Leadership That Makes a Difference

The Doctorate in Educational Leadership for Social Justice, offered in a fully online format, is an innovative three-year program whose vision is a better and more socially just future for PK-12 schools and other educational and community settings. Ranked the second-best Jesuit school of education nationally by U.S. News & World Report, the LMU School of Education Ed.D. program is designed to provide experienced educators and community leaders with the tools, theories, and experiences needed to succeed in transforming educational settings into inclusive and equitable learning environments. Combining theory with practice, the curriculum provides candidates with a better understanding of the complex issues impacting education and student achievement, and prepares graduates as change agents.

Our Ed.D. is unique among Southern California education doctorates in several ways:

  • Offered in fully online format.
  • Generous Doctoral scholarship available to all eligible admitted students.
  • A curriculum with social justice at the core.
  • An integrated approach to theory and practice that allows educators to apply their knowledge.
  • A 1:1 dissertation chair to student ratio to ensure directed and timely faculty support.
  • A focus on PK-12 public, Catholic, private, and charter education as well as higher education, non-profit and community-based education.
  • A schedule designed for working professionals with classes offered in the evenings.
  • An alumni network that includes superintendents, principals, policymakers, non-profit and community leaders.

Curriculum Overview

Our Ed.D. is "scaffolded" to ensure that students complete the entire program, including the doctoral dissertation, in three years. In addition, LMU is the only doctoral program in Southern California designed to cover the full educational spectrum providing a tailored, comprehensive preparation to help students succeed. Candidates can personalize their program and explore specialized topics in PK-12 public, Catholic, private, and charter education as well as higher education, non-profit and community-based education.

Read more about program academics.

Cohort Model

Our program follows a cohort model of 18-24 students who form a community of educators, scholars, and leaders. Doctoral candidates complete coursework in leadership for social justice, research methods, and dissertation seminars as a group.

Class sizes are kept small to ensure that you have close contact with your professors and dissertation advisors, as well as with your fellow candidates. We select our students to reflect the diversity of educational landscapes in Los Angeles and beyond; as such, candidates benefit from sharing information, experiences and resources from various educational settings.

Learning Outcomes

As educational leaders, Ed.D. graduates will be able to:

  • Analyze the economic, political, legal, and sociocultural context of education.
  • Engage in inquiry and research to promote inclusive excellence in education and/or society.
  • Articulate how theory and research influence the development of personal leadership practice.
  • Advocate for the transformation of educational and community settings into just and equitable learning environments.

To learn more about the unique benefits of our Ed.D., attend an Information Session or Informational Webinar.

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.



We encourage interested candidates to apply early to this competitive program.

Request information if you have any additional questions about the face-to-face or fully online program. You may also contact the Doctoral Center at doctoral@lmu.edu.

Building a Community of Leaders for Social Justice Since 2004

This year we celebrate 16 years of education, growth, and research that have come out of the LMU School of Education Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership for Social Justice. Our alumni are making an impact across Los Angeles, the U.S. and abroad.

Hear what our alumni have to say about how the LMU Ed.D. program has influenced their ability to lead social justice change in schools and communities. Watch Alumni Impact videos.

Give Back

In honor of the program's 10th anniversary in 2014, the Doctoral Alumni Council established the Doctoral Alumni Scholarship as a way for alumni to support scholarship funding for future LMU doctoral students who will advocate for social justice in classrooms, school districts and communities throughout Southern California, across the nation and abroad. Our fundraising goal is $100,000 and we hope to have 100% participation of alumni.