Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)

Doctoral Program in Educational LeadershipProgram Chair and Director: Thomas Christ Ph.D.
Carlson Hall Rm 116
Telephone: (203) 576-4215 | Cell 203-249-4592
Fax: (203) 576-4200 | Email:

The Education Leadership Doctoral Program at the University of Bridgeport is the first of its kind in Connecticut, approved by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) in 1980. The program is designed to enhance and improve the effectiveness of public and private organization leaders, school administrators, and researchers. Graduates and current students have held and hold significant positions in state-wide school systems, for-profit, non-profit institutions, colleges, and universities. The advanced graduate curriculum integrates the sound principles of administration, management, organizational psychology, information technology, program evaluation, quantitative, qualitative, action, and mixed research methodologies.

The program is specifically designed for working professionals offered on a part-time basis (two evenings per week) at the U.B. Campus. All courses and seminars are conveniently scheduled around the job of the working professional. The successful completion of the program leads to the Doctor of Education degree (Ed.D.).

The Doctoral Program takes into consideration the needs of such personnel in terms of both the content of the curriculum, orientation, and program organization. Classes are offered at the University of Bridgeport campus, which is easily accessible from New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts by car, train, or ferry.

The program requires a minimum of four years for completion, including three years of formal study, and a minimum of one year to complete the dissertation. During the first two years, students typically take one six-credit doctoral seminar and one three-credit research-evaluation course per semester. Students should take online-hybrid classes during year one and two summers as part of the residency requirement in the program.

Learning Outcomes

The candidates will be able to:

  1. Integrate principles of administration, management, organization, and program evaluation in a research agenda
  2. Produce a dissertation proposal that reflects a student’s research interests
  3. Exhibit the mastery of principles of leadership and be able to pass the comprehensive examination questions
  4. Research, write, and defend a doctoral dissertation

1. Summary of Requirements


Education Leadership Strand

EDLD 801 Program Development and Curricular Theory (6 Credits)

EDLD 804 Constitutional Law (6 Credits)

EDLD 805 Grant Writing, Procurement, and Policy (6 Credits)

EDLD 807 Organization Theories and Management (6 Credits)

EDLD 808 Program Evaluation and Human Relations (6 Credits)

Research and Evaluation Strand

EDLD 811 Introduction to Research (3 Credits)

EDLD 812 Quantitative Research (3 Credits)

EDLD 814 Qualitative Research (3 Credits)

EDLD 815 Mixed Methods Research (3 Credits)

EDLD 816 Action Research Project (3 Credits Repeatable up to 2X)

Dissertation Preparation Strand

EDLD 813 Literature Review (3 Credits Repeatable up to 2X)

EDLD 845 Dissertation: Comprehensive Exam (3 Credits)

EDLD 846 Dissertation: Proposal Defense (3 Credits Repeatable up to 2X)

EDLD 850 Continuous Dissertation (0 Credits)

Postsecondary Teaching Experience

EDLD 817 Postsecondary Teaching (2 Credits Repeatable up to 4X)

For 092 Certification Add

EDLD 881a Administrative Internship (3 credits) + CAT Exam

EDLD 864 Special Education for Administrators (3 Credits)

2. Residency

A substantial period of residence must be included in a doctoral program to provide significant faculty-student interaction, opportunities for exposure to and engagement with cognate disciplines and research scholars working in those disciplines, and significant face-to-face peer interaction among graduate students. Residency is established through continuous enrollment, fall, spring, and summer with a minimum of 3 credits per semester. Residency provides the opportunity for a mentor-apprentice relationship between faculty and students and time for in-depth and direct faculty support of students. Thus, the intent of the residency requirement is to ensure that doctoral students contribute to and benefit from the complete spectrum of educational, professional, and enrichment opportunities provided on and off the University of Bridgeport campus.

3. Dissertation Preparation

The dissertation proposal draft is a 15-30 page overview of the student’s ideas for their dissertation. The draft is created in the first year of the program as part of EDLD 811-Introduction to Research, EDLD 812-Quantative Research and EDLD-813-Literature Review. The proposal provides opportunities for guidance from dissertation committee members and is a basis for further expansion of the methodology in EDLD 814-Qualitaative Research and EDLD 815-Mixed Methods Research. The purpose for the dissertation proposal draft is to state the problem, purpose, research questions, methodology, and procedures to conduct the research project. The proposal draft will include a graphic depiction of the methodology and methods, and a time line for completion of the dissertation proposal including literature review and Human Subject approval. Discussing the research proposal in draft format with a potential committee chair, other potential committee members, and peers will enable the student to obtain advice early in the dissertation process as to the suitability of the topic and as to whether or not the research questions, methodologies, and procedures are logical, appropriate, and sound.

4. Comprehensive Examination and Dissertation Proposal

All matriculated doctoral students wishing to become doctoral candidates must pass EDLD 845 inclusive of the written comprehensive examination. The comprehensive exam consists of: (a) one research methodological question; (b) one program focus question, and (c) one area of specialization question related to the students’ dissertation topic. Questions for the comprehensive examination are created by the doctoral faculty with input from the student to rigorously assess mastery and knowledge garnered during coursework. The comprehensive examination also gauges the student’s potential for independent dissertation research. Students should take the exam at the conclusion of their third year, after all coursework has been completed. Students will have 30 days to complete the take-home comprehensive exam. Each question should be 15 pages with no less than 15 appropriate citations per question representing coursework in the program, and the students’ research in their specialization strand. Following APA 6th edition is mandatory!

The doctoral program requires passage of the comprehensive examination by the students committee to advance to candidacy. The student, their committee, and the School of Education expects careful attention to APA 6th style and format in the proposal document. The UB Doctoral Guidelines are derived from standard practices among universities, libraries, and publishers. The proposal includes the student’s statement of a research problem and the chosen method of investigating it. The proposal is the first step toward completion of the dissertation, which is an original contribution to one’s field of study. The study may be applied research; it may be experimental, quasi-experimental, or non-experimental in its design; it may include quantitative, qualitative, action, mixed or critical methodology. Writing the dissertation proposal begins immediately upon entering the Ed.D. program guided by a unique sequence of six 3-credit courses (EDLD: 811, 812, 813, 814, 815, 816). It is essential that the student be capable of discussing the theoretical basis of a proposed study and specific methodologies as approved by IRB and the dissertation committee before the student begins formal data collection. A proposal draft should contain the following headings:

5. Dissertation-Doctoral Candidacy

Once the student has successfully passed the Comprehensive Examination and completed the Dissertation Proposal, he or she is eligible to apply to be a Doctoral Candidate. The student should submit the form “Admission to Doctoral Candidacy” to the Director. This designation is conveyed to the student by an official letter from the School of Education and/or the Department of Educational Leadership. Doctoral Candidacy allows the student to register for dissertation advising EDLD 850 which is a 0-credit course but is deemed to be full time. A student must be a candidate for at least two semesters prior to the granting of the degree. Student may not unless granted a waiver defend the dissertation during the semester immediately following the completion of the proposal. The purpose of this requirement is to assure a minimal lapse of time for effective work on the dissertation after acquisition of the basic competence and after delineation and approval of the research problem and methodology. Once students are advanced to candidacy, they must be enrolled in EDLD 850 continuously for dissertation advising and supervision (fall, spring and summer semesters) until graduation. If the student is not advanced to candidacy within six years from the time of admission to the doctoral program, the student should be dismissed from the program. Each student has a three-member dissertation committee, the director of the Ed.D. Program, and the Dean of School of Education.

Note: Completion of Doctoral Degree

The degree must be completed within seven years of the date from which the student started coursework in the doctoral program. In exceptional cases, the department may recommend that the Dean grant an extension of this limit.