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Executive Ed.D. in Educational Policy, Planning and Leadership

Preparing bold educational leaders - Application for Summer 2024 start is open!

William & Mary's Executive Ed.D. programs offer an alternative to the traditional delivery model for the doctorate degree without sacrificing the quality education historically associated with William & Mary.  Courses are taught primarily by regular School of Education faculty members, in a format that better meets the needs of working practitioners. The program is designed for educators with master's degrees who are currently serving in or seeking administrative roles.

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Guiding Principles

William & Mary is a founding member of a national consortium participating in the Carnegie Project on the Educational Doctorate (CPED). The project provides guiding principles to reform the Ed.D. into a degree of practice for K-12 educational leaders and scholarly practitioners. The principles of CPED promote social justice, equity, and excellence in learning organizations through the development of skilled leaders prepared for bold reform:

The Executive Ed.D.:

  • Is framed around questions of equity, ethics and social justice to bring about solutions to complex problems of practice;
  • Prepares leaders to make a positive difference in the lives of individuals, families, organizations and communities;
  • Emphasizes collaboration and communication skills to work with diverse communities and build partnerships;
  • Provides field-based opportunities to analyze problems of practice and use multiple frames to develop meaningful solutions;
  • Integrates both practical and research knowledge that links theory with systemic and systematic inquiry; and
  • Emphasizes the generation, transformation and use of professional knowledge and practice.

Our scholarly-practitioner model resides at the intersection of theory, inquiry and practice. Your coursework and research will complement your professional practice and will be enriched by deep collaboration with the expert community of practitioner-scholars you join.

K-12 Administration
Gifted Administration
Higher Education Administration
International School Leadership

The concentration in International School Leadership prepares leaders to shape effective organizations and lead institutional change in global contexts. The program features a focus on the human aspects of leadership, including cross-cultural and intercultural leadership knowledge, skills and attributes. Career paths for graduates include head of school and other leadership roles in international schools; leadership roles in university centers for international education; and leadership in non-profit organizations focused on education. 

The curriculum includes three courses in addition to the standard Executive Ed.D. curriculum:

  • Comparative and International Educational Policy Studies
    This course provides the opportunity for students to explore the purpose, theories and empirical logics of international and cross-national educational policy issues. This course will expose students to the forces of globalization, policy influences on aspects of equality and equity, and the role of education in diverse environments. Students will examine the interconnectedness of individuals and societies as well as the complex role of school leadership on the world stage.
  • Leadership in International Education
    This course provides the opportunity to examine the nature and scope of global leadership in contemporary educational settings, with a focus on international schools. Students will explore the theoretical and practical applications of leadership, specifically core traits, behaviors and dispositions that make for effective leadership in global contexts. The course will focus on the human aspects of leadership, specifically cross-cultural and intercultural leadership knowledge, skills, and attributes. Students will explore how successful leaders shape effective organizations when faced with a variety of social, ethical and diversity issues.
  • Intercultural Competence and International Education
    This course examines intercultural competence within the international education context with a focus on the understanding and synthesis of intercultural competence models, application of intercultural competence best practices within the international education context, and reflection and growth in the development of intercultural competence as an international educator.

The Executive Ed.D. format fits the work and lifestyle of today’s educational professionals. All programs are designed to allow students to maintain full-time employment while earning a doctorate degree in as little as three years.

The concentrations in K-12, Gifted and Higher Education Administration follow a hybrid format. The program includes two years of coursework, delivered in summer sessions, weekends, and distance formats, as well as applied dissertation research. The two-week summer sessions are provided at W&M's campus in Williamsburg during years one and two.

The concentration in International School Leadership is fully online, allowing students to participate from anywhere in the world. 


A practitioner dissertation model integrates dissertation content and preparation into regular course delivery throughout the program to allow completion of the degree in less than three years. The Dissertation in Practice is a scholarly endeavor that impacts a complex problem of practice. In consultation with faculty members, students design and pursue a dissertation around a specific, contextualized issue — typically one that has arisen in their professional work and which has the potential to result in improved understanding, experience and outcomes.


$950.00 per credit hour

  • The K-12 Administration, Gifted Education, and International School Leadership concentrations are excluded from the W&M Educational Assistance Program.  W&M employees in the Higher Education concentration may use the W&M Employee Educational Assistance program, but are limited to using the benefit for one course in fall and spring semesters and two courses in summer semesters.  
Executive Ed.D. Program Coordinator

[[meconstantino, Peggie Constantino]], Ph.D.
(757) 221-2323

Download Program Fast Facts (PDF)