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

Preparing bold educational leaders

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.

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.

Executive Ed.D. - K-12 Administration
Executive Ed.D. - Gifted Administration
Executive Ed.D. - Higher Education Administration

The Executive Ed.D. format fits the work and lifestyle of today’s educational professionals. Summer and weekend classes are paired with distance-learning activities to allow students to maintain full-time employment while earning a doctorate degree in as little as three years.

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.


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

Executive Ed.D. Program Coordinator

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

Download Program Fast Facts (PDF)