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Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education

Educational Leadership and Policy Program

Doctor of Education (EdD) - Educational Leadership and Policy

Are you looking to take the next step in your career as a senior educational leader? 

This doctoral program in Educational Leadership and Policy is intended to shape highly competent leadership positions in school systems and other educational institutions. It is specifically designed for working professional educators who want to develop the intellectual and research skills that will help them refine their practice as leaders in educational systems.

The program concentrates on those elements of theory and research concerning leadership, policy, social diversity and educational leadership that are of direct assistance in understanding and resolving problems and issues confronting practising administrators. 

The department welcomes applicants with diverse but relevant backgrounds.

There are two streams within this EdD program:

Regular stream: Students are accepted every year and can register on a full-time or part-time basis.

Cohort-based stream: This stream accepts applications every three or four years, and students move through the program as a cohort. Key aspects of this program option include:

  • Cohort: Students move through the program as a cohort to encourage the development of networking and communication skills and the building of a collegial community of practice and quality connections between students and faculty. 
  • Sequence: In order to support the cohort model, there is a specified sequence to the required courses.
  • Practice: Courses are based in the practice of educational administration and focus on reflective practice. Knowledge and theory are applied to address issues and problems the administrators are facing in their work.
  • Research: Students are encouraged to lead future research and evaluation work in educational settings. 

Study options: Full-time and part-time
Components: Coursework, comprehensive exams, thesis 
Length: 4 years full-time; 6 years part-time

For detailed information about the program, please consult the School of Graduate Studies Calendar and the OISE Bulletin




Students may begin their EdD degree on a full-time or part-time basis but must maintain continuous registration. They must register full-time for a minimum of two consecutive sessions, not including Summer, of on-campus study. Once enrolled full-time, students must maintain continuous registration full-time and pay full-time fees until all degree requirements, including the thesis, are completed.

Students cannot normally transfer between the EdD and PhD programs.

Regular stream

1. Coursework: Students complete 4.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

  • People and Power in Organizations (LHA3040H, 0.5 FCE)
  • Doctoral Seminar on Policy Issues in Education (LHA3041H, 0.5 FCE)
  • 1 half-course in research methods at the 3000 level, to be chosen in consultation with the faculty advisor (0.5 FCE). Students who choose to take more than one research methods course are expected to study a breadth of methods.
  • Internship/Practicum in Educational Leadership and Policy (LHA3044H, 0.5 FCE) is strongly recommended, but another 0.5 FCE in research methods at the 3000 level may be substituted in consultation with the faculty advisor. 
  • 2.0 additional FCEs, 0.5 of which must be at the 3000 level or 6000 Special Topics level. 

2. Comprehensive examination

3. Thesis proposal hearing

4. Thesis: One component of which may be a document of the kind used in the area of Educational Leadership and Policy, such as a policy document or policy handbook, white paper, or restructuring plan or another approved undertaking. 

Cohort-based stream

1. Coursework: Students must complete 4.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

  • Personal and Professional Values of Educational Leadership (LHA3025H, 0.5 FCE)
  • People and Power in Organizations (LHA3040H, 0.5 FCE)
  • Doctoral Seminar on Policy Issues in Education (LHA3041H, 0.5 FCE)
  • Field Research in Educational Leadership and Policy (LHA3042, 0.5 FCE)
  • Internship/Practicum in Educational Leadership and Policy (LHA3044H, 0.5 FCE)
  • Research Seminar on Leadership and Educational Change (LHA3047H, 0.5 FCE)
  • 1.0 additional FCE, of which 0.5 FCE must be at the 3000 level or 6000 Special Topics level

2. Comprehensive examination: Successful oral defence of a portfolio that emphasizes reflective practice.

3. Thesis proposal hearing

4. Thesis

Explore courses

Collaborative specializations

Collaborative specializations provide graduate students enrolled in participating degree programs with an additional multidisciplinary experience as they complete their home degree program. 

Learn more about the collaborative specializations offered to EdD students in the ELP program:


Faculty in the Educational Leadership and Policy program have multi-disciplinary teaching and research expertise in a wide range of fields. To learn more about our faculty, check out our program's faculty listing for profiles.

Our faculty's expertise includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Educational policy analysis and program evaluation
  • Whole system reforms
  • International comparisons of educational equity
  • Socio-economic disparities in academic achievement
  • Large-scale data analysis
  • intersections of law and education
  • School administration, philosophy and theory
  • Critical democracy and educational leadership issues



The following are annual tuition fees for 2017-2018. These figures include all non-tuition related fees.

  • Domestic full-time students: $9,895.14
  • Domestic part-time students: $3,307.40
  • International full-time students: $33,662.14

For the most up-to-date information on tuition fees as well as financial support, visit the OISE Registrar website

Admissions and application

General information

Please visit the OISE Admissions website for detailed information about the application process, including general minimum admission requirements and supporting documents. 

Program-specific information

Minimum admission requirements

  • Master's degree in the area of Educational Leadership and Policy or an equivalent degree with high academic standing from a recognized university.

  • Applicants who have completed an appropriate master's degree that did not include a thesis or research project are required to complete a Qualifying Research Paper (QRP) to a standard satisfactory to the admissions committee.

  • The applicant must be in a leadership position in education, or must have held a leadership position, or must demonstrate potential for leadership.

Required supporting documents

  • Transcript(s) from each post-secondary institution attended
  • Two letters of reference (one academic and one professional)
  • Résumé
  • Statement of Intent


The main application deadline is November 15, 2017. Tguarantee consideration for admission, applicants should submit their application and supporting documents by this date 

After November 15, admission to some programs may remain open. For the most up-to-date information on application deadlines, please visit OISE Admissions


Questions about applying? Please contact the OISE admissions office at 416-978-4300 or admissions.oise@utoronto.ca

Questions about the program? Please contact the program assistants at 416-978-1251 or lhae.pa@utoronto.ca – or check out our student handbook.