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Educational Psychology, Foundations and Leadership Studies
Educational Psychology, Foundations and Leadership Studies (EPFLS) » Graduate Study » Educational Leadership, Postsecondary Education Intensive Study Areas (EdD)

Educational Leadership, Postsecondary Education Intensive Study Areas (EdD)

Educational leadership

Program Description

As part of the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program within the University of Northern Iowa College of Education, we offer two intensive study areas (ISAs) as part of a newly revamped, 48-hour Ed.D. degree:

  • Educational Leadership (including special education) 
  • Postsecondary Education: Student Affairs 

The first cohort of this updated program begins fall 2020. Students interested in these Ed.D. intensive study areas should apply for Graduate College admission with the guidance of the appropriate ISA coordinator in the Department of Educational Psychology, Foundations and Leadership Studies. 

Applications will be accepted through April 1, though full-time students interested in graduate assistantships and tuition scholarships should apply by the February 1 Graduate College deadline. 

Educational Leadership

This area of intensive study prepares you for leadership positions in PK-12 schools, and other educational services or settings, and is inclusive of educational leadership and special education. Typical positions held by educators with the terminal degree focused on educational leadership include:

  • Principals
  • Superintendents
  • School district central office administrators
  • Professors of educational leadership
  • Special education directors at the Area Education Agency level
  • Department of Education administrators and consultants

Education Leadership ISA Coordinator: 

Dr. Matt Townsley
Phone: (319) 273-3564
Email: matt-townsley@uni.edu

Postsecondary Education: Student Affairs

Beginning fall 2020, if you are a professional in postsecondary education, you have the opportunity to further your education and advance your career options with a new Ed.D. intensive study area in postsecondary education: student affairs. 

This degree prepares you for leadership positions in colleges and universities. Typical positions held by educators with an Ed.D. focused on postsecondary education include:

  • Department heads
  • Directors
  • Vice presidents
  • Professors
  • Consultants

Postsecondary Education: Student Affairs ISA Coordinator:

Dr. David Schmid
Email: david.schmid@uni.edu


Effective fall 2020, the Ed.D. program moves to a 48-credit-hour doctoral degree, with comprehensive requirements and dissertation required for completion. All four specialty areas within the College of Education doctoral program require:

  • 24 hours of professional common core
  • 15 hours of intensive study coursework
  • Nine hours of dissertation 

See the Doctor of Education program page for full information. 

Graduate College Applications Due February 1

Coursework specific to each ISA includes:

Educational Leadership

Superintendent Track

  • Human Resource Administration 
  • Leading Teaching, Learning and Assessment 
  • Power, Politics and Ethics 
  • Funding the Educational Program for Improved Student Achievement 
  • School Business Management

Principal Track

  • School Governance, Law, and Inter-systems Relations 
  • School Management for Student Learning and Achievement 
  • Leading Instruction in Schools 
  • Leading, Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum 
  • Evaluator Approval for Improved Student Learning

Special Education Director Track  

  • School Governance, Law and Inter-systems Relations 
  • Evaluator Approval for Improved Student Learning 
  • Special Education Law & Policy
  • Administration of Special Education 
  • Practicum


Postsecondary Education: Student Affairs*

  • Social Justice and Inclusion 
  • Higher Education Law 
  • College Effects on Students 
  • Administration and Finance in Higher Education 
  • Organizational Processes and Communication 

*Master’s level courses may be included in the Ed.D. program of study if taken post master’s degree as part of the Ed.D. program.

Application Process

All Ed.D. intensive study areas follow the same application process.   

In general, the Graduate Record Examination is no longer required, but remains optional. You will be expected to supply a letter of application stating your interests and goals, your professional vita or resume, transcripts, three letters of recommendation and one of the following: GRE scores or a professional writing sample. Provisional degree status may be recommended if further graduate coursework or professional experience would be useful in making the admission decision.



Maximum Award Apply By
Dean's Graduate Fellowship $1,500 8/16/2021