EdD in Leadership in Post-Secondary Contexts

EdD in Leadership in Post-Secondary Contexts

Blended delivery thesis-based degree program designed for practicing professionals

Applications open September 1 - December 1


Doctor of Education - Leadership in Post-Secondary Contexts


Both online and face-to-face


Up to six (6) years to complete the program


Graduate Program Administrator:
Lisa Dale

Academic Coordinator:
Dr. Shelleyann Scott

The Doctor of Education (EdD) is situated within a practitioner-scholar approach, a preparation model that is focused on research-informed practice. This EdD stream involves investigation of current trends and issues within the post-secondary context which encompasses higher education, tertiary or third level education contexts. The audience for this program is faculty, current leaders, and policy makers of universities, colleges, institutes of technology, colleges of applied arts and technology, vocational and trade colleges and others who are interested in: assuming leadership roles in the post-secondary educational environment, educational consultancy, and/or obtaining an advanced (doctoral level) qualification for career advancement.

This program is a combination of coursework and thesis preparation whereby the coursework scaffolds students’ learning, development of expertise, and scholarly activities required to undertake and write up research. This program is cohort based and has the feature of increased support provided by peers, instructors, supervisors, and potentially, from the field. Topic areas covered include: understanding the post-secondary context nationally and internationally; instructional leadership; other leadership issues including: research, service, budgeting, building human capacity, and the quality agenda; and technology innovation for teaching, research, services, and administration within the post-secondary environment. Students have the choice of a thematic (investigation of a problem of practice) or field dissertation (potentially commissioned research undertaken in collaboration with a particular institution). 

Program Delivery

  1. Blended - Online and Face-to-Face

    EdD Summer Residency:  Six-week summer program (blended delivery), including two weeks on-campus at UCalgary, followed by four weeks online.  Please note program delivery is subject to change based on provincial health guidelines.

    Fall/Winter Semesters: Online

A registration package will be sent to new students after they have been admitted. Registration for the summer term will be available in late winter. Fall and Winter registration opens in the spring. Your Graduate Program Administrator will send more information about registration to you.

Fee details are available through the University Calendar. An explanation of fees is available on the Faculty of Graduate Studies' website.

As a Graduate Student you are expected to devote the time, effort, and energy necessary to engage in scholarship.  As a graduate student, you will determine the specific milestones and requirements of your program of study in consultation with the Faculty of Graduate Studies Calendar and with your graduate supervisor. 

An integral part of the doctoral experience is working closely with a supervisor on the development and completion of a research project.  A graduate supervisor mentors graduate students through regular meetings and research training aimed at research, scholarship, teaching and professional development. Graduate supervisors support students in the timely completion of their programs.  As a Graduate Student, you are expected to meet with your graduate supervisor on a regular basis.  While each student-supervisor relationship is unique, graduate supervisors can assist graduate students in a number of ways: advising on course selection, applying for awards and scholarships, obtaining research funds, applying for teaching assistant and sessional teaching opportunities, developing track records in refereed publications and conference presentations, getting involved in leadership and service, and encouraging and supporting apprenticeship in a research community of practice (collaborative review of papers, grants, academic writing, and data analysis). 

In the EdD program a supervisor is normally appointed at the time of admission.

The combination of flexibility with online learning options, yet still providing options to connect with colleagues in person at various points throughout the program was great. It provided a good balance and was essential in forming long lasting and deep connections with colleagues in my program.


Philipp Reichert, EdD

Educational Leadership

Philipp graduated with his EdD in Educational Leadership in 2020. Read more about Philipp's journey

Program Schedule

A list of required courses for the EdD Leadership in Post-Secondary Contexts program can be found below. Completion of additional and relevant coursework outside of the required courses may be discussed with your supervisor.

Program Notes

Please consult the Graduate Calendar for course descriptions and the Academic Schedule for important dates and deadlines.

Course outlines are normally posted in D2L 1-2 weeks prior to the start of the term.

Years 1 and 2 have blended courses in the summer which include an on-campus component. 

  1. Year 1

    Summer (blended)

    EDER 719.27 L03 (1475) Instructional Leadership in Post-Secondary
    EDER 719.26 L04 (1572) The Post-Secondary Context

    Fall (online)

    EDER 711 L03 (74183)Advanced Research Methodologies

    Winter (online)

    EDER 712 L03 (15421) Advanced Research Methodologies II

  2. Year 2

    Summer (blended)

    EDER 719.28 L02 (50336) ICT Innovations in Post-Secondary
    EDER 719.29 L03 (50337) Post-Secondary Leadership

    Fall (online)

    EDER 707 L03 (75290) Collaboratory of Practice I

    Winter (online)

    EDER 708 L03 (15432) Collaboratory of Practice II

  3. Years 3-6

    The work completed in years 3-6 is variable and depends on your pace. Students have up to six years to complete their EdD program.


    Candidacy must be completed within 28 months from the program start date. 


    Your dissertation is the focus of your degree program. 

    Students enrol in Dissertation Seminar once you have successfully completed your candidacy exam and have begun to work on your dissertation. Dissertation Seminar is offered every fall and winter term. 

    Fall Terms (online)

    EDER 709 L01 (71319) Dissertation Seminar I

    Winter Terms (online)

    EDER 710 L01 (11394) Dissertation Seminar II

EdD studnets

Prospective students: how to apply

Visit our Future EdD students page for admission requirements and application details. A list of EdD specializations that we are accepting applications into is outlined on this page.

Visit our Future EdD page