The Education Leadership Doctoral Program at the University of Bridgeport is the first of its kind in Connecticut, approved by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) in 1980. The program is designed to enhance and improve the effectiveness of public and private organization leaders, school administrators, and researchers. Graduates and current students have held and hold significant positions in state-wide school systems, for-profit, non-profit institutions, colleges, and universities. The advanced graduate curriculum integrates the sound principles of administration, management, organizational psychology, information technology, program evaluation, quantitative, qualitative, action, and mixed research methodologies.

The program is specifically designed for working professionals offered on a part through full-time basis (6 credits is considered full time) at the U.B. Campus. Under advisement, students can take elective courses online or if they are perusing their 092 applicable coursework at the Stamford or Waterbury campuses. All courses and seminars are conveniently scheduled around the job of the working professional. The successful completion of the program leads to the Doctor of Education degree (Ed.D.).

The Doctoral Program takes into consideration the needs of such personnel in terms of both the content of the curriculum, orientation, and program organization. Core classes are offered at the University of Bridgeport campus, which is easily accessible from Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts by car, train, or ferry. Elective classes are also offered in Stamford, Waterbury and online.

The program typically takes four years for the 62 credit requirement or three years for the 42 credit option. The 62 credit option typically includes three years of formal study, and a minimum of one year to complete the dissertation. Students with Sixth-Year, Education Specialist, or a second Master’s degree can apply for the 42 credit option which reduces time to graduate. During the first two years (Fall & Spring), students usually take a research seminar and two leadership courses. Classes are arranged so full time students taking on ground classes typically come to campus no more than 2 evening per week. Students take online classes during the first two summers as part of the residency requirement and some courses can be taken as distance learning during fall and spring terms in the program under advisement.

Program Chair and Director: Thomas Christ Ph.D.
Carlson Hall Rm 116

Cell Phone: (203) 249-4592


Learning Outcomes

The candidates will be able to:

  1. Integrate principles of administration, management, organization, and program evaluation in a research agenda
  2. Produce a dissertation proposal that reflects a student’s research interests
  3. Exhibit the mastery of principles of leadership and be able to pass the comprehensive examination questions
  4. Research, write and defend a doctoral dissertation


1. Summary of Requirements


Required Courses (42 Credits)

EDLD 801 Curricula Theory (3 Credits)

EDLD 804 Constitutional Law (3 Credits)

EDLD 805 Grant Writing (3 Credits)

EDLD 807 Organization Management (3 Credits)

EDLD 808 Program Evaluation (3 Credits)

EDLD 811 Intro to Research (3 Credits)

EDLD 812 Quantitative Research (3 Credits)

EDLD 813 Literature Review (3 Credits)

EDLD 813a Literature Theory (3 Credits)

EDLD 814 Qualitative Research (3 Credits)

EDLD 815 Mixed Methods Analysis (3 Credits)

EDLD 816 Action Research (3 Credits Repeatable)

EDLD 845 Comprehensive Exam (3 Credits Repeatable)

EDLD 846 Dissertation Proposal (3 Credits Repeatable)

EDLD 850 Continuous Dissertation (0 Credits)


Required Courses to add 092 Certification = 24 credits*

 EDLD 601 Introduction to Education Leadership (3 Credits)*

EDLD 618 Public School Finance (3 Credits)*

EDLD 619 School Law (3 Credits)*

ELD 621 Evaluation of School Effectiveness (3 Credits)*

EDLD 651a Workshop in Curriculum Development (3 Credits)*

EDLD 652 Supervision/ Evaluation of Personnel (3 Credits)*

EDLD 664 Supervision/Services Exceptionalities (3 Credits)*

EDLD 681a Administrative Internship (3 Credits)*


Elective Courses chosen with adviser’s consent (20 credits for students requiring 62 credits)

(Students without applicable post-master’s degree)

 EDLD 601 Introduction to Education Leadership (3 Credits)

EDLD 613 Current topics in Education Leadership (3 Credits)

EDLD 614 Leadership School Facilities (3 Credits)

EDLD 618 Public School Finance (3 Credits)

EDLD 619 School Law (3 Credits)

EDLD 621 Evaluation of School Effectiveness (3 Credits)

EDLD 651a Workshop in Curriculum Development (3 Credits)

EDLD 664 Supervision/Services Exceptionalities (3 Credits)

EDLD 680a Urban Leadership (3 Credits)

EDLD 817 Postsecondary Teaching (2 Credits)


Distance Learning Courses

EDLD 601-DL Introduction to Education Leadership (3 Credits)

EDLD 621-DL Evaluation of School Effectiveness (3 Credits)

EDLD 651a-DL Workshop in Curriculum Development (3 Credits)

EDLD 806-DL Policy (3 Credits)

EDLD 820-DL Ethical Issues in International Education (3 Credits)

EDLD 830-DL International Education Concepts & Theories (3 Credits)

EDLD 840-DL Comparative Education (3 Credits)

EDLD 842-DL Culture, Society & Education in International Contexts (3 Credits)


2. Residency

A substantial period of residence must be included in a doctoral program to provide significant faculty-student interaction, opportunities for exposure to and engagement with cognate disciplines and research scholars working in those disciplines, and significant face-to-face peer interaction among graduate students. Residency is established through continuous enrollment, fall, spring, and summer with a minimum of 3 credits per semester in the first two years. International students are not required to take courses in the summer.  Residency provides the opportunity for a mentor-apprentice relationship between faculty and students and time for in-depth and direct faculty support of students. Thus, the intent of the residency requirement is to ensure that doctoral students contribute to and benefit from the complete spectrum of educational, professional, and enrichment opportunities provided on and off the University of Bridgeport campus.


3. Dissertation Preparation

The dissertation proposal draft is a 30-50 page overview of the student’s ideas for his/her dissertation and a well-developed draft of her/his literature review. The draft is created in the first year of the program as part of EDLD 811-Introduction to Research, EDLD 812-Quantative Research and EDLD 813-Literature Review. The proposal provides opportunities for guidance from dissertation committee members and is a basis for further expansion of the methodology in EDLD 813a-Literature Theory, EDLD 814-Qualitative Research and EDLD 815-Mixed Methods Research taken in the second year. The purpose for the dissertation proposal draft is to state the problem, purpose, research questions, methodology, and procedures to conduct the research project. The proposal draft will include a graphic depiction of the methodology and methods, and a time line for completion of the dissertation proposal including literature review and Human Subject approval. Discussing the research proposal in draft format with a potential committee chair, other potential committee members, and peers enable the student to obtain advice early in the dissertation process as to the suitability of the topic and as to whether or not the research questions, methodologies, and procedures are logical, appropriate, and sound.


4. Comprehensive Examination and Dissertation Proposal

All students who wish to become doctoral candidates must pass EDLD 845, the written comprehensive examination. The comprehensive exam consists of: (a) one research methodological question; (b) one program focus question; and (c) one area of specialization question related to the students’ dissertation topic. Questions for the comprehensive examination are created by the doctoral faculty with input from the student. This examination assesses mastery and knowledge garnered during coursework. The comprehensive examination also gauges the student’s potential for independent dissertation research. Students should take the exam at the conclusion of their third year, after all coursework has been completed. Students will have 10 days per question to complete the take-home comprehensive exam. Each question should be 15 pages with no less than 15 appropriate citations per question representing coursework in the program, and the students’ research in their specialization strand. Following APA 6th edition is mandatory!

The doctoral program requires passage of the comprehensive examination by the student’s committee. The student, his/her committee, and the School of Education expects careful attention to APA 6th style and format in the proposal document. The UB Doctoral Guidelines are derived from standard practices among universities, libraries, and publishers. The proposal includes the student’s statement of a research problem and the chosen method of investigating it. The proposal is the first step toward completion of the dissertation, which is an original contribution to one’s field of study. The study may be applied research; it may be experimental, quasi-experimental, or non-experimental in its design; it may include quantitative, qualitative, action, mixed or critical methodology. Writing the dissertation proposal begins immediately upon entering the on ground Ed.D. program guided by a unique sequence of seven 3-credit courses (EDLD: 811, 812, 813, 813a, 814, 815, 816). It is essential that the student be capable of discussing the theoretical basis of a proposed study and specific methodologies as approved by IRB and the dissertation committee before the student begins formal data collection.


5. Dissertation-Doctoral Candidacy

Once the student has successfully passed the Comprehensive Examination (EDLD 845) and completed the Dissertation Proposal Defense (EDLD846), he or she is eligible to apply to be a Doctoral Candidate. The student should submit the form “Admission to Doctoral Candidacy” to the Director or Dean. Doctoral Candidacy allows the student to register for dissertation advising EDLD 850 which is a 0-credit course but is deemed to be full time. A student must be a candidate for at least one semester prior to the granting of the degree. Student may not graduate unless granted a waiver to defend the dissertation during the semester immediately following the completion of the proposal. The purpose of this requirement is to assure a minimal lapse of time for effective work on the dissertation after acquisition of the basic competence and after delineation and approval of the research problem and methodology. Once students are advanced to candidacy, they must be enrolled in EDLD 850 continuously (fall and spring semesters) for dissertation advising and supervision until graduation. If the student is not advanced to candidacy within six years from the time of admission to the doctoral program, the student should be dismissed from the program unless a special waiver has been granted. Each student has a three-member dissertation committee; the Director of the Ed.D. Program and/or the Dean of the School of Education additionally sign off on documentation.


Note: Completion of Doctoral Degree

The degree must be completed within seven years of the date from which the student started coursework in the doctoral program. In exceptional cases, the department may recommend that the Dean grant an extension of this limit.



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