Program Highlights

Expand your knowledge and skills in this Doctor of Education program, while immersing yourself in a community of like-minded peers examining current issues and research.

Part of the Esteves School of Education, which is accredited through AAQEP, this Ed.D. program is designed for public school leaders, independent school heads, charter school leaders, higher education leaders and those with statewide responsibilities in educationally related organizations.

You’ll complete your doctorate in Educational Leadership in 27 months (or seven semesters). Ed.D. program requirements include field research, a dissertation and team research.

  • Supportive Cohort: What sets our Ed.D. program apart is the support that comes from your cohort (15-20 candidates per group), your professors and your executive coach.
  • Professional Coaches: Coaches are professionals in the field with years of experience who will support you throughout the program and allow you to build a network of other education professionals.
  • Collaborative Environment: You will collaborate and work with your cohort to complete team research as well as your own doctoral dissertation.
  • Flexible Location: Doctor of Education candidates may join a cohort that meets on the Russell Sage College campus in Albany, New York, or candidates may join a cohort that meets in New York City.
  • Council of School Supervisors and Administrators: Priority for the New York City cohort is given to members of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, which serves administrators within the New York City Department of Education.
  • Expert Faculty: Faculty in our Ed.D. program have a wealth of knowledge and experience. Throughout their careers, our faculty have conducted research in educational leadership while serving as program directors, principals, assistant superintendents, superintendents and district superintendents.

Course Requirements

Credits and Completion

Candidates for the Ed.D. will complete 106 credits of graduate study, 46 of which must be completed in the Sage doctoral program. Those credits include core coursework, an experiential component integrated throughout the program, and a culminating research activities. The program is designed to be small; a maximum of 15 part-time candidates will be accepted. They will proceed through the program as a cohort that begins, after initial start up, every other year. The seven semester program design includes summer residencies, weekend format courses, online components, and interaction with state and national experts.

School District Leader Certificate

The School District Leader (SDL) certificate is required in New York State for those who work in a leadership role at the school district level, including directors, assistant superintendents, school business officials and superintendents. Gain 600 hours of field experience, required by this certification, through the Educational Leadership program.

  • Complete 24 credits of the Educational Leadership program (after third semester)
  • Take and pass the New York State School District Leader examination
  • Take workshops on Reporting and Identifying Child Abuse and Maltreatment, School Violence Prevention and the Dignity for All Students Act

The Esteves School of Education has held continuous accreditation since October 2001. Russell Sage College is a
member in good standing of the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP), a national
accrediting organization recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The programs listed below
have been awarded full accreditation by AAQEP through June 30, 2028. Full accreditation acknowledges that a
program prepares effective educators who continue to grow as professionals and has demonstrated the commitment
and capacity to maintain quality.

AAQEP accreditation has helped the School of Education articulate the qualities that a Sage educator possesses. Our
tenets – knowledge and use of best practices, research, reflection, valuing diversity and inclusion, and leadership – will
help you distinguish yourself in your practice as teachers, counselors, and leaders.

AAQEP-Accredited Education Degree Programs at Sage:

Bachelor of Science, Childhood Education
Bachelor of Science, Physical Education
Master of Science in Education, Literacy Education
Master of Science in Education, Special Education
Master of Science, Childhood and Special Education
Master of Science, Childhood and Literacy Education
Master of Science, Literacy and Special Education
Master of Science, School Health Education
Master of Science, Sport Science: Coaching & Mental Performance
Master of Arts in Teaching, Art Education
Master of Science, Professional School Counseling
Master of Science, Professional School Counseling with Counseling Services
Master of Science, Professional School Counseling with Inclusive Practices
Advanced Certification, Professional School Counseling
Doctor of Education, Educational Leadership

Founded in 2017, AAQEP is a membership association and quality assurance agency that provides accreditation
services and formative support to all types of educator preparation providers. The organization promotes excellent,
effective, and innovative educator preparation that is committed to evidence-based improvement in a collaborative
professional environment. AAQEP is nationally recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Visit for more information.

The course objectives are based upon the National Education Leadership Preparation Standards. The department also references the Professional Standards for Educational Leaders.

Easily Apply

Apply by May 15 and start in the fall.

  • Official undergraduate transcripts from all institutions attended
  • Official graduate-level transcripts totaling at least 60 credits of study with a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher from all institutions attended
  • Three letters of recommendation that address your potential relationship to system leadership: two from a current or former supervisor; the third may be from a colleague
  • Career goals essay supporting your choice to enter doctoral study at this time
  • Current resume
  • If selected, a personal admissions interview including an on-demand writing sample to determine readiness and capability for scholarly writing
Students in Ed.D. program at conference table with laptops

Your Future Career with a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership

Professionals with a doctorate in Educational Leadership hold a variety of positions, primarily in K-12 education. They are assistant principals, principals, program directors, assistant superintendents, district superintendents, New York State Education officials, education consultants and leaders/teachers in higher education.

Learning Experience

Classes are hybrid, taking place online and in-person. Whether you join a cohort that meets in Albany or New York City, you will find a learning experience that is both individual and collaborative.

You will apply your skills to two field experience sites during the first year. You will have opportunities to work on a variety of teams, enabling you to share ideas, research and reflections on current issues and topics. Learn about leadership, organizational governance, change theory and community building.

Doctorate in Educational Leadership Course Format & Program of Study

  • Semester 1-3: core content courses scaffolded to prepare for dissertation; project learning in two field sites
  • Semester 2: begin research courses
  • Semester 3-6: work on team research and dissertation research
  • Semester 7: finish dissertation, collaborate with team to present at Research Colloquium
Spotlights Pattern
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Assistant Professor and Chair; Director, Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung Center

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