Education (Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership)


Doctor of Education with Concentration in Educational Leadership
UNE Online | College of Professional Studies (CPS)


Program Description

The Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, with a focus on Transformative Leadership, admits cohorts on a semi-annual basis.

This program provides current and aspiring administrative and instructional leaders in diverse settings (e.g., education, health, non-profits, NGOs, public and private organizations and agencies, etc.) with the attitudes, knowledge, experience, and skills needed to transform organizations through the effective use of human and technological resources.

This three-year program requiring completion of thirteen 8 week, 3 credit courses and a 12 credit dissertation representing a total of 51 credits (a maximum of 6 credits can be transferred from another post-Master’s program). The program (including dissertation) will be completed entirely online with no residency requirement.

Program Goals

  • Prepare leaders who are future-focused and capable of fostering innovation and change.
  • Promote a continuing cadre of educators who maintain active connections and collaboration with one another, with schools, communities and professional groups.
  • Establish a higher education program that is technologically sophisticated, educationally effective and academically rigorous.
  • Build a national reputation based upon transformative action research.
  • Provide each candidate with a carefully selected faculty mentoring team contributing actively to the candidate’s progress with their program of study, their research, and their dissertation, beyond what is usually available with a single advisor. 

Curricular Requirements

Courses Credits
EDU 801 - Preparation for Transformative Leadership 3
EDU 802 - Qualitative Research Methods 3
EDU 803 - Interpreting Empirical Data 3
EDU 804 - Technology and Educational Transformation 3
EDU 805 - Managing Change 3
EDU 806 - Policy Analysis 3
EDU 807 - Enacting Transformative Leadership Through Research 3
EDU 808 - Using Theory to Guide Research 3
EDU 809 - Conceptualizing Applied Research 3
EDU 810 - Ethical Leadership 3
EDU 811 - Diagnosing Organizational Dynamics 3
EDU 812 - Dissertation Seminar I 3
EDU 813 - Dissertation Seminar II 3
EDU 814 - 817 - Dissertation 12

Academic Policy

Minimal Grade Standard and Academic Progress

Candidates may proceed to subsequent courses in the curriculum with one Low Pass grade.  A second Low Pass (or below) course grade may result in termination from the doctoral program. For those needing to report course completion status to employers, a Pass equates a B or better.


Dismissal from the Program

Termination from the Program may occur when the Education Program Manager becomes aware of one of the following:

  • Surrender of a teacher license in any jurisdiction for disciplinary reasons.
  • Documented academic dishonesty (Note this also includes course on-line postings and email communications with faculty and staff. Students are advised that their behavior while participating in the Program should exemplify the ethical behavior of a professional educator with respect to all communications.)
  • Academic failure (see “Minimal Grade Standard and Academic Progress”.)

Timeline for Completion

A student who has not completed the Doctoral Program within five (5) years will be administratively withdrawn from the program and be required to apply for readmission.

Leave of Absence

Students may take one 8 week term leave of absence per academic year (3 terms) but must enroll for the subsequent term to remain on track for program completion. The course must be made up the next time it is offered. Students may take no more than two course-long leaves of absence within the five-year limit in the Doctoral Program.

The required Request for Leave of Absence form must be filed with the College of Graduate and Professional Studies.  Application for readmission is not necessary if the student returns as planned; however, the student who does not return at the specified time will be administratively withdrawn and may be subject to readmission procedures. Note: It is the responsibility of the student to contact the College of Graduate and Professional Studies to indicate change of plans.


Students who have withdrawn from the program must reapply if they wish to continue their studies. The application procedures, academic policies, and program requirements that are in effect at the time of readmission will apply.  Students who re-enroll following withdrawal will have their previous coursework evaluated for applicability to the existing academic requirements. Coursework that is more than three years old will not be accepted for credit in the program.  Older courses that have been revised or eliminated from the program offerings will not be accepted upon re-admission.

Students who have been administratively withdrawn from the program may petition for re-admission after a full semester has elapsed. The petition letter must provide a justification for re-admission that addresses how past issues have been resolved and will not re-occur. In addition, a letter of recommendation is required from the student's work supervisor that attests to their ability to successfully complete a graduate program. Both letters should be sent electronically to the Education Program Manager prior to applying for re-admission.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

  • Participate fully and responsibly in supportive and action based learning environments of authentic value for colleagues in K-12 education, community college, health, business, and other sectors.
  • Develop and utilize transformative institutional processes to foster, assess the results, and respond to the reported analysis for continued systemic change.   
  • Use technology for research collaboration and dissertation development among colleagues and faculty (e.g., web/videoconferencing).
  • Fully utilize an integrated curriculum that fuses discreet elements of each candidate’s program of study into a coherent whole.
  • Fully utilize online search tools and databases to identify research studies and other relevant resources.
  • Participate in virtual seminars and conferences building a professional learning community.
  • Employ problem and case-based learning strategies extensively in courses and dissertation. 
  • Write and successfully defend a field-based dissertation. 

Transfer Credit

Transfer Credit

Upon acceptance, students may apply to transfer up to two, 3-credit courses (maximum of six credits) into the Doctor of Education program.

To request consideration for transfer credit, a student must provide an official transcript and a course syllabus for each course. Transfer credit is awarded at the discretion of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies based on specific program details listed below. Requests for approval of transfer credit should be submitted to, and will be granted at the discretion of, the Program Manager.

Transfer courses must:

  • Be classified as graduate, post-Master’s level.
  • Be worth 3 credits.
  • Have been taken within five years of application.
  • Have been completed with a grade of “B” or better.
  • Be equivalent to one of the required program courses or an elective course that meets the goals of the student’s education.
  • Not have been applied toward any other degree. 


Admissions Requirements

  • A Master's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university, or its equivalent.
  • Graduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better
  • Computer with internet connection, including the hardware and software requirements described in our Technical Requirements. Must also possess sufficient computer skills to navigate the internet as all classes are accessed 100% online.

Application Process

  • Completed online application:
  • Submission of the non-refundable application fee
  • Current Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Application Essay
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts reflecting conferral of a master's degree from a regionally accredited institution.  All transcripts are to be submitted from the original institutions.

Note: Transcripts for any coursework appearing as transfer credit on the transcript of the conferred degree can be waived if the coursework is unrelated to the degree being sought.  The program admissions committee defines all coursework not eligible for waiver.


  • Applications for admission are accepted through UNE’s online application only.  Detailed instructions are included in the online application.
  • Official transcripts, as well as other documents to support the application, must be submitted to the College of Graduate and Professional Studies, 716 Stevens Ave, Portland, ME, 04103
  • Students are admitted to the EdD program three (3) times a year:  Summer A, Fall A, Spring A.
  • Applications received and completed by the respective deadlines will be given full consideration.  Applications submitted and/or completed after the deadline will be reviewed for the next available term.
  • Admissions are rolling and decisions are made by the program admissions committee throughout the cycle.
  • Admissions are rolling and decisions are made by the program admissions committee as candidates are interviewed and will continue until the program starts or the class is full.
  • International applicants and applicants with international degrees must have their transcripts evaluated for degree and grade equivalency to that of a regionally accredited US institution.  See International Admissions
  • All applicants to UNE must be able to understand and communicate in English to be admitted to the university.  UNE accepts several methods of English Proficiency, see International Admissions.  
  • If an applicant cannot prove English Proficiency in another way, scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) are required and must be submitted as a part of the completed application. 

For additional information on the admissions process and requirements, please access the Doctor of Education website.


The Doctor of Education program and the EdD Admissions Committee in collaboration with the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions reserve the right to make exceptions to the admissions criteria and to make changes or exceptions to policies and procedures, on a case by case basis, when it deems such a decision is necessary and appropriate.

Financial Information

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees for subsequent years may vary. Other expenses include books and housing. For more information regarding tuition and fees, please consult the Financial Information section of this catalog.

Detailed information and applications are available on request from the Financial Aid Office. Call 207-602-2342 or visit the Financial Aid website.