Why UM-Flint

What Sets UM-Flint's Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) Program Apart?

  • UM-Flint’s Doctor of Education degree focuses on applied learning and preparation for executive leadership assignments.  It is designed to prepare practicing teachers and administrators to assume greater leadership roles, to apply a broad base of scholarship to challenges in the field, and to actively contribute to the knowledge base of the profession.
  • This program offers a concentration in Educational Leadership.
  • Students in the Doctor of Education program work within a cohort and enjoy a unique blend of online coursework coupled with on-campus classes one Saturday per month.
  • The Doctor of Education is a part-time program encompassing 34 credit hours.
  • The cohort structure within the program emphasizes team-based project work and enables students to develop a stronger support network for personal and professional development.
  • Students will have interactions with local administration and curriculum experts.
  • UM-Flint is a part of the world-renowned University of Michigan system, making it possible for students to tap into additional resources at the Dearborn and Ann Arbor campuses.
  • UM-Flint’s Doctor of Education degree program is designed to benefit K-12 educators looking to build upon their background and skills and those interested in administration roles in higher education.
  • The program also prepares administrators at the building level who are interested in a Central Office position in Human Relations, Finance, Curriculum, or Superintendency.



Admission Requirements

  • Completion of an Ed.S.
  • A minimum overall graduate school grade point average of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale, or 6.0 on a 9.0 scale, or equivalent.
  • At least 3 years of work experience in a P-16 educational institution or in an education-related position.

Admission decisions will be made by the program director in consultation with the program faculty.  Admission is competitive; meeting the above minimum requirements does not guarantee acceptance.


To be considered for admission, submit the following to the Office of Graduate Programs, 251 Thompson Library:

  • Application for Graduate Admission*
  • $55 application fee (non-refundable)*
  • Official transcripts (undergraduate and graduate) from colleges and universities where graduate work was completed as well as those where you completed your bachelor's degree and/or work toward your teaching and/or administrative certifications
  • An essay of at least 1000 words describing your reasons for seeking admission to the program
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Scholarly writing sample in the form of a 10+ page research paper or equivalent published research article that will be used to assess your ability to perform scholarly research and writing
  • Three letters of recommendation, at least two of which should be from the following:  1) professional peer, 2) professional supervisor, 3) community leader, or 4) graduate study faculty.  All letters should speak to your academic and leadership abilities
  • International students must submit additional documentation. Visit the International Students page for details.

*Alumni of a UM-Flint graduate program or a Rackham graduate program (any campus) may substitute the Change of Program or Dual Degree Application which requires no application fee.

Application Deadlines

Program faculty will review applications twice annually after each of the following dates:

  • April 1 (early admission*) 
  • July 1 (final deadline)

* You must apply for admission by the early deadline to be eligible for scholarships, grants, and research assistantships.



Education (Doctor of Education)

The program consists of four components. The first component is a set of five core courses, totaling 15 credit hours.
     The second component consists of coursework in either advanced qualitative or advanced quantitative research methods. This component takes place in the second semester of study. 
     The third component is an oral comprehensive exam (3 credits). The comprehensive exam is designed to check students for overall leadership knowledge, skills, and dispositions. The exam is taken after the first three semesters of coursework during the fall semester of year two of the program, while the candidate completes the School Law and Equity Issues course.
     The fourth and final component is the dissertation, which comprises the final 13 credit hours. Students take Dissertation I (2 credits) to define their problem statement and begin their dissertation’s first three chapters under faculty guidance as a cohort. The final Dissertation II (11 credits) begins as early as the spring of year two of the program and is the more typical independent work. It is expected that students will complete the final dissertation by summer of the third year. A fourth year is acceptable within the typical timeline. Extensions beyond this time must be appealed in writing and granted on a case-by-case basis.


  1. Core courses (15 credits)
    EDL 800 - Survey of Research Theory, Design, and Methods. 
    EDL 801 - Educational Policy. 
    EDL 803 - School Law and Equity Issues. 
    EDL 844 - Professional Standards and Community Relations. 
    EDL 856 - School Finance, Business and Human Resources Management. 
  2. Research sequence (6 credits).  One of:
    EDL 804 - Quantitative Research Methods I & II. 
    EDL 805 - Qualitative Research I & II.  
  3. Comprehensive examinations.
    Course study leads up to the oral comprehensive examination for the doctoral degree. A student must pass the Comprehensive Examinations before moving on to the Dissertation I. Comprehensive Exams must be passed within one year after all required core courses and research courses have been completed.
  4. Dissertation (13 credits)
    EDL 990 - Dissertation I Research and Prospectus. 
    EDL 995 - Dissertation II. 

Sample Calendar

Year 1
Fall:  EDL 800 , EDL 801 .
Winter:  EDL 804 , EDL 805 .
EDL 844 , EDL 856 .

Year 2
Fall:  EDL 803 .
Winter/Spring/Summer:  EDL 990 EDL 995 . 

Year 3
Fall/Winter/Spring:  Individualized dissertation research.    


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