Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

admissions.EDD@myunion.edu | 888-828-8575

Program Overview

The Art of Leadership for Social Justice

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program at Union Institute & University features an emphasis on ethics and social justice. Uniquely designed to align with the needs, experiences, and interests of mid-career professionals, this program will best serve those who seek a low-residency doctoral experience. Students can engage in rigorous, advanced scholarship while balancing professional and family commitments.

Cohort Model

Students advance through the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program in a small cohort of fellow scholar-practitioners. Cohorts form based on start dates to provide students a network of colleagues experiencing similar rigors and trials during their doctoral study. Students will benefit from experienced faculty and a collaborative learning environment. Graduates will have developed the attitude, knowledge, and skills needed to advance their careers.

Program Highlights

  • Students participate in a uniquely structured program, which blends face-to-face and online learning.
  • Students join a community of students and faculty committed to social justice.
  • Faculty embed new National Board Advanced Leadership Standards into syllabi in order to develop highly accomplished leaders.
  • Students work closely with a diverse faculty.
  • Students design a dissertation consistent with their values and interests.
  • Students obtain the training, knowledge and skills to advance their career.


Educational Leadership Pre-K-12

The Educational Leadership major prepares professionals for formal and informal leadership opportunities and positions in Pre-K-12 education.
The goals and objectives of the Educational Leadership major are met through core and advanced seminars that provide the knowledge base and professional skills needed for you to serve effectively in a wide range of educational settings. The major in Educational Leadership also places a primary emphasis on issues of ethics and social justice. Learning goals and objectives are designed to educate students who are able to serve as effective leaders within the social, organizational, and educational contexts of the present and foreseeable future of education.

Higher Education

The Higher Education major is designed to prepare leaders already working at a postsecondary institution who are: (a) in entry and mid level administrative positions wishing advancement; (b) faculty in academic areas for which there is no terminal degree beyond the master’s; and (c) faculty in community colleges or specialty institutions for which the Ph.D. in a subject area is not necessary. The degree is also appropriate for persons supervising corporate training and professional development departments in business and industry.

The over-arching goal of the Higher Education major is to enable students, through their advanced understanding of social, cultural, organizational, and ethical issues, to guide the development of education in a complex, dynamic, and diverse society. An accepted set of curricular and program standards for a major in Higher Education is based upon Higher Education professional organizations and parallel doctoral programs in Higher Education. The learning goals and objectives of the specialization are met through academic residencies, core and advanced seminars, professional development practica, an internship experience, and original dissertation research.


The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) academic residencies include the following learning activities:

  • A required sequence of seminars that are completed through face-to-face online teaching.
  • Lectures and follow-up discussions hosted by leading scholars.
  • Panel discussions that address important intellectual, professional, and social issues.
  • Professional/creative activities that bring together theory and practice.

In between residencies, students are required to complete online learning activities with the support of the online community— fellow students and program faculty.

Professional Development Practica

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) curriculum includes six (6) professional development practica, which are held online one weekend during each semester (mid-semester) for the first six semesters. The practica will allow students to:

  • Carefully examine beliefs about social justice.
  • Meet with faculty to discuss academic outcomes gained during the seminars each student began during the current semester’s academic residency.


The internship is a requirement of the Ed.D. program, allowing students to put their learning into practice. The goal is to challenge the preconceived beliefs held by students while simultaneously encouraging students to consider—and possibly adapt—other ways of thinking. Read more about the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) Internship requirements.


The dissertation integrates and adds to the learning accomplished in other phases of the doctoral program. It addresses the appropriate intellectual traditions of the profession and signifies grounding in theoretical and critical scholarship. Additionally, the dissertation allows students to make an original contribution to the larger scholarly community such that the work provides new knowledge and creative approaches to leadership as it relates to social justice. Read more about the Doctor of Education Program (Ed.D.) dissertation.