Doctoral Programs in Educational Leadership

Advancing Education.
Advancing Your Career.

Are you interested in the latest research on schools? Do you want to influence your field and the  next generation of educators?
Whether you want to pursue a leadership role in K-12 schools, prepare the next generation of school leaders, or contribute new knowledge about schools and educational leadership, Warner’s flexible EdD in educational administration will help you achieve your goals.   

This program provides K-12 school educators who already hold administrative certification, as well as others interested in developing the research and leadership skills required of today’s educational leaders, with a research-based, doctoral-level credential to support success as an educational leader and advancement in their career.
We Can Customize Your Doctoral Program to Meet Your Career Goals and Interests!

Program Quickview

The educational administration specialization within Warner's EdD in education has been designed specifically for K-12 educators, including school and district leaders, who want to advance in their career and/or seek faculty positions to prepare the next generation of school leaders. It does not lead to K-12 school leadership certification.

If you still need NYS certification for K-12 school leaders, or are interested in other Warner doctoral programs, check our Related Programs.
  • A master’s degree in education or a related field.
  • SBL/SDL certification for those who hold or seek administrative positions in K-12 public schools and districts.
  • Prior experience as an educational leader is highly desirable.
Key Program Features:
  • Minimum Credits: 90 graduate credits, of which up to 36 can be transferred from previous programs; graduates of Warner's K-12 leadership certificate program can apply up to 9 additional credits retroactively.
  • Customizable: Includes a mix of required core research methods and content courses as well as electives to enable you to tailor the degree to your career interests and needs.
  • Develop Key Skills: Core coursework in research methods, decision making, and program evaluation will enable you to develop highly relevant skills for today’s leaders. 
  • Relevant to Your Job: You are encouraged to work on a problem of practice related to your work as the focus of your dissertation.
  • Opportunities for Additional Specializations: You can add an Advanced Certificate in Program Evaluation, Online Teaching, Digitally-Rich Teaching in K-12 Schools, or Urban Teaching & Leadership for only a few additional credits.
  • Flexible: Programs can be completed on a part-time basis while holding a job, or full-time, starting in any semester.

Warner Doctoral Programs in Educational Administration

EdD in Educational Administration: Prepares and supports experienced educators and educational leaders to advance in their career and/or assume selected higher education faculty positions. Coursework can be taken at one’s own pace. Two options available for the dissertation phase:
  • EdD Accelerated Option (AA9):  Includes a highly structured, faculty-supported, and cohort-based dissertation phase that must be completed in one academic year; choice of program evaluation or decision-analysis, field-based dissertation; degree can be completed in as little as three years of part-time study.
  • EdD Traditional Option (AA2):  More flexibility with regard to dissertation methodology and pace; dissertation is pursued independently; degree usually takes longer to complete than accelerated option.
superintendent sitting on desk in front of district map
Opportunities for Additional Specializations (with additional credits required):
  •  Advanced Certificate in Program Evaluation: To strengthen your research skills in planning and conducting evaluations of existing programs.
  • Advanced Certificate in Digitally-Rich Teaching in K-12 Schools: If you are especially interested in supporting and/or researching the most recent advancements in instructional technology and their implications for transforming K-12 schools.
  • Advanced Certificate in Online Teaching: To be more competitive for positions that may involve teaching online and/or administration in institutions engaging in online education.
  • Advanced Certificate in Urban Teaching and Leadership: Prepares you to teach and lead in racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically diverse urban settings.
  • Advanced Certificate in Teacher Leadership: Prepares you to take on important leadership roles in K-12 schools.
Choosing Between a PhD and an EdD Program … What’s the Difference?
Warner PhD programs are primarily designed to prepare researchers and higher education faculty. Our EdD programs are more appropriate for experienced professionals interested in using research to solve problems of practice, enabling them to pursue leadership positions in educational institutions or to assist them in designing and implementing programs to improve practice in their field.

While the required coursework may be similar, these two degree programs have different expectations concerning dissertation study, expertise in research methods, and residency requirements.  Here’s what you can expect:
  • PhD students are expected to focus on only a few specific areas early on so as to become experts in those areas. EdD students, on the other hand, are expected to develop a broad understanding of their own as well as related fields.
  • While both PhD and EdD students take the same foundational research methods courses, PhD students are required to take additional, advanced research methods courses to develop expertise in using a rich array of traditional research methods.
  • PhD dissertations require independent research that will contribute new knowledge to their field, while EdD dissertations may involve a wider array of choices, including: case studies of specific innovations; action research studies to improve specific programs or practices; research- and data-based analysis to inform important decisions; or rigorous evaluations of existing programs.
  • In addition to their dissertation, PhD students are required to engage in research apprenticeships with faculty.
  • EdD students can complete their program part time, while PhD students are required to complete at least one year of residency (i.e., be full time for two consecutive semesters, taking at least 12 credits of coursework each semester, or 9 credits if awarded an assistantship) and are encouraged to complete as much of their program as possible full time.
Contact admissions if you wish to speak with a faculty member to better understand which option will best meet your career goals.

Our Approach

Preparing You to be an Innovative Educational Leader and Researcher.

Warner's EdD in educational administration is designed for educators with a passion to take the initiative and develop the skills to inspire and facilitate change in educational organizations.

Our graduates understand how to motivate others, make decisions, manage people and processes, and enable individuals to reach their highest potential. They also bring reflective and conceptual thinking skills – as well as expertise in research, program evaluation, and data-based decision analysis – to the challenge of improving K-12 schools and other educational institutions.

Students holding and/or seeking leadership positions in special contexts – such as religious or independent schools, urban or rural settings, schools and other educational organizations abroad – have opportunities to customize some aspects of their program to address such interests.
administrators talk with student
Learn More About Warner's Approach to Doctoral Programs
All doctoral programs offered at the Warner School are characterized by the following common principles and goals:
  • Integration of Research, Theory, and Practice: We believe that doctoral candidates should recognize the false dichotomy between theory and practice, as well as the complementary values of basic and applied research.  Our graduates will not only gain an excellent understanding of key theories in their field, but will also be able to identify and critically examine the theoretical framework informing research reported in the literature, as well as their own. EdD candidates also form a solid research and theory base that grounds their leadership in their field of practice.   
  • Interdisciplinarity and Collaboration: We encourage doctoral candidates to recognize the need and value of collaborating across fields and constituencies to address complex problems in education.
  • Commitment to Social Justice: We strengthen our doctoral candidates' commitment to equity and social justice and for conducting research that is inclusive of all individuals, communities, and cultures.
  • In-Depth Knowledge of Area of Specialization: Our doctoral candidates develop a broad and solid knowledge of relevant research in their area of specialization, while understanding how that field is connected to others.
  • Research Practices: Our doctoral candidates articulate and pursue worthwhile research questions, and are familiar with and able to use a variety of research methodologies relevant to their field of specialization.   
  • Academic Writing Practices: We prepare our doctoral candidates to effectively communicate research results in scholarly publications, consistent with academic writing expectations.

The Warner Advantage

Preparing Graduates to Innovate, Advocate, and Elevate.

Warner is helping to create world-class educational leaders and researchers who can advance high-quality teaching and learning in a variety of contexts.
  • Become an innovator and a thought leader in your field by learning the necessary skills to be an effective, evidence-based decision maker.
  • Use your field-based dissertation to demonstrate your skills as a thoughtful, evidence-based leader to prospective employers.
  • Broaden your skillset and increase your competitiveness in the job market by adding an advanced certificate for only a few additional credits.
  • Network with the best and the brightest educators and future leaders.
  • Learn from an accessible, supportive faculty of accomplished researchers and practitioners who will prepare you to conduct research and utilize evidence to address ever-changing educational challenges.
  • Give your degree even more recognition by leveraging the reputation of a leading research university.
While rigorous, Warner can provide a customized, flexible, and affordable program for working professionals.
  • Start any semester and go at your own pace during the coursework phase by choosing between full-time or part-time options.
  • Use your electives to specialize in your area of interest and/or add advanced certificates.
  • Take advantage of online courses to reduce trips to campus.
  • Reduce tuition costs by taking advantage of a wide range of competitive full and partial assistantship opportunities.

All About Experience

Your experience at Warner will be informed by the many research projects and community initiatives we are engaged in. In addition, you'll benefit from the experience of faculty that include nationally recognized researchers, award-winning authors and accomplished practitioners.

Center for Urban Education Success

Center for Urban Education Success (CUES)

This Center, led by Warner faculty member Shaun Nelms, leverages the University of Rochester’s educational partnership with East High School to develop research-based solutions to support all urban schools. As such, it provides unique opportunities to participate in research that can make a difference for the most underserved students in the country. CUES supports the Warner School’s underlying belief that the improvement of education is in pursuit of social justice.

Learning from Successful School Leaders

Learning from Successful School Leaders

Stephen Uebbing’s 2011 book on The Life Cycle of Leadership share important lessons about the development of effective schools and the leadership practices this work calls for. These two former school superintendents teach at Warner and lead administrative professional development efforts in the region through Warner’s Center for Professional Development and Education Reform.

The Hidden Costs of School Security

The Hidden Costs of School Security

Warner professors Brian Brent and Karen DeAngelis’s timely research on the real costs of school security received considerable attention from the national media. The intent of the research is to provide a comprehensive and more refined account of school security costs than is presently available.

Career Opportunities

Warner Doctoral Programs Provide the Perfect Pathway to Wherever You Want to Go.

With valued skills in both qualitative and quantitative research methods, decision making, and program evaluation, graduates of Warner’s EdD program in educational administration in K-12 schools are prepared to assume the highest-level leadership roles in K-12 districts and schools and to work in faculty positions in higher education preparing the next generation of educational leaders.
hands in a circle


An Accessible, Supportive Faculty of Researchers and Accomplished Practitioners.

Core Program Faculty

Brian Brent, PhD
(decision making; K-12 and higher education finance)

Karen DeAngelis, PhD
(decision making; educational policy; quantitative research methods)

Nahoko Kawakyu O'Connor, PhD
(program evaluation)

Patrick McCue, EdD
(equitable grading and instructional practices)

Stephen Uebbing, EdD
(decision making; school and district leadership)

Learn More About All Warner School Faculty


Making Warner Affordable.

All Warner graduates from our K-12 school leadership certification program can benefit from a guaranteed scholarship providing a 34% tuition reduction applicable to this program.  They can also count previous Warner courses as retroactive, thus reducing new required coursework to as little as 45 credits.

We also have institutional agreements with selected educational institutions in the Rochester region that can reduce your tuition costs. Contact admissions for more information.

Are You a UR Employee? Inquire about your tuition benefits. If eligible, up to 95% of your tuition costs can be covered depending on your position. Contact the UR benefits office at
Vasquez in class at table with studnets


Meliora means 'Ever Better.' To our graduates, it means making a world of difference.

  • Laura Van Laeken, Teacher, Midlakes, NY

    "The growth I’ve realized in myself is something I will be forever grateful for. I’ve learned to question, analyze, think and create in ways I never considered. I’ve changed as an educator and as a person."

    Laura Van Laeken, Teacher, Midlakes, NY

  • Warner Graduate

    "The K-12 Leadership program at the U of R has thoroughly prepared me to serve… students and families. The two most precious gifts I received through Warner were: (1) the guidance to understand my own moral purpose as an educator, and (2) the lasting relationships with Warner faculty who continue to offer professional advice."

    Warner Graduate

  • Matt Cook, Superintendent, Newark, NY

    "The program is a perfect blend of theory and real-world experience from professors who have the practical knowledge that only comes with time in the educational system."

    Matt Cook, Superintendent, Newark, NY

  • Dawn Santiago-Marullo , Superintendent, Victor, NY

    “The most important thing I received there was the opportunity to be immersed in the study of education and leadership with very talented people, that think-tank mentality of being surrounded by the best of the best. The intellectual stimulation from both the staff and fellow classmates really did allow me to think about things differently.”

    Dawn Santiago-Marullo , Superintendent, Victor, NY

  • Kathryn Colicchio, Assistant Superintendent, Greece, NY

    “There’s not one cookie-cutter solution in education. Warner teaches you how to go through the steps of the decision-making process where you examine alternatives, consult various stakeholders, and evaluate the information at hand before making a final decision. And that’s really important in education. There are no right or wrong answers. There are just the best decisions for your organization.”

    Kathryn Colicchio, Assistant Superintendent, Greece, NY

Contact Admissions

The admissions team looks forward to assisting you as you explore graduate education at the Warner School. Please feel free to use the form below to contact us with any questions. You can also email us at or call (585) 275-3950.

Application Deadlines

The next application deadline is March 01, 2023. View all  Admissions Deadlines.

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