ASU’s Doctor of Education (EdD) in Leadership and Innovation is designed for practicing educator-leaders who work in a range of settings and want to lead change and implement innovation to improve their practice and create better learning opportunities for students of all ages.

Some courses are offered in 7.5 week sessions.
Multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year.
Required number of credits to complete this degree.

Students in the program begin as accomplished teachers, teacher leaders, principals, superintendents, higher education professionals, or leaders in other educational contexts working to implement change in their local place of practice. Graduates commit to continued systematic study of their practice and sustained innovation and leadership to make a positive difference over time.

Students will be granted 30 credit hours toward the 90 credit hours required for this program from their conferred master's degree official transcript. The focus of the program is research in action, which allows students to conduct multiple cycles of inquiry throughout the program. Coursework combines a professional and research core that deepens students’ abilities to think reflectively and critically about problems of practice in one of the following contexts:

  • PreKindergarten-Grade 12 (PK-12) Change Leadership
  • Higher Education Change Leadership
  • Systems, Professional, and Reimagined Change (SPARC) Leadership

Through Leader-Scholar Communities (LSCs) students support each other, under faculty guidance, in the conceptualization, implementation, and study of change initiatives. The culminating requirement is an action-research dissertation.

The online program admits students two times a year in the spring, and fall semesters.

Learn online from one of the best education colleges in the world

Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College brings people and ideas together to increase the innovation capabilities of individual educators, schools and organizations, districts, and communities. We know educators are the startup engines of individual minds and society.

ASU is ranked No. 11 in the world in the subject area of education according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities. MLFTC is ranked #16 according to the US News and World Report 2020 survey of graduate colleges of education in the US.


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The faculty of Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College creates knowledge by drawing on a range of academic disciplines including cognitive science, sociology and psychology, gaining insight into important questions about student experience and outcomes. The faculty is committed to connecting research to schools and other learning environments. Our teacher and leadership preparation programs combine scholarly rigor with practical application.

Program Summary

Total Hours:


Related Careers

Graduates with an ASU Online Doctor of Education in Leadership and Innovation have career opportunities illustrated in the following list. Career examples include but are not limited to:


Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's and master's degree, in any field, from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of a student's first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum of a 3.00 cumulative GPA (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. Graduate admission application and application fee
  2. Official transcripts
  3. Three letters of recommendation
  4. Personal statement
  5. An academic writing sample
  6. Curriculum vitae
  7. Proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information

Resume or Curriculum Vita (CV): Applicants should provide the following information in a resume/CV: Educational background, work and other professional experiences (including the applicant's current employer name, location, dates worked, the applicant's job title, and job responsibilities), and other information that might be relevant (e.g., organizational affiliations, community service).

  • Master's Degree: Applicants must have a conferred master's degree from a regionally accredited institution at the time of application. This is to be verified as per the official transcripts submitted to ASU's Graduate Education. In Progress master's degree will not qualify.
  • Please note that this program is designed for working professionals, and the applicant must have a position that will allow the applicant to implement change in his/her workplace.

Letters of Recommendation: Applicants will supply the names, email addresses and organizational affiliation of three recommenders. Recommenders will then receive an email that explains how to submit their recommendation electronically. It is recommended that one letter come from a former faculty member or academic professional, or from someone who can address the applicant's academic ability; one letter come from a preferably current supervisor; and one letter come from a person of the applicant's choice who can speak to the applicant's qualities that will contribute to success in a practice-focused doctoral program.

Personal Statement: The personal statement should address the following, with relatively equal attention across the three pages:

  • Explanation of his/her professional experiences and motivation for doctoral studies, specifically in this EdD Program, as per program goals;
  • Clear description of a local problem unique to the applicant's practice that might be addressed as part of the applicant's action research project(s) and/or dissertation; and
  • Explanation of how the applicant envisions the program helping him/her address this problem of practice and, overall, achieve his/her professional goals.

Writing Sample: Applicants must submit an academic writing sample* that is solely authored by the applicant and which cites research literature. The writing sample should be no shorter than five double-spaced pages (1" margins and 12-point font) and generally will be longer. Examples of the types of writing that are appropriate include:

  • literature review from a master's thesis or project
  • paper from a master's degree or other course, which includes references
  • a current piece of writing, which includes references to previous research literature
  • other examples of professional writing providing you cite the literature.

Please ensure the literature is appropriately cited and referenced (e.g., APA 6th edition).

GRE scores are not required for admission.

An applicant whose native language is not English (regardless of current residency) must provide proof of English Proficiency. For more information, please visit the ASU Graduate Admissions English Proficiency website.

Admission Deadlines

View the Teacher's College Graduate Program Application Deadlines

Affording College

Learn about the different types of financial aid and scholarship opportunities available. ASU offers a Cost Calculator, Budget Worksheet and Scholarship Search to make the college planning process easier.

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