William Woods University Doctoral Program

Last Updated on December 24, 2022

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About Masters in Educational Leadership

The field of education is facing increasingly complex challenges. It has never been more critical that these challenges be met by new research and new ideas, developed by a new generation of leaders. The William Woods University Doctorate in Educational Leadership is designed to provide you with the tools you need to become one of these people.

The Doctorate in Educational Leadership will provide you with advanced professional training and develop your abilities in the scholarly study of the issues that challenge education. You will study curricular and instructional issues and develop leadership and organizational skills that you can apply within your own educational setting. The doctorate program will also reinforce the research skills you need to reach a leadership position in the field.

One of things that makes this program a William Woods signature course is that training is only part of the program. It is also designed to challenge and motivate you to go out and find the solutions that education needs.

At William Woods, you’ll be participating in an Education graduate program known for its excellence and for providing a significant number of the leaders in Missouri’s state school system. As one of our students, you will have the opportunity to learn from active practitioners in the field and make the connections you need for leadership and career growth.

This Education doctorate degree is designed to fit the schedules of working pk-12 and collegiate teachers, staff and administrators, and can be completed in two years or less through evening courses taught in convenient locations around the state. You can expect rigorous coursework with real-world relevance, designed and taught by professionals who have proven their expertise. We structure the schedule so as to keep students together, allowing you to develop lasting relationships with peers focused on similar career goals. And, to make this an investment you can count on, your tuition will not go up as long as you stay continuously enrolled.

Your Doctorate in Educational Leadership degree at work
As a Doctoral graduate, you are prepared to be an educational leader. You will generate and apply research and theory in organizational and leadership development, and communicate ideas through writing and speaking with other professionals in the field. You may assume a position in the state department of education; or as a teacher educator, curriculum director, principal or superintendent. Or you may choose to remain in the classroom, serving as a leader and mentor for your colleagues. Through the connections formed in your program, and through your increased degree status, you will join our many graduates as they consistently rise to higher level leadership positions within school districts and at the collegiate level.

Requirements/Curriculum
You will earn the degree by completing 9 courses leading to research and a doctoral dissertation.

Courses you may take
EDU 710 – Aspects of Leadership – 3.00
EDU 720 – Quantitative Analysis II – 3.00
EDU 730 – Effective Educational Systems – 3.00
EDU 740 – Exploration of Qualitative Research – 3.00
EDU 750 – Organizational Learning & System Change – 3.00
EDU 760 – Program Evaluation & Strategic Plan – 3.00
EDU 780 – Dissertation Proposal Seminar – 3.00
EDU 781 – Dissertation Seminar – 3.00
EDU 792 – On-site Dissertation Workshop 1 – 0.50
EDU 793 – On-site Dissertation Workshop 2 – 0.50
EDU 799 – Research Seminar – 2.00
Curriculum
View a complete list of courses and electives »

Requirements
25-hour completion

Program Qualifications

Education Specialist degree from a regionally accredited college or university
Graduate GPA of 3.6 on a 4.0 scale
Two years of experience working as an educator
Prerequisite Coursework

Research Methods/Design
Research Statistics
The following must be submitted before consideration for admission:

Completed application
Official transcripts showing masters and specialist degrees. Only transcripts received in a sealed envelope directly from the sending school will be considered official. Students graduating from William Woods University masters and/or specialist programs do not need to submit new copies of transcripts already on file.
Two academic letters of reference from professionals who can address the candidate’s academic ability, potential for success in strenuous scholarly work, and past performance as an educator in the field. One letter must be from a supervisor.
Professional vita.
Philosophy of leadership statement highlighting the applicant’s personal leadership characteristics and past professional leadership experiences, as well as the applicant’s purpose in pursuing the doctoral degree and expectation of the benefit of obtaining the doctorate. This statement must be at least 750 words.
Cohorts available across Missouri
Cohorts available across Missouri William Woods advanced education programs bring evening classrooms to educators in districts where there is interest. Historically, cohorts were available in districts in Fulton, Columbia, Jefferson City, St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, Cape Girardeau and many more locations.

Our graduate education programs are available online and are ranked among the best online programs in Missouri by US News and World Report.

William Woods in the real world
Many of our graduates hold leadership positions in Missouri’s schools. All of them are great teachers.

Perspectives
What separates William Woods University is the quality of our instructors. They’re successful school leaders from around the state, actually out there doing what we’re teaching others to do.

— James C. Head, Director of Administrative Field Experience

One more thing
A high percentage of our students have impressive day jobs. They’re building level administrators, central office administrators, superintendents, special education directors, curriculum directors, instructional coaches, and professional development coordinators. As a student in our program, you’ll have the opportunity to learn from practitioners like these and form connections that later may lead to job opportunities.

Cultivate your educational competencies with 100% convenience! It is now even more convenient to become one of the distinguished few who hold a doctorate. The Doctorate in Educational Leadership is designed to fit the schedules of working PreK-12 and collegiate teachers, staff and administrators, and can be completed in two years or less through our convenient 100% online program.

This degree will provide you with advanced professional training and develop your abilities in the scholarly study of the issues that challenge education. You will study curricular and instructional issues and develop leadership and organizational skills that you can apply within your own educational setting. The doctorate program will also reinforce the research skills you need to reach a leadership position in the field.

One of things that makes this program a William Woods signature course is that training is only part of the program. It is also designed to challenge and motivate you to go out and find the solutions that education needs. As one of our students, you will have the opportunity to learn from active practitioners in the field and make the connections you need for leadership and career growth.

You can expect rigorous coursework with real-world relevance, designed and taught by professionals who have proven their expertise. And, to make this an investment you can count on, your tuition will not go up as long as you stay continuously enrolled.

Your Doctorate in Educational Leadership degree at work
As a Doctoral graduate, you are prepared to be an educational leader. You will generate and apply research and theory in organizational and leadership development, and communicate ideas through writing and speaking with other professionals in the field. You may assume a position in the state department of education; or as a teacher educator, curriculum director, principal or superintendent. Or you may choose to remain in the classroom, serving as a leader and mentor for your colleagues. Through the connections formed in your program, and through your increased degree status, you will join our many graduates as they consistently rise to higher level leadership positions within school districts and at the collegiate level.

575

of our graduates who are now principals and assistant principals

123

of our graduates who are now school district administrators

81

of our graduates who are now school superintendents

Requirements/Curriculum
You will earn the degree by completing 9 courses leading to research and a doctoral dissertation.

Courses you may take
EDU 710 – Aspects of Leadership – 3.00
EDU 720 – Quantitative Analysis II – 3.00
EDU 730 – Effective Educational Systems – 3.00
EDU 740 – Exploration of Qualitative Research – 3.00
EDU 750 – Organizational Learning & System Change – 3.00
EDU 760 – Program Evaluation & Strategic Plan – 3.00
EDU 780 – Dissertation Proposal Seminar – 3.00
EDU 781 – Dissertation Seminar – 3.00
EDU 792 – On-site Dissertation Workshop 1 – 0.50
EDU 793 – On-site Dissertation Workshop 2 – 0.50
EDU 799 – Research Seminar – 2.00
Curriculum
View a complete list of courses and electives »
Requirements
Can be completed in as little as 25 credit hours.

Program Qualifications

Education Specialist degree from a regionally accredited college or university
Graduate GPA of 3.6 on a 4.0 scale
Two years of experience working as an educator
Prerequisite Coursework

Research Methods/Design
Research Statistics
The following must be submitted before consideration for admission:

Completed application
Official transcripts showing masters and specialist degrees. Only transcripts received in a sealed envelope directly from the sending school will be considered official. Students graduating from William Woods University masters and/or specialist programs do not need to submit new copies of transcripts already on file.
Two academic letters of reference from professionals who can address the candidate’s academic ability, potential for success in strenuous scholarly work, and past performance as an educator in the field. One letter must be from a supervisor.
Professional vita.
Philosophy of leadership statement highlighting the applicant’s personal leadership characteristics and past professional leadership experiences, as well as the applicant’s purpose in pursuing the doctoral degree and expectation of the benefit of obtaining the doctorate. This statement must be at least 750 words.
Your digital classroom. Available anywhere.
William Woods online graduate education programs are available to students across the country. In Missouri, our students come from Fulton, Columbia, Jefferson City, St. Louis, Kansas City, Moberly, Springfield, Ozark, Cape Girardeau, Rolla and many more locations. Beyond Missouri, our online graduates hail from California, Illinois, Kansas, Washington, Arkansas and other states.

Our graduate education programs are available online and are ranked among the best online programs in Missouri by US News and World Report.

“English at Sussex holds a special place in my heart. It helped me find my passion within the discipline and I’m very lucky to work with some of the most insightful minds.”

AANCHAL VIJ
English PhD
From Medieval and Renaissance writing to the 18th century to the present, from the novel to poetry to modernism, postmodernism and the contemporary scene – we’re strongly committed to the interdisciplinary study of literature.

98% of our English Language and Literature research output was rated world-leading, internationally excellent or recognised internationally in terms of originality, significance and rigour (REF 2014). We’re one of the largest graduate communities in the country, with over 200 students and more than 50 faculty. You’ll benefit from expert supervision, teacher training and research workshops, as well as a lively annual roster of symposia, conferences and guest lectures.

AREAS OF STUDY
You have the opportunity to look at literature in relation to philosophy, visual culture and the history of ideas. You could base your project in an area such as:

postcolonial theory
feminist theory
gay and lesbian criticism
queer theory
recent developments in psychoanalytic, Marxist, poststructuralist and ‘new historicist’ criticism.
We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the services and facilities described in this prospectus. However, we may need to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to COVID-19.

Masters and PhD events
Meet us on campus or online

BOOK YOUR PLACE

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
UK requirements
International requirements
Degree requirements
You’re normally expected to have a Merit (an average of 60% overall) in a Masters degree.

Subject-specific requirements
Your qualification should be in a subject area relevant to your chosen area of research. You may also be considered for the degree if you have other professional qualifications or experience of equivalent standing.

Admissions information for applicants
Research proposal
If you are applying for a PhD on a self-funding basis, you’ll need to write a research proposal. Find out how to write a research proposal.

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, contact us

HOW TO APPLY
If you’d like to join us as a research student, there are two main routes:

browse funded projects in this subject area
browse our potential supervisors and propose your own research project.
Find out how to apply for a PhD at Sussex

Full-time and part-time study
Choose to work on your research full time or part time, to fit around your work and personal life. For details about part-time study, contact us at [email protected]

PhD or MPhil?
You can choose to study for a PhD or an MPhil. PhD and MPhil degrees differ in duration and in the extent of your research work.

For a PhD, your research work makes a substantial original contribution to knowledge or understanding in your chosen field.
For an MPhil, your work is an independent piece of research but in less depth than for a PhD. You’ll graduate with the degree title Master of Philosophy. You might be able to change to a PhD while you study for an MPhil.

Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals. Don’t miss out on scholarships – check the specific application deadlines for funding opportunities. Note that funded projects aren’t available for all our PhDs.

Commonwealth Scholarships Commission / University of Sussex
Applying for USA Federal Student Aid?
If any part of your funding, at any time, is through USA federal Direct Loan funds, you will be registered on a separate version of this degree which does not include the possibility of distance learning which is prohibited under USA federal regulations. Find out more about American Student Loans and Federal Student Aid.

Part-time work
We advertise around 2,500 part-time jobs a year so you can make money and gain work experience. We have a special scheme to employ students on campus, wherever possible.

Find out more about careers and employability

How much does it cost?
Fees for self-funding students
Home students: Fees are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2022/23. Fees will become available once set by United Kingdom Research and Innovation.

Channel Islands and Isle of Man students: Fees are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2022/23. Fees will become available once set by United Kingdom Research and Innovation.

International students: £18,975 per year for full-time students

Home PhD student fees are set at the level recommended by United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) annually, rising in line with inflation. Overseas fees are subject to an annual increase – see details on our tuition fees page

ADDITIONAL COSTS
Note about additional costs
Please note that all costs are best estimates based on current market values. Activities may be subject to unavoidable change in response to Government advice. We’ll let you know at the earliest opportunity. We review estimates every year and they may vary with inflation. Find out tips for budgeting as a student here.

Commencement Information | Missouri | William Woods University

Sussex Writes
Students who lead creative writing workshops in secondary schools will have their reasonable travel and other costs covered.

Empirical research costs
On top of your PhD fees and living costs, you may also need to cover some research and training costs, relevant to your research project. These costs will depend on your research topic and training needs, but may include:

  • travel (to archives, collections or scientific facilities)
  • a laptop
  • overseas fieldwork costs (travel and accommodation, and language training)
  • conference costs (travel, registration fees and accommodation)
  • laboratory consumables and workshop materials
  • participant costs
  • transcription or translation costs
  • open-access publication costs.

If you have a scholarship from one of the UK Research Councils, your scholarship should cover these types of costs. You’ll receive details of how to claim this additional funding.

If you’re self funded, or if your scholarship doesn’t cover these costs, check with the Research and Enterprise Co-ordinator in your School for details of School or Doctoral School funding that may be available.

Got Missouri in mind for your doctorate in education? Kick-start your shortlist with our practical guide to the state’s Ed.D. programs. Along with comprehensive listings, you’ll find sections devoted to online MO doctorates in education, no dissertation options, certification, and Ed.D. funding. We’ve also included useful facts about administrative careers & salaries and ideas for important conferences & training academies.

School Listings
MISSOURI
A. T. Still University of Health Sciences
Evangel University
Fontbonne University
Lindenwood University
Maryville University
Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Missouri Baptist University
Missouri State University-Springfield
Northwest Missouri State University
Saint Louis University-Main Campus
Southeast Missouri State University
Southwest Baptist University
University of Central Missouri
University of Missouri-Columbia
University of Missouri-Kansas City
University of Missouri-St Louis
Webster University
William Woods University
Earning a Doctor of Education Degree in Missouri
In Missouri, you can have your pick of doctoral programs in education. In our school listings, you’ll see choices from UM juggernauts, private universities, and faith-based schools. A number of publics are also taking part in the University of Missouri Statewide Collaborative Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, a program that draws on Mizzou’s reputation (see the College of Education’s high ranking) and the expertise of partner universities.

But there’s plenty more beyond that! You may wish to explore online programs in educational leadership & higher education. Or opt for an Ed.D. with a capstone project in lieu of a dissertation. Or one that has the best internal funding. Or one that will lead to administrator certification. You may even want to consider career options after graduation. Our job & salary section has links to job boards, followed by info about leadership associations (e.g. MASA) and dates for conferences & training events (e.g. AMP).

Online Doctor of Education Programs in Missouri
Online Ed.D. Providers in Missouri
A. T. Still University of Health Sciences
Evangel University
Maryville University (CAEP-accredited)
Missouri Baptist University (CAEP-accredited)
University of Missouri-Columbia (CAEP-accredited)
What to Know About Missouri Online Ed.D. Programs
When it comes to online doctoral programs in Missouri, you have the luxury of doing side-by-side comparisons. We found two distance learning programs in educational leadership, two in higher education leadership, and two quirky outliers.

Almost all of them are CAEP-accredited—and Evangel is approved as a prep program for superintendent certification—so you’re also starting with strong foundations. Generally speaking, online Ed.D. programs from Missouri public schools tend to be cheaper than private ones, but check the fine print on the tuition page. Fees can add up.

Note: If you’d prefer more choices, our overview of online doctoral programs in education has listings for all 50 states.

Online Ed.D. Programs in Educational Leadership
We’ll lead off with Mizzou’s 46-credit Online Ed.D. in Educational Leadership. This is an online version of the Statewide Collaborative offering, so it comes with solid credentials, input from the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED), and a cohort-based structure. Better yet, the relatively affordable tuition rate is the same for in-state and out-of-state students.

A few things to note if you’re considering it. There are on-campus components— an in-person orientation in late spring and visits during the first two summers. GPA admissions requirements are high (i.e. 3.5 GPA for your master’s). And it takes around four years to complete. It’s also not a program that leads to administrator certification.

If you need that, take a look at Evangel’s 50-credit Online Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, Curriculum & Instruction. This is a state-approved preparation program for superintendents, but it’s also open to aspiring curriculum specialists, building-level or central office school leaders, university professors, and administrators.

It has some definite pluses. It’s cohort-based. You can choose 100% online or blended coursework. The curriculum includes a leadership internship and a strong emphasis on technology as an instructional tool. The per credit tuition rate is reasonable for a private Christian university. And there’s a discount for church education partners.

Online Ed.D. Programs in Higher Education Leadership
In the realm of higher education, you have two choices of online doctorates in education, both from private universities. Maryville’s 48-credit Online Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership is a cohort-based program that can take just 32 months to complete.

You’ll be required to tackle a research residency, but this can be done online or on-campus. We also like the fact that dissertation work starts pretty much on day one and graduates emerge with a portfolio of work.

You can compare this program with Missouri Baptist University’s 45-credit Online Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership. It has a similar feel to Maryville. The doctorate in education takes around 2.5 years to complete. You can choose to go 100% online or blended. And you’ll begin work on the dissertation immediately.

But there are some differences. MBU’s Ed.D. program includes a required field-based research project and an elective internship—two factors that look good on a résumé. It also has a slightly higher GPA requirement for admissions (3.25 vs. Maryville’s 3.0) and a lower per credit tuition rate.

Online Ed.D. Programs in Specialist Subjects
One outlier is A.T. Still University of Health Sciences’s 55-credit Online Doctor of Education in Health Professions. As the name suggests, this 100% online program is aimed at practicing clinicians, healthcare educators, leaders, and directors. It favors experience-based teaching over research-based teaching. Students tackle a doctoral research project and emerge with a publication-ready manuscript (see our discussion below). Per credit tuition costs are reasonable – not super low or super high – and no travel is involved.

No Dissertation Ed.D. Programs in Missouri
Doctoral Research Projects & Capstones
Not all Missouri universities have stuck to the traditional dissertation model. For example, Maryville has developed a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership and a Doctor of Education in Teacher Leadership that end with a research-based capstone project, portfolio, and internship instead. Students work on improving practices and instituting procedures that will increase student achievement. This project is expected to have a practical and positive impact for the school level or district.

Meanwhile, Saint Louis University takes a collaborative approach. In the Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership with an optional Catholic Education Concentration, Ed.D. students work together as a team on their doctoral project. Similar to other capstones, this addresses a problem of practice. Each student is expected to prepare an individual report and pass an oral exam regarding the project.

And then there’s A.T. Still University of Health Sciences and its Online Doctor of Education in Health Professions. Ed.D. students in this program tackle a Doctoral Research Project (DRP). The aim of the game is to advance practical knowledge in health professions education based on research and analysis. In the end, students emerge with a manuscript that can be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication.

Doctoral Education Funding in Missouri
Internal Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards
Doctoral funding can be hard to find on university websites. So we did a little digging! Here you’ll find links to institutional Ed.D. aid (e.g. internal scholarships & fellowships, tuition breaks, travel awards, etc.). The Office of Financial Aid and/or the Graduate School will also be able to help with advice on external aid (e.g. federal or private loans, FAFSA, etc.).

We noticed a few things in our research. Small private schools may have little or no internal doctoral funding available, but UM schools and big names (i.e. SLU) appear to have quite a bit. Missouri is also full of intriguing Ed.D. tuition discounts—check out Fontbonne’s breaks for current educators; Evangel’s deals for church education partners & online students; and Webster’s discount military & first responders rate.

Evangel University
The Office of Financial Aid has a helpful section on Graduate Scholarships & Grants, with info on departmental awards and discounts. Evangel offers tuition breaks on graduate programs to local Assemblies of God affiliate employees and business/organizational partners. Members of church education partners are eligible for a 10% discount on online degree programs.

Fontbonne University
According to Fontbonne, educators who are employed at least half-time in a school setting—preschool through higher education—are eligible for a 15% Educator’s Discount on graduate tuition (that includes the Ed.D.). Fontbonne alumni who graduated with a bachelor’s degree are eligible for a 15% Alumni Discount. Fontbonne also offers tuition discounts to employees of corporate partners, but it’s unclear whether Ed.D. students qualify. Check with the program coordinator.

Saint Louis University
The Office of Graduate Education has a section on Financial Aid for Education Degrees, with details about Graduate Scholarships, Fellowships, and Assistantships. In particular, check out the Diversity and Presidential Fellowships. The Graduate Student Association also provides funding for conference travel. And emergency loans are available from the Office of Graduate Education.

University of Missouri-Columbia
Start with the College of Education’s section on Graduate Financial Assistance, which has info on applying for financial aid and scholarships. Then visit the Graduate School’s section on Funding, which has details on:

Federal Aid for Domestic Students
Graduate Fellowships
Travel Scholarships
Graduate Assistantships and Tuition Support
University of Missouri-Kansas City
The School of Education has a section on Scholarships and Financial Aid, with advice on the financial aid process and a step-by-step process to applying for Undergraduate and Graduate Scholarships.

The Graduate School also has advice on Funding Your Graduate Education, with details on assistantships and fellowships. Ed.D. students are eligible for some awards (e.g. School of Graduate Studies Graduate Opportunity Fellowship). The Graduate School also offers travel grants and other awards.

University of Missouri-St Louis
The College of Education has a section on Financial Aid, with a rundown of Education Scholarships. The Graduate School can also provide info on Funding Graduate School through assistantships and fellowships.

In addition, UMSL offers reduced tuition rates to students in nearby states through the Midwest Student Exchange Program (MSEP) and in-state tuition to residents of certain Illinois counties through the Metropolitan Rate Program. According to UMSL’s tuition information, Ed.D. students in the online program (i.e. Heritage) pay the same in-state tuition rate regardless of residency.

Webster University
The School of Education has a section on Financial Aid & Scholarships, though awards are primarily for teachers and master’s students. However, Webster offers a significantly reduced tuition rate on the Ed.D. for Military and First Responders.

Note: If a university name is missing from the list, we didn’t find specific examples of Ed.D. funding beyond private & federal loans and external aid.

Administration Certification Requirements in Missouri
Administrator Certificates
The Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE) handles certification for administrators in public schools. Administrator certificates are available for:

Principal (Grades K-8; Grades 5-9; and Grades 7-12)
Special Education Director (Grades K-12)
Career Education Director
Superintendent (Grades K-12)
There are three major types of Administrator Certificates: Initial, Transition, and Career. Initial Administrator Certification Requirements are listed in the Code of State Regulations (i.e. CSR 20-400.160). You can also read about the progression from Initial to Career in the DESE’s section on Administrator Upgrade Requirements.

Because Initial is the first step, we’ve outlined those requirements for principals & superintendents below. However, we recommend you check the CSR 20-400.160 section for full details. The CSR section also contains requirements for Career Education and Special Education Directors.

Or you can talk to the Ed.D. program coordinator about your certification goals. The DESE maintains a database of state-approved preparation programs; many Missouri universities in our school listings are in it. Folks often pursue an Ed.S. or Ed.D. in order to become a superintendent or upgrade their existing certificate to Career Administrator.

Note: The DESE’s section on how to Become Certified as an Administrator contains instructions for out-of-state applicants.

Initial Administrator Certificate: Principal
For the Initial Administrator Certificate to “teach” as a principal at building level, you must:

Hold a baccalaureate degree or higher from a state-approved teacher preparation program
Submit verification of teaching certification or licensure directly to the DESE
Complete a state-approved master’s program or higher in educational leadership for the preparation of principals
Possess two years of teaching experience
Achieve a qualifying score on the Missouri Educator Gateway Assessment: Building-Level Administrator
Initial Administrator Certificate: Superintendent
For the Initial Administrator Certificate to “teach” as a superintendent at a district level, you must:

Hold a baccalaureate degree or higher from a state-approved teacher preparation program
Submit verification of teaching certification or licensure directly to the DESE
Complete a state-approved educational specialist or advanced degree program for the preparation of superintendents
Achieve a qualifying score on the Missouri Educator Gateway Assessment: Superintendent
Have served one year as a building- or district-level administrator at a public or accredited non-public school
Educational Leadership Jobs in Missouri
Educational Leadership Career Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) keeps a close eye on employment & salary data for elementary & secondary school education administrators and postsecondary education administrators in every state. That means you can see—at a glance—how Missouri is doing in the national stakes.

For example, Missouri typically has a high level of employment for elementary & secondary school education administrators, much like its neighbor Illinois. If you’re thinking of K-12 for your career path, check out the DESE’s giant section on School Data. It includes reports on school performance & accountability.

Employment for postsecondary education administrators in Missouri is usually fairly healthy (and similar to Iowa), but the state can’t compete with all the universities in Illinois. The Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE) has some fascinating insights into the state’s higher education landscape in the Research and Data section.

Educational Leadership Salaries
You’ll find annual mean wages for all types of education administrator—including PreK, K-12, and postsecondary—listed in the BLS’s section on State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates for Missouri.

In general, Missouri does not compensate its elementary & secondary school education administrators very well; MO public school teachers are also notoriously underpaid. In the annual NEA Missouri Salary Benchmarks and Rankings report, you’ll see this play out in the data on school district salaries and benefits for certified staff.

In contrast, mean wages for Missouri postsecondary education administrators are better (and similar to Iowa). Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO is often a top paying metropolitan area—this is the land of Missouri State University, Drury University, and Evangel University. If you’d like to know how much the top echelon earns, the MDHE also publishes an annual President & Chancellor’s Compensation Survey.

Educational Leadership Job Boards
National job sites (e.g. HigherEdJobs, Indeed, LinkedIn, SchoolSpring, etc.) will post openings for Missouri school administrators and educational leaders. But we also wanted to direct you toward useful state-specific websites.

Missouri Admin Jobs is a career/job hunting service offered free of charge by the following associations: MAESP, MASA, MoASSP, MoASBO, and MARE.
MOReap’s Job Search lists openings for K-12 administrators in public schools across Missouri.
The Job Search on Missouri Teaching Jobs also includes jobs for K-12 school administrators (e.g. principals, assistant principals, superintendents, and directors.)
In Job Openings in Education, MO.gov has listed links to higher education staff positions in Missouri universities & colleges.
The UM System has a section on Careers, with links to HR sites for many of its campuses.
MACTE posts Higher Education Jobs in Teacher Education (e.g. Associate Professor of Education Leadership).
Educational Leadership Organizations in Missouri
Educational Leadership Associations
Missouri Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (Missouri ASCD): Missouri ASCD is a statewide organization of public and non-public teachers, university faculty, administrators, and college students. It’s a state affiliate of ASCD.

Graduate Programs | Missouri | William Woods University


Missouri Association of Elementary School Principals (MAESP): MAESP is a statewide organization representing ~1,100 elementary and middle school principals and assistant principals in Missouri. It’s an affiliate of NAESP.
Missouri Association of Rural Educators (MARE): MARE is a non-profit service organization that addresses the needs and concerns of rural education in Missouri.
Missouri Association of School Administrators (MASA): MASA is a statewide professional association that serves the needs of school superintendents and central office administrators with an interest in the superintendency. Members include 600+ school superintendents and school administrators.
Missouri Association of School Business Officials (MoASBO): MoASBO is a professional association comprised of nearly 700 school district officials and employees in the area of school business administration. It runs a voluntary School Business Specialist (SBS) Certification Program.
Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals (MoASSP): MoASSP is committed to improving secondary education through positive leadership and the enhancement of student performance. It’s a state affiliate of NASSP.
Missouri Council of Career & Technical Administrators (MCCTA): MCCTA is the administrative division of the Missouri Association of Career and Technical Education (MoACTE). It promotes career and technical education, assists in legislation, works to improve instructional standards, and supports leadership in the field.
Missouri Council of School Administrators (MCSA): MCSA is the umbrella organization for MASA and MAESP.
Missouri National Education Association (Missouri NEA): Missouri NEA is an affiliate of the national NEA. Its 35,000 members include public school teachers, librarians, counselors, coaches, school psychologists and psychiatrists, administrators, and faculty in colleges and universities.
Missouri Professors of Educational Administration (MPEA): MPEA members include faculty from 17 Missouri universities who have programs for preparing educational administrators, as well as individuals who are interested in the preparation of school and district administrators.
Missouri School Boards’ Association (MSBA): MSBA serves as the unified voice of Missouri school board members. It often works closely with MASA and superintendents.
Missouri State Teachers Association (MSTA): MSTA is an independent association representing ~47,000 educators. It’s the state’s largest and oldest education association.
Note: Remember that state and national educator organizations often have funds and scholarships available for continuing education (e.g. Ed.D.). Check the website and ask about opportunities.

Educational Leadership Events in Missouri
Educational Leadership Conferences
MAESP Annual Leadership Conference: This is MAESP’s flagship professional development event for elementary and middle level principals in Missouri. It often occurs in late February/early March.
MAESP/MoASSP New Principals Conference: This co-sponsored, two-day event for new K-12 principals in Missouri usually takes place in July.
MASA/MOSPRA Spring Conference: This is a three-day joint event in March. It brings together school administrators, superintendents, and public relations practitioners.
MoASBO/MASA Leadership Summit: This three-day summit for Missouri school business officials and administrators is typically held in November. MoASBO also runs other conferences & institutes.
MoASSP Spring Conference: This is MoASSP’s flagship three-day conference for Missouri secondary school principals & assistant principals. The late March/early April event includes keynote speakers, breakout sessions, networking, and more.
MoASSP/MCCTA Fall Conference: This joint event attracts secondary school principals/leaders and career and technical education administrators in Missouri. It’s held in late September/early October.
MCCTA Spring Conference & Legislative Day: MCCTA’s event for career & technical education administrators addresses current issues of concern. MoACTE/MCCTA legislative activity is blended into the program.
MPEA Spring Conference: This one-day event for educational administration faculty and graduate students usually takes place in April.
MSBA Conferences: MSBA organizes a number of events for administrators and school board members, including the MSBA Igniting Great Ideas Summit in June, and the popular MSBA Annual Conference for educational leaders—which is held in cooperation with MASA—in September.
Educational Leadership Training
DESE Workshops: The DESE offers workshops on topics of importance for new administrators (e.g. school finance, data reporting, educator quality, etc.).
MAESP Professional Development: MAESP organizes a variety of one-day workshops for elementary school principals that take place in Columbia, MO.
MASA Administrator Mentoring Program (AMP): MASA’s program pairs new superintendents with veteran superintendents. (New K-8 superintendents go through AMP for Principals, unless they have previously served as a principal.)
MASA Superintendent Training Programs: MASA runs a Missouri Superintendents Academy and a First-Year Superintendent Support Program.
MASA Workshops: MASA also hosts a number of professional development workshops for administrators (e.g. finance, communications, legislative affairs, etc.).
MoASBO Professional Learning: In addition to conferences, MoASBO organizes webinars, workshops such as the Administrative Leadership Development Program, and regional meetings for Missouri school business officials.
MSBA In-District Board Training: MSBA provides research-based professional development workshops that are specifically designed for board members and superintendents.
School Listings
18 Schools Found

A. T. Still University of Health Sciences
College of Graduate Health Studies

Kirksville, Missouri

Although A.T. Still is an osteopathic medical university, clinicians and aspiring teachers in the field can apply to its online Doctor of Education in Health Professions program. ATSU uses a 55-unit curriculum. Required courses include Finance and Budgeting, Innovative Teaching Strategies in the Health Professions, and Educational Program Evaluation. Students then complete a five-part doctoral research project.
Doctor of Education in Health Professions
Offered Online

Curriculum Info
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Evangel University
Education Department

Springfield, Missouri

The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Curriculum and Instruction program at Evangel seeks to cover all the major points of K-12 education. Future instructional leaders and aspiring superintendents should both be at home in the program. Successful applicants can register for completely online courses or the blended format. Either way, they’ll migrate to Springfield for a residency in each of their first two summers. Students follow a sequenced course plan with members of their cohort and should be able to finish in under three years. Enrollees break off from the group to complete a leadership internship in their second year and conduct dissertation research in their third.
Doctorate in Educational Leadership, Curriculum, & Instruction
Offered Online

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Fontbonne University
College of Education and Allied Health Professions

Saint Louis, Missouri

CAEP accredited
The Doctor of Education in Collaborative High Impact Instruction degree at Fontbonne takes about three years to complete. The 51-credit program employs an online format. Students choose a six-credit emphasis in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Center for Teacher and Therapist Education, English for Speakers of Other Languages, or Reading. Twelve credits come from the dissertation. The remaining 33 are required courses that touch on literacy and data literacy, qualitative and quantitative research, and instructional design and assessment. Current P-12 teachers and educators can receive 15% off tuition. Fontbonne alumni get the same discount.
Doctor of Education in Collaborative High Impact Instruction
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Lindenwood University
Department of Educational Leadership

Saint Charles, Missouri

CAEP accredited
Lindenwood pulls students from a variety of sectors, including the public school system, nonprofits, and corporations. The university schedules courses at the primary campus in St. Charles as well as at its secondary campus in Springfield. Students targeting principal or superintendent positions can select the Ed.D. in Educational Administration, which leads to the advanced certification needed for district leadership roles. To fall in line with certification requirements, candidates complete a 300-hour internship before working on their capstone. Postsecondary educators can pick the same degree but with an emphasis in Higher Education Administration. The university’s Instructional Leadership Ed.D. is for those who are happiest in the classroom. Students in that program should graduate with competencies in five areas connected to leadership: innovation, instruction, management, school relations, and vision.
Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership – Educational Administration
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Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership – Higher Education Administration
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Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership – School Instructional Leadership
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Doctorate in Education – Educational Leadership – Instructional Leadership
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Maryville University
School of Education

Saint Louis, Missouri

CAEP accredited
Maryville maintains three types of Ed.D. programs for three types of education leaders. The Doctor of Education in Teacher Leadership is for experienced teachers who want to stay in the classroom. It includes a 300-hour practicum at one of the local school districts Maryville partners with. The Ed.D. in Educational Leadership is for experienced educators with initial principal licensure who are aiming for superintendent licensure in Missouri. Last, the Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership, which is available on-campus or online, is for postsecondary instructors and administrators. All three programs are 2.5 years and employ a project-based curriculum. Students start their capstones early in the curriculum.
Doctor Of Education – Teacher Leadership
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Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Curriculum Info
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Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership
Curriculum Info
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Online Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership
Offered Online

Curriculum Info
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Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Doctoral Studies Department

Kansas City, Missouri

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Offered Online

Curriculum Info
Cost Info
How To Apply
Missouri Baptist University
College of Education

Saint Louis, Missouri

CAEP accredited
Applicants to MBU’s Ed.D. program in Higher Education Leadership choose between an online and an on-campus mode. Enrollees take one to two courses per 12-week quarter. They attend year-round in order to complete the 42-credit program in 2.5 years. That translates to one evening of instruction per week. The Ed.D. in Leadership in Teaching and Learning is a post-Ed.S. program for P-12 educators. It also uses 12-week quarters, but candidates only take one course per term because the program is just 24 credits. That program maintains cohorts at regional learning centers, which stretch across Missouri and extend into southern Illinois.
Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership
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How To Apply
Doctor of Education in Leadership in Teaching and Learning
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Online EdD in Higher Education Leadership
Offered Online

Curriculum Info
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Missouri State University-Springfield
Counseling, Leadership, and Special Education Department

Springfield, Missouri

CAEP accredited
Missouri State participates in the Statewide Cooperative Doctor of Education program. Cohorts in the Educational Leadership doctorate study together at Mizzou’s campus in the summer and at MSU for the fall and summer. Students usually take four years to complete the 46-credit curriculum, which calls for two to three courses for the first six terms. The remaining terms are for the dissertation. The curriculum focuses on four areas: content and context of learning, educational policy, leadership theory and practice, and organizational analysis. Nonresident students from eight states can get the same tuition rate as Missouri residents through the Midwest Student Exchange Program. Doctoral students are eligible for up to three years of graduate assistantship funding from MSU, worth upwards of $9,000 per year.

William Woods University Rankings, Tuition, Acceptance Rate, etc.


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership – Statewide Cooperative
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Northwest Missouri State University
School of Education

Maryville, Missouri

CAEP accredited
Northwest Missouri State is one of five universities to participate in the Statewide Cooperative Ed.D. program, which leads to an Educational Leadership designation from University of Missouri. They study on the University of Missouri-Columbia campus during the summer then at learning sites throughout the northwestern part of the state. The program gets new cohorts rolling in odd-numbered years. The 46-credit curriculum is applicable to P-12 and postsecondary educators. Northwest students move through the course plan together, starting with coursework in organizational analysis and finishing with dissertation research.
Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership – Statewide Cooperative
Curriculum Info
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Saint Louis University-Main Campus
School of Education

Saint Louis, Missouri

CAEP accredited
Saint Louis University’s Educational Leadership Ed.D. is a three-year program that requires students entering with a master’s degree to take at least 38 credits – 44 if they’re low on research credits. Ed.S. grads take fewer. Those include 30 elective credits, which cover administrative roles leading up to the superintendent level. Students looking for certification in that field should take the available internship. The optional concentration in Catholic Education shuffles some of the available electives to include School-Community Relations and Studies in Catholic Education. That program is for aspiring leaders of Catholic schools as well as spiritual leaders. The program has minimal research requirements because the final capstone is a project, not a dissertation. To help students cover costs, the university offers graduate assistantships, which require teaching, research, or administrative duties.
Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Curriculum Info
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How To Apply
Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership – Catholic
Curriculum Info
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How To Apply
Southeast Missouri State University
Department of Leadership, Middle and Secondary Education

Cape Girardeau, Missouri

CAEP accredited
Between the Mark Twain National Forest and the Mississippi River lies Southeast Missouri State, where educators interested in the Statewide Cooperative Ed.D. program can take spring and fall courses for the degree. In the summers, they’ll head to Columbia and take courses alongside cohorts from four other public universities. At the end of the 46-credit curriculum, they earn an Ed.D. with an emphasis in Educational Leadership, which can increase their qualifications for P-12 and postsecondary positions. Coursework teaches enrollees how to research and solve education problems, typically through group projects.
Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership – Statewide Cooperative
Curriculum Info
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Southwest Baptist University
School of Education

Bolivar, Missouri

Southwest Baptist has structured its Ed.D. in Educational Leadership so that students enter into one of three levels, depending on their educational background and the certifications they hold. Students with a master’s degree in another field should expect a four-year study plan. They take 73 credits, pausing after their first year to earn a Master’s in Education Administration and get their principal certification. Those already at that level have a three-year, 51-credit study plan that includes a superintendency internship so they can earn their Ed.S. and superintendent certification after one year. Finally, certified superintendents with an Ed.S. can complete their 30 units in two years. The program puts classes online and in hybrid format. Though no courses cover Christianity, the school weaves Christian faith into the curriculum.
Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Curriculum Info
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University of Central Missouri
Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis

Warrensburg, Missouri

CAEP accredited
With just a 90-minute drive between UCM and Mizzou, enrollees in the Statewide Cooperative Ed.D. program should be able to travel back and forth between campuses. For the first two years of the shared program, they’ll need to be in Columbia for the summer term and in Warrensburg for the fall and spring semesters. The program also schedules classes at UCM-Lee’s Summit, which is closer to Kansas City. After two years of examining educational leadership and analyzing policy, enrollees move on to a dissertation. The structure of the program allows candidates to network with not only colleagues in their cohort but also peers from four other schools across Missouri.
Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership – Statewide Cooperative
Curriculum Info
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University of Missouri-Columbia
Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis

Columbia, Missouri

CAEP accredited
University of Missouri is the central institution in the Statewide Cooperative Ed.D. program in Educational Leadership. Students from other public universities come to Mizzou during the summer to complete courses; Mizzou enrollees stay put and get to meet colleagues from Missouri State University, Northwest Missouri State, Southeast Missouri State, and University of Central Missouri. Mizzou also offers that program online, with an identical 46 credits. The state’s flagship university runs two other Ed.D. programs. One, in Special Education, features emphases in Administration and Supervision, Behavior Disorders, Early Childhood Special Education, and Learning Disabilities. The other, in Reading Education, is a 72-unit program that incorporates internships and synergies with the school’s Missouri Language and Literacies Center, which benefits Missouri Public Schools.
Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership
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Doctorate of Education in Reading Education
Curriculum Info
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University of Missouri-Kansas City
School of Education

Kansas City, Missouri

CAEP accredited
Missouri educators who work with minors, either directly or indirectly, may want to consider UMKC’s Ed.D. in PK-12 Administration program. The 42-hour program imparts values such as collaboration, innovation, and social justice. Each term for two years, students take two courses, some online, some blended, and some face-to-face. They spend their final semesters completing an applied dissertation project. Educators who work with adults can apply to the 54-hour Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration. Like the PK-12 Administration program, enrollees complete courses in sequence with a cohort. Unlike that program, they get nine credits toward electives, allowing them to explore topics such as psychology and multiculturalism. Additionally, the Higher Education Administration program places a strong focus on urban schools. Uncoincidentally, UMKC houses both the Urban Education Research Center and Institute for Urban Education.
Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration
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Ed.D. in PK-12 Educational Administration
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University of Missouri-St Louis
College of Education

Saint Louis, Missouri

CAEP accredited
UMSL’s Ed.D. in Educational Practice is unique – not just from other universities but from itself. That’s because every year, a new cohort embarks on a curriculum based around a new theme. In 2015, incoming students explored global education. The following year, it was Creativity and Generative Design. Another undertook Heritage Leadership for Sustainability, Social Justice, and Participatory Culture. Most recently, the school offered one called STEM THEMES, which integrated humanities studies with science and math education. For three years, students take common courses, laboratories, and seminars around the theme. To customize their degree, they take at least 30 credits, and up to 60, in a specialization of their choosing before pursuing a dissertation in practice.
EdD in Educational Practice – STEM Education Enhancement
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Webster University
School of Education

Saint Louis, Missouri

CAEP accredited
Students in Webster’s Doctor of Education program choose from seven emphases. The school is especially geared toward special education, with enrollees able to choose emphases in Dyslexia, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, Severe Developmental Disabilities and Autism, or Trauma-Informed Education and Intervention. The other emphases are Educational Leadership, Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL), and Transformative Learning in the Global Community. Regardless of emphasis, all enrollees learn to embrace the values of social consciousness, critical thinking, and advocacy. They do that through 40 units of required coursework, which includes an apprenticeship, a comprehensive exam, and a dissertation. The emphasis area adds another three to 12 required credits. Most students can wrap up their doctoral studies within three years. Those entering with an Ed.S. can finish even faster.
Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Curriculum Info
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Doctor of Education in Special Education: Dyslexia
Curriculum Info
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Doctor of Education in Special Education: Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports
Curriculum Info
Cost Info
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Doctor of Education in Special Education: Severe Developmental Disabilities and Autism
Curriculum Info
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How To Apply
Doctor of Education in Special Education: Trauma-Informed Education and Intervention
Curriculum Info
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Doctor of Education in Teaching English as a Second Language
Curriculum Info
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Ed.D. in Transformative Learning in the Global Community
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William Woods University
Division of Education

Fulton, Missouri

P-12 and college educators may apply to William Woods University’s Doctorate in Educational Leadership. As a post-Ed.S. program, the degree can be completed within two years. That equates to nine evening courses followed by a dissertation, for a total of 25 credits. William Woods runs cohorts out of multiple locations, depending on where that year’s applicants hail from. Likely locations include Fulton, where the university is located, as well as Kansas City, St. Louis, and Columbia. William Woods sometimes offers online cohorts, too.

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