Doctoral Degree & Certification

K-12 Educational Leadership (EdD)

Our K–12 educational leadership doctorate puts you on the fast track to a career in educational administration and leadership through a blended program, with working adults in mind.

Program Overview

Build your professional reputation and skills while earning your degree at your own pace through a mix of online and on-campus coursework that balances your professional and personal lifestyle with your career goals.

While enrolled, you can also work toward certifications as a principal, supervisor/director, and superintendent through the program. If you are seeking certification already, once you are finished, you can consider enrolling in the doctoral program, transferring the majority of your courses to apply toward the doctoral degree.

Widener's Center for Education is proud of its 2016 NCATE accreditation and is prepared to meet the renewed rigor and relevance of excellence by seeking accreditation based on the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) 2023 standards. Eligible programs take steps to maintain gapless national accreditation for educator preparation. See CAEP standards and annual impact and outcome measures. 

Program Options

Our curriculum includes a includes a mix of online and on-campus coursework that is challenging and rewarding for both skilled and novice educators. View the academic catalog for Loading...

We have evening, online and hybrid classes—perfect to accommodate your work schedule. You can complete the doctoral program full or part time, enabling you to earn your degree on your own timetable.

If your career goal is to become a principal, supervisor/director, or school superintendent, you can become eligible for the appropriate Pennsylvania professional certification as part of your doctoral program.

View the academic catalog for Loading... for the principalship certification.

View the academic catalog for Loading... for the superintendent (letter of eligibility) certification.

Admissions Information

  • Complete the application form.
  • Have an official transcript sent from all previous graduate and undergraduate programs.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation from colleagues, supervisors, or college professors.
  • Complete a writing sample. Contact the Writing Center at 610-499-4332 to schedule an appointment.

You will have an admissions interview with a faculty advisor.

  • EdD full-time summer or fall start term - May 1
  • EdD part-time fall start term - July 1

As an incoming student, you are eligible to receive a program-specific scholarship upon acceptance. Scholarship amounts are awarded based on program-specific criteria.

There is no need to fill out a scholarship application—you are automatically considered and if you have been chosen for a scholarship, it will appear in your acceptance letter.

Program Highlights

Our doctoral program gives you the skills and preparation to become an exemplary K–12 educational leader.

Personalized Learning

We give you a customized approach to earning your degree, working with you to achieve your goal of becoming a school administrator or principal, supervisor/director, or superintendent.

A Professional Learning Community

At Widener, you’ll join a professional learning community where you and your fellow students share and learn from each other’s knowledge and work experience. That puts you on the fast-track to developing leadership, consultative, and collaborative skills.

Mentoring Relationships & Individualized Attention

Choosing Widener is an investment in you—your education, your career, and your future. Both full-time and part-time faculty members teach in the programs and all have earned doctoral degrees and have extensive administrative, leadership, and teaching experience in education. You'll benefit from individualized mentoring relationships with your professors and advisors.


Our faculty have many years of knowledge and experience in the K–12 educational leadership field. These engaging instructors will mentor you and work to help you attain your goals.

Ning Wang

"My goal in teaching is to enable and motivate my students to understand and make sense of the craft of applying research methods and to become critical and rigorous learners."

Brenda R. Gilio
Associate Professor

"In the educational leadership programs at Widener University, we take your education personally by working with you to achieve your professional goals through a flexible, career-oriented program that meets your professional and personal needs."

Zora M. Wolfe
Associate Professor

"My philosophy for teaching graduate courses in educational leadership revolves around the importance of integrating theory and practice. I believe my courses need to be grounded in research and theory related to students' particular areas of study, and also provide opportunities for students to apply that research and theory to practice."

Your Inside Track to Success

Your Inside Track to Success

With a doctoral degree in K–12 educational leadership, you will have the inside track to a rewarding career at the helm of school districts and education institutions. You will lead the way for the education and growth of future generations.

Recent Employers & Industry Connections

  • School districts
  • Charter schools
  • Private schools
  • State and federal education agencies
  • Universities and colleges

Outlook & Outcomes

Potential Careers

  • Superintendent or Assistant Superintendent
  • Central office supervisor
  • Principal or Director of curriculum
  • Teacher leader or coach
  • Intermediate Unit administrator

Industry Growth

Employment of elementary, middle, and high school principals is projected to grow 8 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Prospects

There may be good opportunities for teachers to advance into principal jobs as large numbers of baby boomers retire.

Take the Next Steps

Join a leading university dedicated to your success.

Visit Us

A visit is the best way to get to know us. Schedule your visit today, and see all that Widener can offer you.

View Tuition and Fees

Explore program costs and payment options.

Financial Aid

At Widener, opportunities for financial aid extend to graduate students. Discover how Widener can help make obtaining your degree possible.

Next steps to apply

We’re glad you made the decision to apply. All applications and supplemental materials are submitted through the online application system.

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