation must be authored by an academic respondent holding an earned doctorate degree who can attest to your ability to complete doctoral study successfully.
  3. An original 6-10 page (double-spaced, 12 pt. font) Personal Statement. Please respond to these questions: 1) What relevant knowledge, skills, experiences bring you to this point of considering doctoral study? 2) In what ways will doctoral study support your academic, professional and/or personal goals? 3) What would be your ideal apprenticeship and why? This is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your writing skills. Please be sure that your full name is included on the pages of your Personal Statement. 
  4. Official copy of scores from either the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Code: 3854 or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) Code: 2567. 
  5. All students for whom English is not a first language must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Code 3369
  6. A copy of your resume or curriculum vitae with evidence of at least three years of related, professional experience. 
  7. A Writing Sample. In addition to the Personal Statement, doctoral applicants are asked to submit a short paper (limit 10 pages), double-spaced, in 12 point font responding to a particular question: What are the most critical challenges facingleaders in higher education today? The writing sample will be evaluated for evidence of:  thoughtful analysis, ability to develop main points and support claims, focus and organization, academic style, use of sentence variety and vocabulary to convey meaning clearly, control of sentence structure, language, grammar and punctuation. Please be sure that your full name is on the document. 
  8. An admission interview is required of all candidates; please call the Program Director at 978-998-7753 to make arrangements.

Tuition, Fees, and Registration Policies

Please click the link below for:

1. A complete listing of the tuition and fees for the programs offered through the Van Loan School at Endicott College

2. Policies for registration and payment

2014-2015 Tuition and Fee Schedule

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of higher education’s history and major developments with an emphasis on small and mid-size colleges and universities.
  2. Demonstrate a mastery of the knowledge and skills necessary for senior administrative and leadership roles in higher education.
  3. Apply effective and thoughtful research skills to representative decisions typical of those required of higher education leaders; including academic and student life issues.
  4. Demonstrate mastery of their own specialization within a professional or senior level administrative role.
  5. Demonstrate the critical inquiry and analysis skills needed to engage at the doctoral level in intellectual discourse within their area of interest.
  6. Complete an original research dissertation in an area of study that will enhance the scholarship of the field of higher education.
  7. Demonstrate collaborative attitude and behavior as a member of a cohort team.
  8. Develop a disposition that embraces diverse perspectives, is open to multiple world views, and value driven leadership practices.  

Career Outlook

Higher Education Leadership – Career Outlook

The average salary of those with a doctorate degree is 20% higher than those with a master’s degree. Earning a doctorate places you at the pinnacle of your field where top-level career options are within reach.  The doctorate gives you a competitive advantage in the job search process, provides an opportunity for personal growth and development, and signals your ability to integrate theory and research evidence with professional experience in leadership positions.

Job Titles  & Job Duties

Typical duties and job titles can vary widely, from college president to vice president of academic affairs to student affairs professional. In general, higher education administrators work with college and university faculty, staff, and students on projects related to academics, operations, and student life. For example, college and university presidents are responsible for directing and overseeing the daily and long-term administration of the school as a whole, from academic standards to cultivation of alumni organizations to faculty development to managing endowments. Higher education administrators specializing in student affairs may oversee residence hall life, student programming, and extracurricular activities. 

Higher Education administrators are employed in colleges, universities, community colleges and technical or trade schools.  A doctorate is often required. Employers often want candidates who have experience working in the field, especially for occupations such as registrars and academic deans.

Job Outlook

Education-portal.com reports, “There is generally strong competition for higher education administrator jobs.” 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook posts these quick facts:

Higher Education Administration

2012 Median Pay

$86,490 per year

Entry-Level Education

Master’s degree

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

5 years or more

On-the-job Training


Number of Jobs, 2012


Job Outlook, 2012-22

15% (Faster than average)

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports Senior Administrator Median Salaries annually. For example, in March 2014 they reported:


Median Salary (all institutions)

Doctoral Granting Institutions



2 –Year Degree

Chief Academic Officer (Provost






Chief Student Affairs Officer






Dean of Education






Dean of Instruction






Chief Campus Security Administrator







Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Postsecondary Education Administrators.  Retrieved from: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/postsecondary-education-administrators.htm

The Chronicle of Higher Education. (March 3, 2014). Median salaries of senior college administrators, 2013-14.  Retrieved from: http://chronicle.com/article/Median-Salaries-of-Senior/144975/). 

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