Feb 08, 2023  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog

Educational Leadership, Ed.D

Program Information:

The West College of Education at Midwestern State University has received accreditation through the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The EdD program reflects National Educational Leadership Preparation standards developed by a committee comprised of essential stakeholder communities from across the country. Students will work in informal cohorts to apply educational leadership knowledge and skills to current school issues, often in actual school settings. Students who complete the EdD program are eligible to apply for Texas Superintendent Certification upon satisfactory completion of relevant coursework, practicum and state examination.

All students must meet the admission standards for the University and the West College of Education. The EdD with a major in Educational Leadership requires 54 semester hours (57 for the superintendent certificate). The curriculum focuses on knowledge and skills necessary for district level roles and responsibilities. Program objectives include: a knowledge of educational theory and practice, the ability to accurately use research methodology and interpretation to impact practice, and skills in district leadership and management.

The program contains five core courses that provide overarching theoretical, cultural, and legal perspectives of educational policy and practice; and six required courses in the area of district school leadership. Additionally, there are four courses on educational research culminating with a dissertation. The core courses and research courses are standard for the field. The district leadership courses provide a distinct focus for those interested in school district impact.

Within the District Leadership Courses, students work on relevant real-world projects tied to course content to benefit their district of employment. This focus on project-based learning and hands-on application of learning help the students to further develop their skills as problem solvers and critical thinkers that can use their knowledge to create, implement, and assess educational initiatives that impact school district effectiveness.


Dr. Billie Doris McAda Graduate School admission criteria:

This program will seek to become nationally competitive by providing an affordable, quality EdD degree designed for students currently working full-time in education. For the graduate school, an applicant who meets each of the following admission criteria may be eligible for unconditional admission by the graduate faculty of the student’s intended major:

  1. A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. The McAda Graduate School must receive an official transcript, including one on which a bachelor’s degree is posted, directly from each institution the applicant has attended. International graduate student applicants must submit a course-by-course credential evaluation with GPA that includes verified transcripts.  MSU strongly prefers the WES ICAP evaluation, but will accept a comparable evaluation from a NACES member.
  2. A cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 from the student’s graduating institution.
  3. A competitive score on the standardized graduate test, if required by the graduate program. The requirement for standardized test scores is decided at the college level. The student should contact the graduate coordinator of the intended graduate program for information. The McAda Graduate School must receive official admissions test scores directly from the organization that administers the test.
  4. An undergraduate background determined by the graduate faculty of the student’s intended major to be adequate for success in the student’s intended major.


Educational Leadership (EdD) doctoral program admission criteria:

  • Candidates must hold at least a Master’s degree in Education Administration/Leadership, Curriculum and Instruction, or other related field in education.

All candidates are required to complete and submit the following items to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  • Graduate application and processing fee.
  • Official GRE scores (< 5 years old).
  • Official transcripts from all higher education institutions attended by the applicant.

For students pursuing Superintendent Certification:

  • Complete program application form and a copy of principal certification.
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Three reference letters (One letter should be from a college or university professor.)
  • An essay describing candidate’s career goals and how obtaining a doctoral degree will impact those goals.
  • A case study writing response.
  • Candidates will be required to complete an admissions interview.

A committee including the department chair, program coordinator, and two faculty members will review all candidate submissions and interview scores in order to determine candidate admission to the program. The committee will use information to assess the communication skills, professional knowledge, and level of motivation as indicators of student readiness. Candidates are selected for admission as a cohort. All students will be considered full-time students, as they will take two courses per semester/session (6 SCH) to stay on track with their cohort.

Credit earned at another institution is not automatically accepted, but in general, a maximum of 6 semester hours of approved graduate work completed at another accredited graduate school may be accepted for credit.

The graduate coordinator, dean of the college, and Dean of the McAda Graduate School may make exceptions. Only courses with a grade of B or better are acceptable for transfer. In such cases, however, credits accepted in transfer shall not exceed 9 hours. The graduate student must also secure the approval of the appropriate graduate coordinator at Midwestern State University prior to registration for any course(s) taken at another institution. Correspondence courses and military educational experience (ACE credit) do not receive graduate credit.


The dissertation is not a traditional five-chapter format but rather a dissertation of practice. The dissertation of practice is an opportunity for EdD program participants to bring to bear analytic abilities, professional understandings, contextual knowledge, and teamwork skills they have accumulated throughout the entire program and apply these skills to a focused management consulting project undertaken for a client in the community.

Dissertation Committee Requirements

A dissertation committee, appointed in conjunction with the student and graduate faculty, is determined before a doctoral student has accumulated 45 semester credit hours, including any transfer hours. The dissertation committee consists of at least three Graduate Faculty members.

All committee members must be either Graduate Faculty or Graduate Faculty Associates/Adjunct approved to perform specified Graduate Faculty duties.

The committee may include one Associate Graduate Faculty member external to the academic department or program but within Midwestern State University.

The committee may include one Adjunct Graduate Faculty member external to Midwestern State University.

Member Roles

An Appointment of Dissertation Committee form, signed by the Graduate Committee Chair, should be filed with the Dr. Billie Doris McAda Graduate School.

  • Chair: The Chair of a doctoral student’s committee serves as the advisor and mentor of the student. The Chair may not serve as the Outside Representative.
  • Member: All members of the committee vote to allow the student into candidacy, request an extension and determine the outcome of the student’s dissertation defense. Members may serve as the reader or outside representative.
  • Outside Representative: One member may be external to the student’s major program but within Midwestern State University.
  • Courtesy Member: Faculty external to Midwestern State University may serve as committee member on the student’s committee.  Courtesy members may serve as readers and have voting rights for the student’s committee. Only one courtesy member may serve per committee.

Changes to the Committee

Changes may occur to a dissertation committee any time prior to the submission of the Application for Final Oral Exam using a change request form. If the dissertation committee chair leaves the employ of the University, retires, or is otherwise unable to serve on the Committee, the graduate coordinator shall notify the Dr. Billie Doris McAda Graduate School immediately and a change in the committee made as follows:

  • If the student has achieved candidacy, the former chair who has left may continue to serve as co-chair of the dissertation committee, with approval of the departmental Graduate Committee and the Dean of the Dr. Billie Doris McAda Graduate School. A resident Graduate Faculty member shall serve as co-chair.
  • If the student has not achieved candidacy, a new chair of the Supervisory Committee who is a resident Graduate Faculty member must be appointed immediately, with the agreement of the student, graduate coordinator and dean of the Dr. Billie Doris McAda Graduate School.
  • If a member other than the chair leaves the employ of the University or retires, a replacement who is a resident graduate faculty member is appointed. When continuing expertise is needed and the faculty member is willing to continue serving, he/she may continue as an outside representative, with the approval of the Supervisory Committee Chair and the concurrence of the dean of the Dr. Billie Doris McAda Graduate School.

Continuous Registration

Once candidacy is achieved, the student must register for at least one 1 credit hour each fall and spring until s/he graduates, even after meeting the 9 total dissertation hours in the program.

  • Failure to register may result in termination of candidacy and program.
  • Academic Leave can, for eligible students, provide an exception to the continuous registration requirement.
  • Candidates do not need to register for summer unless the student will be an August graduate.

The EdD with a major in Educational Leadership requires 54 semester hours.

Dissertation - 9 semester credit hours:

The EdD with a major in Educational Leadership and superintendent certificate requires 57 semester hours. Students will take the courses as listed above and EDLE 6053.