EdD in Senior Leadership in K-12 Education

EdD in Senior Leadership in K-12 Education

Blended delivery thesis-based degree program designed for practicing professionals


Doctor of Education - Senior Leadership in K-12 Education


Online with two-week summer residencies (on-campus)


Three to six years (maximum)


Graduate Program Administrator:
Tom Liu

Academic Coordinator:
Dr. Shelleyann Scott

This EdD stream investigates problems of practice within the K-12 education context. This program is for principals, district leaders, policy makers and government officials who are interested in leadership roles in K-12, educational consultancy, or obtaining an doctoral level qualification for career advancement.

The EdD program incorporates signature inductive pedagogies and pedagogical tools; opportunities designed to facilitate the critical application of research and theoretical knowledge; a cohort model constructed on the principles underpinning communities of learners; a portfolio candidacy examination; and your choice of investigating a problem of practice or a field dissertation (potentially research undertaken in collaboration with an institution).

This program is a combination of coursework and thesis preparation, with coursework scaffolding students’ learning, their development of expertise, and scholarly activities required to undertake and write up research.

The cohort approach features support from peers, instructors, supervisors, and potentially, from the field. Topic areas covered include: understanding leadership, culture, and organisational learning; effective leadership within complex communities and for contemporary students and schools; globalization, policy and governance; and building capacity for system enhancement and innovation. 

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.

Summer Residency 2024

Summer classes run from June 24 - August 6, 2024.

Students are expected to be available for this period of time and able to complete online course work before and after the summer residency period. Further details will be available in the course outline.

On-campus summer residency dates are July 8 -  July 19, 2024.

Program Schedule

A list of required courses for the EdD in Senior Leadership in K-12 Education program is 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 719.30 L01 (50335) Globalization, Policy & Governance
    EDER 705 L01 (50654) Doctoral Seminar in Educational Leadership

    Fall (online)

    EDER 711 L02 (73957) Advanced Research Methodologies

    Winter (online)

    EDER 712 L01 (12563) Advanced Research Methodologies II

  2. Year 2

    Summer (blended)

    EDER 719.31 Building Capacity for System Enhancement and Innovation in Education
    EDER 719.14 Advanced Study in Ed Leadership I

    Fall (online)

    EDER 707 Collaboratory of Practice I

    Winter (online)

    EDER 708 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 Dissertation Seminar I

    Winter Terms (online)

    EDER 710 Dissertation Seminar II

EdD studnets

Prospective students: how to apply

Visit our Future EdD students page for current EdD specializations, admission requirements and application details.

Visit our Future EdD page