Overall, this is a 60 credit-hour program. The curriculum in the School Improvement program is built around three strands:

  • Teaching and Learning (9 credit-hours)
  • Leadership for School Improvement (9 credit-hours)
  • Research and the Effective Use of Data (15 credit-hours)

In addition, 15 credit-hours of elective courses make up the Area of Concentration (AoC). The Doctoral Seminar (3 credit-hours) helps to prepare students for completing a dissertation. A minimum of 9 credit-hours of Research for Doctoral Dissertation is required.

In this 60 credit-hour program, the core 48 credit-hours must be taken at UWG as per the student's program of study. A maximum of 12 semester hours of graduate credit for area of concentration courses may be transferred from another accredited institution or applied from previous coursework at the University of West Georgia, subject to the following conditions:

  • work must have been completed within seven years of the date of admission to the Ed.D. degree program
  • work must have been applicable toward a graduate degree at the institution where the credit was earned
  • the coursework must be approved by the student's advisor, the Ed.D. Director, and the Director of Graduate Studies.
  • courses must have been taken post Master's degree; (normally 7000 level courses or above)
  • the courses must meet the thematic requirements for the AoC
  • a grade of B or higher must have been earned in the coursework.

The program requires 60 credit hours. The program may be completed in three years; however, many students require four years or more to complete the program of study.

Tuition will vary based upon the number of credit-hours taken per semester. Please refer to the Office of Student Accounts and Billing Services for more detailed information.

Core coursework for the School Improvement program is offered during summer, fall, and spring semesters.

Each spring, all timely and complete applications meeting the minimum recommended requirements are thoroughly reviewed by several faculty members.

No. Beginning with applications for our Spring 2023 cohort, the GRE will no longer be required

(this information applies to GEORGIA STUDENTS ONLY)

The Doctor of Education in School Improvement Degree is approved by the Georgia PSC for a certificate upgrade for students who enter the program with Georgia certification in Educational Leadership, Media Specialist, Instructional Technology, Reading, Early Childhood, K-12 Online Learning, English to Speakers of Other Languages, School Counseling, and/or Special Education General Curriculum.  (It's the responsibility of the applicant/student to check the upgrade possibilities at the GAPSC Certificate Upgrade Advisor.  Please view the GAPSC website for this information.)

The following conditions/restrictions apply:

  1. The student must enter the program with the qualifying certification area already on their Georgia certificate as a clear renewable field,
  2. The student must select the applicable, qualifying certification area as their minimum 12-hour Area of Concentration. In order to receive a certification upgrade as a part of the Ed. D. in School Improvement, the hours must be taken at UWG as a part of this degree program,
  3. Educational Leadership students must meet the specific position requirements and need to have both Tier 1 and Tier 2 Certification, and
  4. The program does not lead to initial certification.

The 60 hour program consists of 15 credit hours dedicated to a concentrated theme decided by the student and approved by the program during the first year of study. The concept is to allow the student to pursue an area of interest or to develop expertise in a specific content area. Students are required to complete their dissertation in the concentration theme area.

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School Improvement Doctoral Program