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Doctor of Education, Leadership for Educational Equity (EdD)


Are you a practicing professional in education? Are you dedicated to school reform and educational equity for all students? Do you hold or intend to assume a leadership role in P-20 schools (such as teacher leader, principal, director or superintendent,) higher education or a community-based educational organization? This doctorate degree is designed to position you for success.

The Leadership for Educational Equity (EdD) program reflects a blended model, with courses scheduled to be convenient for your busy life. Courses are offered in weekday, weekend, hybrid (part face-to-face, part online), online and/or summer intensive formats. 

Three and Five Year Tracks

We have two different tracks​ for this program: a three-year and a five-year track.

The cohort model is designed to be completed in three years, with two courses every semester including summer. Students who choose this path will follow a steady cohort in taking the prescribed coursework and experiences. The cohort model is designed to create a social network among candidates and facilitate the connection between theory and practice across a variety of professional contexts. If for any reason a student must leave an assigned cohort, we will integrate that individual into a subsequent cohort group.

The five-year track is for individuals who wish to have more time to complete the degree in order to balance work and family commitments. Students taking this path will take courses year-round, inlcuding during the summer. These students will follow what we call an "open cohort" model. This means that they will study with a more fluid group of students on the path to graduation.


Core curriculum covers equity in urban and diverse communities, leadership and learning, and inquiry. As a student in the program, you will be exposed to real-world problem-solving in schools, districts, colleges or community based educational contexts; context-specific best practices; interdisciplinary connections; public policy work; and innovative, applied inquiry. 

For the culminating portion of the program, you will complete a Doctoral Research Project (DRP).

Courses are offered in weekday, weekend, face-to-face, hybrid (part face-to-face, part online), online and/or summer intensive formats.​

For more information, select from the above tabs and/or contact us at or 303-315-6300.​​


A faculty admission committee will review your application in a holistic manner. We realize that all individuals have different strengths and challenges as well as a variety of experiential backgrounds. We recommend a 3.2 GPA in your graduate work, five or more years of experience in an educational P-20 or community-based context, and a strong interest in exploring problems of educational practice or pressing questions through inquiry in the EdD program. Detailed application requirements and instructions are available.

If you have questions about applying, contact us at or 303-315-6300.


The Doctor of Education, Leadership for Educational Equity (EdD) is a 54 credit-hour program comprised of courses in Equity and Diversity, Leadership and Learning, Research Methods and specific concentration areas. Candidates will be required to complete a Doctoral Research Project (DRP). Courses include: two courses in Equity and Diversity - 6 credit hours; four courses in Leadership and Learning - 12 credit hours; three courses in Research Methods - 9 credit hours; four courses in your concentration area - 12 credit hours; and, 15 credit hours devoted to your DRP.

Courses are scheduled to accommodate working adults and be convenient for your busy life. They are offered in weekday, weekend, hybrid (part face-to-face, part online), online and/or summer intensive formats. The overview tab descibes our three-year and five-year course tracks.

If you have questions about program requirements, contact us at or 303-315-6300.​​

Students applying to the EdD will select a focus of concentration.

  • The Early Childhood Special Education/Early Childhood Education concentration area is designed to introduce students to issues and practices in early childhood special education/early childhood education and to prepare students to provide leadership to improve outcomes for children with disabilities across early childhood settings. The program will prepare students who can act effectively as administrators in districts, agencies and programs to improve outcomes of all children, including children with disabilities.
    Faculty: Elizabeth SteedBarbara Smith, Cristina Gillanders.

  • The Executive Leadership concentration area is designed for professionals in various leadership positions in educational, community and non-profit organizations who wish to acquire learning and experiences related to personnel management, finance, accountability systems and evaluation, community relations, policy development, analysis and research. This concentration will support learning activities for individuals who hold or seek to move into senior leadership positions inside school districts, community colleges, higher education policy organizations or community-based education organizations. Roles may include: director, deputy, superintendent or president. There are two options within the Executive Leadership Program that provide a path to licensure: (a) Administrative Leadership Program with an option for Administrative Licensure from the Colorado Department of Education, and (b) Principal Licensure Program with an option for Principal Licensure from the Colorado Department of Education. Students do not need to pursue licensure to take this concentration; it is optional. Faculty: Connie Fulmer, Rodney Blunck​

  • CU Denver’s Doctor of Education (EdD) concentration in higher education enables and supports current leaders in higher education to continue their work while completing their doctoral degree. Graduates of this program will be effective leaders in higher education who are passionate about educational access, equity and social justice in colleges and universities. [Check out the full page for more info here!]

  • The Latin@ Learners and Community cohort, will focus on leadership, organizational change and measurement, data-informed decision-making, and creating equity and excellence for all children. Students will look at school re-structuring for linguistic diversity, language education policy and politics, and issues of assessment and instruction for Latino/a students. Together with their faculty mentors, students will work with real data sets and authentic observations and appy their leadership skills to create real world solutions for change. Please note: The Latin@ Learner and Community Concentration will not be admitting new students until Summer 2020. Faculty contact: Margarita Bianco​, Carlos Hipolito, Sheila Shannon​ and Sally Nathansen-Meija​

  • In the Mathematics Education concentration area, students and faculty focus on teacher learning and professional development experiences. Specifically, projects investigate the ways that particular interventions used in professional development for mathematics teachers impacts their content knowledge and pedagogical practices in their classrooms. Work in this area is framed by a situative perspective of learning and incorporates mixed methods to answer questions around the ways particular interventions support teacher and student learning. Video data is prominent in both the design of professional development interventions as well as a major data source for analyses. Analytic methods vary based on the research question and grain size. Faculty: Heather Johnson, Ron Tzur

  • Professional roles in education are rapidly changing as learners’ needs evolve. The Professional Learning and Technology (PL-TECH) concentration area brings together faculty and students seeking to support working educators in ongoing professional development (PD) and learning activities, helping them become more effective and productive in their jobs. The PLT focus addresses the PD needs of K-12 teacher leaders but also those of higher educators and workplace learners. Applying principles of adult learning, instructional design and change leadership, we use a variety of methods (mentoring, coaching, site-based communities, e-learning resources, workshops etc.) to support professional growth and accountability. The PL-TECH courses in the EdD program prepare you to assume leadership in professional learning programs at all levels (site-based, district- or organization-wide), applying the latest research and best practices of the profession. Faculty: Joni Dunlap, Brent Wilson 

  • The Science Education concentration area prepares students to explore, understand, and think critically about the nature of science and science education from a largely research-oriented perspective. Students may elect to focus on environmental science education as an area of specialization within this concentration area through electives and discipline- specific research agendas. Faculty: Bryan WeeGeeta Verma, Bud Talbot

  • The Urban and Diverse Communities concentration area prepares practitioners in P-12, higher education or community settings. Students will impact urban and diverse educational systems through developing a complex view of educational opportunities and challenges that are influenced by policies and practices in housing, healthcare, employment, urban development and similar fields. Also, students will develop the skills and dispositions to work alongside communities, while developing an understanding of the historical and cultural realities facing those communities. Faculty: Antwan Jefferson​
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Careers for EdD degree holders include senior positions inside school districts, community colleges, higher education policy or community-based education organizations. Roles may include that of director, deputy, superintendent or president.

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