Ed.D. vs a Ph.D.
The Cal State LA Doctorate in Educational Leadership is a doctoral degree program designed for those who wish to assume greater leadership roles in educational organizations and are committed to addressing the challenges of urban education through relevant and meaningful scholarship and practitioner-based inquiry. With an emphasis placed on leadership in practice, the program fosters an understanding of the many contexts in which educational leadership takes place. It focuses on the expertise, scholarship, and inquiry necessary to advance all students' rights to an education that supports social and economic justice and academic success. The program aims to develop leaders who engage in collaboration with members of diverse urban communities to analyze how the policies and practices of educational, political, and legal institutions are addressing issues of access, equity, and full democratic participation. The program also looks to enhance the leadership skills of its degree candidates through work and community-based experiences. To ensure that applicants have a professional background engaging with the educational sector and community that the sector serves, we ask that all applicants have at least four years of professional work experience in California educational institutions, preferably in public PK-12 schools or community colleges.
Our cohort-based, 60-semester unit, year-round program is designed to prepare professional leaders to lead reform efforts in California's Pre-K through post-secondary/adult education schools. All degree candidates complete an independent research project as part of the final doctoral dissertation. The program is designed to enable educational professionals working full-time to earn the degree within three years.
The program provides two specializations with alternating admission cycles:
- Post-Secondary (admitting cohort Fall 2024)
- PreK-12 (admitting cohort Fall 2025)
Applicants study in the particular specialization based on their background professional work experience and future leadership goals. Coursework will consist of core leadership courses taken by all students in the cohort and leadership courses specific to their specialization. We provide students with peer support and faculty advising and mentoring from entry to the doctoral program through completion of the dissertation process, each session students will enroll in small lab courses (laboratories of practice).
Estimated Program Costs:
- The Cal State APPLY application fee is currently $70.00
- Tuition for the Ed.D. program is $6,447.26 per semester with 3 semesters a year (Fall, Spring, and Summer) regardless of course load.
- Program fees are based on a year-round program and include the cost of summer sessions. Students pay the same base fees charged for the University of California doctoral programs. Cal State LA is a pre-pay campus. Fees are collected prior to the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. Tuition fees must be paid until you finish your program.
- CSU EdD Program fees are based on UC and CSU Trustee decisions
Most doctorate-level students apply for Financial Aid Loans. If you believe you will need assistance from Financial Aid to help assist with the cost of the program, please visit Cal State LA’s Financial Aid office. The EdD Program does not provide fellowships to assist with the cost of the program. However, if you apply for Financial Aid, a percentage of doctoral fees per year do get disbursed to those students who have a financial need. That need is determined by the Financial Aid office and the applicant's FAFSA application.
Cal State LA’s Financial Aid Office: Financial Aid and Scholarships | Cal State LA
How to Apply
Post-Secondary (admitting cohort Fall 2024)
PreK-12 (admitting cohort Fall 2025)
- In order to qualify for our doctorate program, you must have a minimum cumulative 3.0 in your undergrad coursework and a cumulative 3.25 or above GPA in your graduate-level coursework. Graduate-level coursework includes all courses taken after your Bachelor's Degree.
- The EdD Program uses CSU Apply to generate your supplemental application. You must upload all required electronic documents to the EdD supplemental application (listed below). No paper copies will be accepted.
- We accept one cohort per year. The typical cohort size is generally 15-18 new incoming students.
- New online applications are available in the month of October, for the following fall semester.
- On the CSU Apply application, graduate/doctorate level applicants do not need to fill out the following two sections on the CSU Apply Application: Academic History or Supporting Information
- Application Youtube Tutorial
Electronic Documents required to upload on the EdD Supplemental Application:
- Submit a professional resume.
- Submit three letters of recommendations (application requires current email addresses for recommenders).
- One that speaks to your experience with leadership and/or working at a community college.
- One that speaks to your academic preparedness for a doctoral program.
- One that speaks to your professional commitment and/or engagement with diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility.
- Submit a writing sample (authored solely by you) such as a course paper or work report.
- Personal statement (3-page limit).
In addition to the admission application(s), all supporting academic records (and if applicable, test scores) must be submitted to the Admissions Office within 3 weeks of Cal State Apply application submission. For Fall admission, transcripts should include coursework completed through the preceding fall term (usually ending in December).
Visit Submitting Documents for information about sending in your academic records and test scores to Cal State LA.
EdD Information Sessions
Tuesday, November 14th, 2023, 5-6 pm
Meeting ID: 859 3283 2994
Tuesday, December 5th, 2023, 5-6 pm
Meeting ID: 859 3283 2994
Educational Leadership in the Service of Justice, Access, and Social Change
Leadership Grounded in Knowledge and Expertise in Teaching, Learning, and Organizational Change
Critical Inquiry and Reflection Embedded in Leadership Practice
Leadership that Engages with the Broader Community
- 3 year program (9 semesters)
- Semester costs: $6454.12 (YR 2022-23)
- Courses scheduled for the working student
- Supportive instructors and staff
- On-site and hybrid coursework
Monday | 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday | 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday | 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday | 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM