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Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education

International Educational Leadership and Policy Program

Doctor of Education (EdD) - 2020 Cohort 

Are you a mid-career professional working in an international education setting looking to create impact and mobilize new solutions to real-world problems?

Please note that we are not accepting IELP cohort applications for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Would you like to study at one of the world’s top ten research intensive faculties of education, while maintaining full time employment?

Do you want to work with award-winning faculty, who have expertise in education systems around the globe and have supported educational leadership and policy in Canada?

Check out the October 2  Webinar recording.

Check out the June 5 Webinar. Participants found out the key features of the program and spoke with faculty members. View the webinar recording below:

Download the webinar slide deck 

Read the FAQs

This online doctoral cohort is specifically designed for mid-career professionals who work for international organizations, governments, foundations and nongovernmental agencies looking to enrich their education and improve their practice. The program concentrates on those elements of theory and research that are of direct assistance in understanding and resolving problems and issues confronting educational policy makers, practitioners and leaders in international settings.

Key features of this cohort program include:

  • Cohort model: a cohort-based model provides a more structured academic experience, sense of community and enhanced networking opportunities and access to student support.
  • Blended delivery mode: with short on-campus institutes and the majority of courses offered online, the blended delivery mode allows working professionals to work and study at the same time and balance their professional and academic pursuits.
  • Doctoral Research Institute: Students will meet for a two-week intensive program at the University of Toronto each year. These institutes will combine instructional modules with orientation, planning, leadership, and cohort building activities.
  • Sequence: 8 half courses will be offered over 3 terms each year. The third year will include a year-long Pro-seminar/Dissertation course with workshops and meetings on alternative weeks. The course will include modules on thesis writing and preparation; opportunities for structured peer review of thesis chapters; as well as specialized webinars on relevant leadership skills and topical issues in international education policy from guest speakers who are senior policy makers and researchers in the field. Comprehensive exams will occur at the end of year two; and thesis proposal development will occur at the beginning of year three; the remainder of the time will be devoted to thesis research and writing.
  • Thesis (dissertation in practice): The culminating component of the EdD, the thesis (dissertation in practice) includes the identification and investigation of a problem in practice, the application of theory, research and policy analysis to the problem of practice, and a proposed plan for action to address the problem of practice. The dissertation in practice will have meaningful generative impact on education practice and policy and be used by others in the field.

The department welcomes applicants with diverse but relevant backgrounds.

Study options: Full-time, blended delivery compatible with employment
Components: Coursework, comprehensive exams, proposal, thesis 
Length: 4 years full-time (program can be completed in under four years)

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


Curriculum and Schedule


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

  • Doctoral Seminar on Policy Issues in Education (LHA3041H, 0.5 FCE)
  • Introduction to Research Methods (LHA3005H, 0.5 FCE)
  • People and Power in Organizations (LHA3040H, 0.5 FCE)
  • LHA3006H Data Analysis for the Education Doctorate II (LHA3006H, 0.5 FCE)
  • Literature Review Course (LHA3007H, 0.5 FCE)
  • Research Proposal Development course (LHA3003H, 0.5 FCE)
  • Professional Seminar/Dissertation on Policy Issues in Education (LHA3008H, 0.5 FCE)
  • 0.5 additional FCE elective course chosen from 1,000, 3000, or 6000 Special Topics level; or Individual Reading course (LHA3052H) or Practicum Course (CIE1002H)

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
2020 Fall

LHA3040H People and Power in Organizations;

2021 Winter

HA3041H Doctoral Seminar on Policy Issues in Education;

2021 Spring/Summer 

LHA3005H Introduction to Research Methods;

2021 Fall 3006H Data Analysis for the Education Doctorate II; 
2022 Winter Elective course*;
2022 Spring/Summer LHA3003H Designing Research Proposals in Educational Leadership and Policy;
Comprehensive Exam;
Research Institute:
2022 Fall/Winter LHA3008H Professional Seminar/Dissertation Workshop in Educational Leadership and Policy;
Thesis (Dissertation in Practice);  
2023 Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter Thesis (Dissertation in Practice);

* 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

Meet the IELP faculty - Watch the videos


The following are annual tuition fees for 2020-2021. These figures include all non-tuition related fees.

  • Canadian domestic full-time students: CDN$9,185.65
  • International full-time students: CDN$38,878.65

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

Admissions and application

General information

Please note that we are not accepting IELP cohort applications for the 2021-2022 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 Caroline Manion, at carly.manion@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.