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Ed.D. in Leadership

The Ed.D. in Leadership at Saint Mary’s University prepares ethical, transformative leaders who work in a variety of professional settings. Students and alumni serve in leadership positions as college and university faculty members and administrators, leaders in healthcare institutions, for-profit corporations, and non-profit organizations, as well as educators and administrators in K-12 school districts. The Ed.D. in Leadership program is not limited to teachers and school administrators; if you are interested in education and leadership in industry, social service, healthcare, or any number of fields, we invite you become part of our culturally, socially, and intellectually diverse learning community.

This program will allow you to ground your practice in research-based theory, apply concepts to move ahead in your career, and broaden your mind and abilities as a leader. Coursework focuses on the areas of organizational effectiveness, curriculum and instruction, and inquiry. An elective structure allows you the opportunity to tailor your program around the area of leadership that most interests you. Elective courses address areas such as instructional technology and online education, creativity and innovation, leadership in literature, and social justice in a global world.

Delivery Options and Timelines

Saint Mary’s Ed.D. offers two delivery formats to meet the learning and schedule needs of working adults. Both formats take approximately three years to complete coursework. Upon completion of the coursework, learners will move into the comprehensive exam and then the dissertation. Many people complete the full program in five to seven years.

Delivery Model One: Face-to-face Campus-based

  • Courses are completed face-to-face one evening per week and occasional Saturdays at the Twin Cities Campus in Minneapolis or at the Rochester Center.
  • Applicants are encouraged to apply throughout the year and, if accepted, begin with the next available face-to-face cohort.
  • Courses are offered year-round during spring, summer, and fall semesters. Students take two courses per semester (one class every eight weeks).

Delivery Model Two: Online with Residency

  • Blended learning cohorts allow learners to complete most coursework via online course delivery.
  • Blended cohort learners participate in three, two-week summer residencies at the Twin Cities Campus.
  • Learners in the blended cohort follow the same curricular path as those in the traditional model, however, the majority of the coursework is completed online.
  • Learners choosing the blended model begin the program once per year. Program orientation is offered at the end of April with learners starting online coursework in May.

Degree Requirements


The Delivery Model One: Face-to-face Campus-based program is offered at the Twin Cities campus with starts in Fall (August) and Spring (January) semesters, and occasional starts at our Rochester site. We offer Delivery Model Two: Online with Residency cohort with starts each Summer semester (May). Contact us to talk through location and semester start options.


Michelle Dougherty | | (612) 728-5122

Interested in being a K-12 Administrator?

Take a look at Saint Mary's Ed.S. in Educational Administration for administrative licensure preparation options for K-12 Principal, Director of Special Education, and Superintendent.