May 21, 2022  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Educational Administration and Leadership - Pre-Kindergarten-12 Principal (Ed.D.)

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Admissions Information  

Doctor of Education, Pre-Kindergarten-12 Principal

Total 90-95 credit hours with a minimum of 60 credit hours beyond a conferred master’s degree and a minimum of 30 credit hours beyond a conferred master’s degree and specialist’s degree.

Admissions Information   


  1. Completed Graduate Application form found at: and a non-refundable application fee of $35.
  2. Official transcript(s) verifying receipt of an undergraduate degree and previous graduate credit (in English or with translation) must accompany an application. Official transcript of all academic work at the undergraduate and graduate levels are required for all students. The USD Graduate School and/or academic units retain the right to require credential evaluations from organizations, such as Educational Credential Evaluators/World Education Services (ECE/WES), for a student if such an evaluation is deemed necessary.
  3. Baccalaureate degree must be from an institution with full regional accreditation for that degree. A minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 2.7 on conferred degree and/or graduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, based on a 4.0 scale, on all graduate coursework is required for full admission. Each graduate program may admit students on provisional status per university policy.
  4. Applicants with degrees from countries other than the United States who have obtained an undergraduate or graduate degree from a regionally accredited American college or university are not required to submit an approved English proficiency exam score. For all other applicants, a minimum score of 79 on the Internet-Based TOEFL (iBT) or 550 on the Paper-Based TOEFL (PBT), a minimum IELTS score of 6.0, or a minimum PTE score of 53 is required for graduate admission. Applicants from or who have obtained an undergraduate or graduate degree from English-speaking countries are not required to submit an approved English proficiency exam score if their academic records after review indicate that English was the classroom language for their schoolwork.
  5. Applicants are required to submit  a personal statement reflecting on Educational Leadership learning outcomes.

 Additional Program Admission Requirements:

  1. Three (3) professional letters of recommendation are required.
  2. Resume required documenting teaching and/or administrative experience.
  3. Personal interview for the Ed.D. programs.
  4. Applicants enrolling in the masters, specialist, or doctoral PK-12 administration programs (Curriculum Director, Director of Special Education, Pre-Kindergarten-12 Principal, or School District Superintendent) must have three (3) years of teaching experience in PK-12.
  5. It is required that applicants seeking certification as a Director of Special Education have a Special Education Teacher endorsement (e.g., resource room, self-contained class) and have three years of teaching experience in PK-12 with one year teaching experience in the area of special education (or a year of working with special needs students in the role of speech and language clinician, school psychologist or other support personnel who possess an elementary or secondary teaching certificate and endorsement in special education).

Subject to Division Chair and Graduate Dean approval, applicants who do not meet all of the criteria above may be admitted on a provisional basis.

Supporting Area Coursework

  • EDFN/EPSY Foundation Course 3 credit hours
  • EDER Advanced Statistics Course 3 credit hours
  • 3 cr
  • Supporting electives/outside courses 21-27 credit hours

  • In addition to successfully completing coursework students must take and successfully pass a comprehensive exam and defend their dissertation.


*For licensure in South Dakota students need to take Indian Education (INED) 511.

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