Executive Ed.D. Program | Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Skip to Main Content
  1. Home
  2. /
  3. Executive Doctor of Education...

Executive Doctor of Education in Leadership

Fast track to executive leadership with our Ed.D. program.

Elevate your leadership journey with our specialized Executive Ed.D. program designed to streamline your path to a doctoral degree. Crafted specifically for experienced professionals like you, our comprehensive curriculum accelerates career growth and unlocks new leadership opportunities.

This dynamic online program equips you with skills essential for executive-level positions across diverse industries. Eligible participants must have a minimum of 10 years of professional experience, ensuring a rich exchange of practical insights that enrich the learning experience for all.

Unlike traditional doctoral programs, the Executive Ed.D. doesn’t require a dissertation, offering the fastest route to a terminal degree. Ideal for those seeking leadership prowess without aiming for a tenure-track teaching role, this program focuses on innovative management strategies and addresses the legal, ethical, and social issues pertinent to contemporary business leaders.

Enroll today to cultivate purpose-driven leadership fortified with character and integrity. Join us in shaping the future of executive leadership.


Read More




per credit


start dates

2.5 yrs.

completion time





per credit


start dates

2.5 yrs.

completion time


Executive Doctor of Education in Leadership Program Features

  • Our Executive Ed.D. program takes a unique approach to assessment, moving away from traditional comprehensive exams and dissertations. Instead, you will engage in project-based learning and a capstone project that allows you to apply your knowledge and skills to real-world educational challenges.
  • Benefit from the guidance and support of our experienced faculty mentors. They will provide valuable insights, feedback, and support ensuring you receive practical and up-to-date knowledge.
  • The project-based capstone experience will be a defining feature of your journey, allowing you to delve deep into a specific area of interest.

What You’ll Learn in Our Ed.D. Program

  • Engage in complex critical thinking
  • Engage others with justice, empathy, compassion, and cultural competence
  • Create and nurture learning organizations
  • Lead appropriate organizational change
  • Operate in a complex, global environment
  • Demonstrate leadership competencies

Information Session

Join us for an information session to learn more about the program, the application process, and more. We offer live information sessions where you can meet program staff, as well as an archive you can view on your own time


Ready to apply? Learn about taking the next steps.

    • For the Executive Doctor of Education in Leadership, a minimum of 10 years of professional leadership experience is required.
    • Applicants may apply for admission to doctorate degree programs at any time during the year.
    • A master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, for which the applicant maintained at least a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale, is required for admission.
    • Applicants must demonstrate the language proficiency necessary for successful graduate coursework. Applicants must complete an interview with the program administrators as part of the admission process.

  • Students with transcripts from universities outside the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and Canada (except for the Quebec Province) must take and pass English proficiency testing.

    Saint Mary’s accepts:

    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 72
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum score of 6.0
    • Michigan Language Assessment Battery (MELAB) with a minimum score of 74%
    • International Test of English Proficiency (ITEP) with a minimum score of 4.0 or Pearson Test of English with a score of 51
    • Duolingo with a minimum score of 100.

  • Applicants must submit the following:

    1. Completed application form.
    2. An official transcript(s) issued to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from the institution posting the applicant’s completed bachelor’s, master’s degrees and other relevant transcripts documenting program prerequisites and potential transfer credits. (An official transcript is one that is sent to the university by the credit-granting institution.) 
    3. A personal statement which includes:
      • brief description of the applicant’s background, training, and experience; and,
      • statement indicating the career goals of the applicant and his or her reasons for seeking admission to the program and,
      • personal information the applicant wishes to share.
    4. Three letters of recommendation that verify professional and/or volunteer experience and academic ability. The recommendations must come directly from the recommender. 
    5. A current résumé listing educational background and work experience.

    • Fall 2024: August 2, 2024
    • Spring 2025: December 2, 2024
    • Summer 2025: April 4, 2025


    The priority application deadlines are listed but these are general as not all of our programs have a start every semester.

    • Fall September 3, 2024
    • Summer: May 6, 2025

  • You can expect to be notified about your acceptance approximately two weeks following your completed application process.

Tuition & Fees

We help you find ways to finance your education. Talk to your Enrollment Counselor about scholarships, loans, and other ways to make your education affordable.

Course Catalog

In addition to foundational courses, you’ll take courses such as:

  • Leadership Theory
  • Organizational Development
  • Theories of Adult Learning

The course catalog provides complete information about course requirements.

Careers & Salary

Pursue advanced leadership roles as a vice president, director, or C-suite position in various fields such as non-profits, healthcare, sales, or government.

VP Administration


Chief Executive Officer


Frequently Asked Questions

  • The Ed.D. degree is a practitioner-focused program designed to allow you to transition into a leadership position within your professional area of expertise, or expand your professional profile and opportunities to work in teaching or leadership roles in education, business, healthcare, or training. Traditionally, the Ph.D. degree is primarily research-focused for those planning to teach and research full time

  • Upon graduation from the
    Executive Ed.D. in Leadership program, you’ll receive the credential of doctorate or doctoral degree. You’ll be referred to as a Doctor of Education, and your signature line can include Ed.D. after your name.

News and Information from the School of Education


On Sunday, April 14, 2024, Her Excellency, U.S. Ambassador Karen Hideko Sasahara received the Very Reverend Father James P. Burns, Read more
Downwind advocates for marginalized students Chrissy (Koch) Downwind M’17 admits she doesn’t sugarcoat. “When I introduce myself, I usually include Read more


Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook (04/2024)

  1. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/top-executives.htm#tab-5 (04/2024)