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Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership

Our Program

Man sitting holding a bookPillars of the program

  • Leadership practice driven by research
  • Guided by a social justice framework
  • Commitment to education in Central California

Program Highlights

  • Take classes in a cohort of 15-20 student
  • P-12 and Higher Education strands
  • Affordability - the program cost is below the national average for public universities and well below the cost of private institutions
  • 60 units - 48 units of coursework and 12 units of dissertation 
  • Culminating experience met with completion of a dissertation
  • Program completion in 3 years with full-time and summer study

Student Support

All Fresno State educational leadership doctoral students have full access to a wide range of support services to enhance their engagement, well-being, and academic success.

  • Personal advising
  • Graduate writing and statistics support
  • Research guidance
  • Dissertation advising
  • Learning support
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Conference funding



"Earning my doctorate from Fresno State has been a game-changer for my personal and professional growth. It is the best investment I’ve made."

- 2013 graduate, Dr. Cynthia Teniete-Matson, President Texas A&M University, San Antonio 

Delivery Formats 


Students opting for the face-to-face delivery format take classes in the late afternoon, evenings, and weekends on the Fresno State campus. The face-to-face cohort model connects students in learning environments with each other and faculty members advancing research on the practice of educational leadership.


Students enrolled in the online delivery format participate in a virtual campus experience of interactive classes delivered virtually. Courses will be offered using the Canvas learning management system. The courses will use a balance of synchronous and asynchronous tools available in Canvas, in addition to email, video conference, teleconference and other technology as appropriate (e.g., Zoom, Google Hangout, GoogleDocs).

Because our program views interpersonal interactions as a crucial leadership skill, students will have opportunities to meet with their cohort members and program faculty during the required summer residencies at Fresno State. Students must complete a series of summer residencies in the (1) Summer prior to their first Fall semester, (2) Summer after year 1, and (3) Summer after year 2. These residencies are designed to provide the cohort an opportunity to meet in person and interact with program faculty in a more intimate setting. 

Online cohort core courses are split up between the semester, so that students can focus on one course at a time. Registration remains as two core courses per semester.