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Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education

Educational Leadership and Policy Program

Doctor of Education (EdD) 

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

Please note that we are not accepting EdD cohort applications for the 2020-2021 academic year.

This doctoral cohort 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, and social diversity that are of direct assistance in understanding and resolving problems and issues confronting educational practitioners. 

See the 2019 cohort poster

See the info session 2019 cohort slide deck

Key aspects of the cohort program approach 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: 8 courses will be offered according to the following schedule: for the first two years there will be 2 courses held during 6 weeks in July-August; there will be 1 course each in the Fall and Winter terms. Comprehensive exams and thesis proposal development will occur at the beginning of year three; the remainder of year three will be devoted to thesis research and writing.  All courses will be held in the evenings to accommodate working professionals’ schedules.
  • 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.

The department welcomes applicants with diverse but relevant backgrounds.

Study options: Full-time
Components: Coursework, comprehensive exams, thesis 
Length: 3-4 years full-time

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



Curriculum and Schedule


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

  • People and Power in Organizations (LHA3040H, 0.5 FCE)
  • Research Literacy (LHA3004, 0.5 FCE) 
  • Introduction to Research Methods (LHA3005H, 0.5 FCE)
  • Research Methods II, or alternative research method course (LHA3006H, 0.5 FCE) 
  • Doctoral Seminar on Policy Issues in Education (LHA3041H, 0.5 FCE)
  • Literature Review Course (LHA3007H, 0.5 FCE) 
  • Research Proposal Development course (LHA3003H, 0.5 FCE) 
  • 0.5 additional FCE  eelctive course at the 3000 level or 6000 Special Topics level.

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

3. Thesis (dissertation in practice) proposal hearing

4. Thesis (dissertation in practice): Assessment will be based on the extent to which the thesis contributes or leads to 1) professional innovation and creative excellence, 2) exemplary professional practice, and 3) the significant development of professional practice.

Tentative Schedule

Session Course
Jul-Aug LHA0340H: People and Power in Organizations; and
LHA3004H: Research Literacy 
Fall LHA3005H: Introduction to Research Methods
Winter  LHA3006H: Research Methods II, or alternative
May-Jun Elective course*
Jul-Aug LHA3041H: Doctoral Seminar on Policy Issues in Education; and
LHA3007H: Literature Review Course 
Fall Elective course*
Winter LHA3003H: Research Proposal Development course  
Summer Elective course*

* Note: There are 3 sessions available to complete the 0.5 open elective course.


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 2019-2020. These figures include all non-tuition related fees.

  • Domestic full-time students: $9,177.90
  • International full-time students: $37,046.90

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 note that we are not accepting EdD cohort applications for the 2020-2021 academic year.

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.

  • In addition to the Statement of Intent, a supplementary writing sample is required, which will help the admissions committee to assess an applicant's readiness to succeed in rigorous coursework and to conduct systematic research for the EdD. 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.

  • 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
  • Sample of written work


For the most up-to-date information on application deadlines, please visit OISE Admissions


Questions about the EdD? Please contact Professor Joseph Flessa, at joseph.flessa@utoronto.ca

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.