Welcome to the Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) Program

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The Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) program is one of few programs in the region that offers separate specializations in Pre K-12 Leadership and Community College Leadership. This allows students to explore content in greater depth with peers and faculty who share their experience and interest.

A new vista is opening for the American educational system, driven by rapid population growth and changes in the needs of children, adults, and families.  Those who can best serve this system - and achieve personal success and satisfaction - are those who can effectively lead.  Preparing for leadership requires academic training in a professional, culturally diverse environment that integrates the application of theory to practice with the use of practice to refine theory.

The Cal State Fullerton Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership delivers that training, and does so through two unique doctoral program specializations: PreK-12 Leadership and Community College Leadership. The PreK-12 (inclusive of preschool and K-12) program cohort is totally immersed in and interfaces with PreK-12 students and faculty.  In the Community College program, the cohort specifically focuses on and interfaces with community college students and faculty.  The inquiry-based, problem-solving curriculum for both programs is designed to help education professionals learn by fully integrating their experiences in discussion, research, and fieldwork.  


Admission Deadlines

Our doctoral programs only admit for the fall term. The department uses a priority application deadline followed by department and rolling deadlines.

  • Priority Application: Students who apply by February 1st will receive an admissions decision by late February or early March. This allows students to make informed decisions when considering the CSU Fullerton program and other doctoral programs that begin at the beginning of the summer.
  • Department Deadline: Applications received by April 1st will be fully considered for fall admission. Decisions will be provided by May.
  • Rolling Admissions: CSU Fullerton's Ed.D. programs do not begin until the fall term, therefore rolling admission is available to those who apply after the February 1st and April 1st deadlines. This is only possible if space is still available in the cohort of interest (P-12 or CC). For students who apply during this period, decisions are typically provided within two weeks of their interview.

  Ed.D. Community College Leadership

The Ed.D. in Community College Leadership is designed to prepare educators to take on the roles in areas such as senior administration, faculty leadership, student affairs, or business and human resource administration in the community college setting. The curriculum is designed to develop socially- and globally-aware community college leaders who can appropriately respond, understand, and contribute to the rapidly changing world of community colleges and lead those institutions toward excellence. Courses build leadership skills and knowledge in such areas as the role and scope of community colleges, higher education law and policy, ethical decision making, policy and governance, research methods, and resource optimization.

 Ed.D. P-12 Leadership

The Ed.D. in P-12 Educational Leadership is designed to prepare preschool and K-12 educators as administrators, educational researchers, or teacher leaders to design and renew excellent educational institutions across the P-12 landscape. The curriculum is designed to prepare instructional leaders who can formulate and implement policies that support powerful, equitable teaching and learning and who can exercise significant and ethical influence on the quality of teaching and learning both in and out of schools. Courses build skills in strategic planning, collaborative problem solving, ethical decision making, technological proficiency, and leadership development.

Program Information

Ed.D. P-12 Leadership Course SequenceOpens in new window

CLEAR Administrative Services Credential (CASC)*Opens in new window

* CASC is embedded in our Ed.D., P-12 Leadership program. We do not offer CASC as a standalone option.

what do our students research?

The students in our Ed.D. program research a wide variety of topics in the field of education: How do teachers' personal experiences impact their teaching style? How to best support community college students from underserved populations? Is technology being effectively integrated into elementary classrooms? Does academic advising assist in fostering feelings of belonging in college students?

For some examples of our students' dissertations, please visit our 2023 Research SymposiumOpens in new window website. You will also be able to watch presentations given and panels hosted by our current faculty.

Information Sessions: fall admission cycle

We highly recommend that anyone interested in our Ed.D. program attend one of our virtual information sessions. All sessions, see dates below, are hosted live by faculty. Please sign-up at least 24 hours in advance using this Registration Form. Zoom link and password will be emailed to registered participants prior to the session start.

Informaation sessions for fall 2025 admission will begin in September 2024.

  • Thursday, September 14, 2023; 6:00pm-7:00pm via Zoom (Closed) 

  • Tuesday, September 26th, 2023; 5:00pm- 6:00pm via Zoom (Closed)

  • Thursday, October 12, 2023; 6:00pm-7:00pm via Zoom (Closed)

  • Tuesday, October 24, 2023; 5:00pm-6:00pm via Zoom (Closed)

  • Thursday, November 9, 2023; 6:00pm-7:00pm via Zoom (Closed) 

  • Tuesday, November 14, 2023; 5:00pm-6:00pm via Zoom (Closed)

  • Thursday, December 7, 2023; 6:00pm-7:00pm via Zoom (Closed)

  • Tuesday, December 19, 2023; 5:00pm-6:00pm via Zoom (Closed)

  • Thursday, January 11, 2024; 6:00pm-7:00pm via Zoom (Closed)

  • Tuesday, January 23, 2024; 5:00pm-6:00pm via Zoom (Closed) 

  • Thursday, February 8, 2024; 6:00pm-7:00pm via Zoom (Closed)

  • Tuesday, February 20, 2024; 5:00pm-6:00pm via Zoom (Closed)

  • Thursday, March 14, 2024; 6:00pm-7:00pm via Zoom (Closed)

  • Tuesday, March 26, 2024; 5:00pm-6:00pm via Zoom (Closed)


*Admission into programs leading to licensure and credentialing does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or credential. Licensure and credentialing requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the CSU and requirements can change at any time. For example, licensure or credentialing requirements can include evidence of the right to work in the United States (e.g., social security number or tax payer identification number) or successfully passing a criminal background check. Students are responsible for determining whether they can meet licensure or credentialing requirements. The CSU will not refund tuition, fees, or any associated costs, to students who determine subsequent to admission that they cannot meet licensure or credentialing requirements. Information concerning licensure and credentialing requirements are available within programs or departments.