This page addresses some frequently asked questions about the 2022 EdD Cohort in International Educational Leadership & Policy program. For questions related specifically to application requirements, visit the Registrar's Office.

If you have specific inquiries that are not addressed on this page, e-mail your question to Dr. Sofya Malik at


We take a holistic admissions approach in which we consider professional experience, academic background and admissions documents.

No, interviews are not part of the admissions approach.

Likely this degree will be offered every other year.

Students from backgrounds that differ from Education & Leadership are encouraged to answer faculty admissions questions to describe how their background (academic and professional) has prepared them for this degree and why they are a good fit for the program. If you wish to speak with someone about this, please send a message to

Details on who is “admissible”.

Your current position does not have to be in an international setting; however, in your statement of intent, it is recommended that you highlight your international educational leadership plans.

Our admissions cycle is holistic. When making a decision we consider academics, professional experience and admissions documents (resume, statement, letters of reference, sample of written work).

No, we ask that one reference is able to speak about your professional ability and one on your academic ability.

Both are quite important, and you should have one of each. In the instance where you are unable to secure an academic reference, you may use 2 professional references. If this is the case, one reference should speak to any research and writing projects you have carried out and to their assessment of your academic abilities and your research skills.

Yes, as long as the academic reference can speak to your abilities as a researcher and your written and analytic capabilities.

No, you do not need to be employed full-time while studying. Your place in the program will not be affected by any changes in your employment status.

Applicants typically submit a master's-level Major Research Paper or thesis as their writing sample. Applicants who do not have a Major Research Paper or thesis must provide a writing sample that showcases their ability to write clearly and analytically about educational issues. Examples include a master’s-level course paper, a policy document, and a professional publication.

Yes, the sample of written work should be in English.

Keep in mind that the word limit is 5000 words. Typically, applicants will not have the space to include several samples. ​However, if you have two shorter samples that together don't exceed the word limit, you may submit them both. Also, the sample of return work can be submitted if written a few years ago, or translated from another language.

Yes, you will continue studying with professors who are experts in their fields, learning with classmates who bring wide-ranging professional experiences, and you will be able to establish and deepen new networks of educators, leaders, researchers in a cohort structure.

We will look at applicants interested in all education levels and related policy questions.

We are unsure at this time as this is the first year the EdD in IELP is being offered, but generally speaking, admission to our programs is competitive. Therefore, we strongly recommend that candidates apply as early as possible. 

The answers should describe your research interests and/or state the problem of practice you wish to investigate and how in an essey format. You should highlight the synergy between the program’s thematic strands and how they ground your proposed research. Candidates may want to cite core books/researchers that orient them in this field (500-800 words).

Applicants from universities outside Canada where English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Whether an applicant qualifies for the exemption cannot be determined until application is evaluated at the time of the admission. 


An EdD is a professional degree. Students complete a professionally-oriented dissertation in practice, which generally involves applied research that is applicable to a real world policy question.

All courses will be online, but the 2-week Research Institute will be held on campus for the first 2 years of the program.

Yes. In fact this is a central feature of the program, which will support the cohort model.


Yes, apart from the two weeks on campus, the program is considered fully online. Courses will have a both a synchronous (web-based seminar) and asynchronous (online exchanges and materials) components. These can be completed remotely.

There will be no additional fees. However, students are responsible for their own travel and accommodation costs.

Yes, they will.

Yes, but most of the collaborative specialization courses are offered on campus, so this will depend on course availability. We suggest that you contact the coordinator for the collaborative specialization you are interested in. 


No, courses that counted towards another degree cannot count towards the EdD. However, you can take additional courses (elective courses) either as an enrolled student or as an auditor at any time throughout your program.

Publications do not count towards the program requirements.  However, we would encourage you to build on any existing research or policy work you have previously completed. Such research can form a foundation for your dissertation, and you would build new extensions to it.

Program Focus/Requirements

The program includes education policy in school and non school settings  - early childhood to tertiary, non-formal, adult and community based.

This field has an international focus with courses curated around this whereas the on-campus degree does not. 

Program Start Dates & Length

Students can finish in 3 years, but this will depend on the speed and time available to the individual student. The estimated average program length is 4 years.

Transfer & Leaves

Students cannot transfer between the EdD and PhD programs, except in exceptional circumstances.

Students may request a leave for up to 3 sessions (1 year); or more if they have medical or family leaves during their programs. However, cohort students do have scheduled courses that will not be offered each year, so we do not recommend taking a leave in the first year. If students need to go on a leave, they should discuss this with their advisor/the program first.

Fees & Funding

The IELP EdD is designed for working professionals and is self-funded. There is presently no funding available. The tuition/student fees are annual. The study length will determine how much the student will pay: if the student graduate in 3 years, the full tuition cost will be 3 years. For example, if the student finishes in 4 years – 4 years of tuition will have to be paid.  Academic fees for IELP doctoral students in the final year of their program are pro-rated based on the 12-month academic year plus sessional incidentals. Submission of the defended, corrected thesis represents completion of student’s degree requirements and is therefore the factor that determines how the final tuition fee charges are calculated. When a final, corrected thesis is submitted, fees and service charges are adjusted accordingly, usually within four weeks.

No, there is not.

Student Resources

Yes. Current UofT students, staff, and faculty have access to a number of different databases of market research reports.  For the guide with information visit the library.

Please note that only current students will be able to log in to access the market research reports. For more info on specific reports please contact the Business Library at


No, but you are asked to list 2-3 faculty members whose research interests align with yours in your application. You will also be assigned an academic advisor at the time of admission, who will help you to select a final thesis supervisor.

Students in the IELD ED are expected to select a thesis supervisor early in the second year of their program.  Typically students directly approach faculty members who they would like to work with but your faculty advisor can also help you to select a supervisor.

Students are assigned a faculty advisor upon admission, who will help them to select a thesis supervisor during the first year of their program.


The topic of the dissertation-in-practice can be work-related or address a larger research question. However, a typical dissertation in practice will address a policy problem faced in a practical setting.

Yes, secondary data is acceptable, though it will preferably be used with permission of the organizational sponsor.

Dissertation in Practice Guidelines

Career Prospects

This is the first time we are offering the EdD in International Educational Leadership and Policy. Previous ELP Ed graduates from our domestic programs work in:

  • Leadership: Schools, School Boards, Ministries
  • Public and Private Educational Leadership
  • Research: School Boards, Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC), Learning Ministries, Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO), The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO), NGO’s, non-profits,
  • Academic: tenure stream positions

Yes. Many EdD grads become academics, both in Canada and abroad. The main criteria for most academic hiring is based not on your degree title but your success in publishing your research findings in a peer reviewed academic journal.


Unfortunately, there is no comprehensive way to track these publications, but we know that our EdD students and grads research intensively and publish frequently.