The Loyola Marymount University Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership for Social Justice is an innovative, three-year course of study that allows students to explore aspects of leadership as they intersect with issues of social justice in classrooms and communities. Offered in a fully online format, the Ed.D. program is designed so working professionals can complete all degree requirements, including the dissertation, in three years. While only 40% of Ed.D. candidates nationally complete their dissertation, 97% of LMU's candidates do so.

Ranked among the top graduate schools of education by U.S. News and World ReportLMU's theoretically-grounded and practitioner-focused program prepares superintendents, principals, policymakers, and leaders of higher education, nonprofit and community organizations to transform educational settings into inclusive and equitable learning environments.

Online Ed.D.

  • 3-year program
  • 1:1 student to dissertation chair ratio
  • 18-24 students per cohort
  • 46 credits 
  • $1,922 per credit (to see the Cost of Attendance (COA) by program, please visit the Financial Aid website here.)
  • Generous Doctoral scholarship for admitted students
  • Fully online
  • Entry Term: Spring (January 2025)
  • 24/7 access to over 53,000 Journals & 300+ databases via LMU Hannon Library
  • Application deadline: September 10, 2024

Using a scaffolded model, students take classes in leadership for social justice, research methodologies, and dissertation seminars. With leadership for social justice at the core of every course, students are guided by renowned faculty who are engaged and connected to the real world of leadership and social justice advocacy in schools and communities.

Year 1

  • EDLA 7001 - Leadership for Social Justice in Education (3)
  • EDLA 7002 - Moral and Ethical Leadership (3)
  • EDLA 7020 - Situated Inquiry in Education (3)
  • EDLA 7021 - Quantitative Research in Education (3)
  • EDLA 7022 - Qualitative Research in Education (3)
  • EDLA 7045 - Transformational Leadership for Student Achievement (3)

Year 2

  • EDLA 7004 - Organizational Theory and Change (3)
  • EDLA 7006 - Education Policy and Praxis (3)
  • EDLA 7007 - Using Research for Educational Improvement and Equity (3)
  • EDLA 7042 - Management of Fiscal/Human Capital (3)
  • EDLA 7043 - Legal and Policy Issues in Education (3)
  • EDLA 7940 - Preliminary Review (1)
  • EDLA 7950 - Dissertation Proposal Design (2)

Year 3

  • EDLA 7023 - Doctoral Colloquia (2)
  • EDLA 7049 - Research Seminar (2)
  • EDLA 7951 - Dissertation Seminar 1 (2)
  • EDLA 7952 - Dissertation Seminar 2 (2)
  • EDLA 7953 - Doctoral Seminar 1 (2)

Throughout the three-year program, students also complete the following program benchmarks, in collaboration with the program directors, doctoral faculty, and their dissertation chair and committee members:

  • Preliminary Review (Benchmark #1)
  • Dissertation Proposal Defense (Chapters 1-3), Advancement to Candidacy and LMU Institutional Review Board (Benchmark #2)
  • Final Dissertation Defense (Benchmark #3)

Read full course descriptions.

Admission Deadlines

Online Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership for Social Justice (100% Online)

  • Entry Term: Spring 2025 (January 2025)
  • Application Deadline: September 10, 2024

Note: Loyola Marymount University adheres to the state regulations for each state and has received authorization, exemption, or does not fall within the jurisdiction for authorization to offer online educational offerings in the following states. If your current state of residence is not listed, LMU can not accept you into the Online Ed.D. Program at this time. As LMU obtains clearance from additional states, they will be added to the State Authorization page. International candidates are exempted.



Click here to learn more about our fully online program and to request information. If you have additional questions, please contact the Doctoral Center at