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This doctoral degree is designed to engage learners who are ready to study real-world problems of practice as systems-level executives who navigate micro-politics and address inequities that impede progress within their educational setting. Graduates of the program are prepared to lead, facilitate, and promote learning, innovation, diversity, educational equity, and the developmental needs of all within the educational setting.

Enrollment Details

Two JMU Ed.D. cohorts beginning Spring 2025 (Spring semester)

Pending approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  • $450/credit in-state and $460/credit out-of-state (Spring 2025); see total tuition estimate here.
  • Please go to the Cost of Attendance Calculator to see the estimated cost of attendance for your program of study.
  • Apply for 2024-2025 FAFSA if seeking financial aid for Spring 2025 semester.
  • Apply for 2025-2026 financial aid for financial aid the following year.

Enroll in:

  • 6 credits (2 courses) each Spring (online synchronous doctoral courses)
  • 9 credits (3 courses) each of 2 Summers (combination of online doctoral courses and restricted electives) as scheduled +1 week on-site at JMU each time
  • 6 credits (2 courses) each Fall (online synchronous doctoral courses)

For a total of 60 required credits.

Doctoral Degree Description

The Ed.D. in Education, Concentrations in Curriculum, Instruction & Educational Equity (CIEE) and Leadership, Equity, Innovation, & Learning (LEIL) are housed in James Madison University’s College of Education. The program is founded on basic principles that acknowledge the importance of in-depth contemplation of the histories, social/political/cultural practices, and inequalities that contribute to educational success and challenges. Our vision is to prepare educational leaders who are committed to a) diversity, equity and inclusion b) innovative and transformative practices, and c) positive, sustainable change. The Ed.D. in Education will also provide the critical thinking skills, theoretical knowledge, historical/contemporary understandings, core value discernment, and practitioner-scholar skills of the field to ensure effective leadership at the executive/senior level with a commitment to educational equity, innovation and change.

This program is informed by various national standards including Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (PSEL) and Higher Education Accreditation Council for Accreditation and Educator Preparation (CAEP) Advanced-Level Standards.

To learn more about the curriculum, access the JMU Graduate Catalog. Click the "Course Descriptions" button and search for the appropriate Ed.D. concentration prefix: either "CIEE" or "LEIL". The JMU Graduate Catalog is published online prior to each Fall semester, and students admitted Spring 2025 will follow the 2024-2025 catalog that is forthcoming.


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Curriculum, Instruction, and Educational Equity (CIEE)

The Ed.D. in Education with a concentration in Curriculum, Instruction, and Educational Equity (CIEE) is designed to provide advanced knowledge and practices as change leaders of curriculum, educational equity and excellence, and teaching and learning initiatives in a school division or educational settings.


  1. To develop educators who lead and facilitate the alignment of curriculum, instruction, and assessment through a lens of equity, access, and inclusion, to enhance teaching and learning; while fostering educational justice for all.
  2. To develop educational leaders who understand and support intentional, purposeful and deliberate decisions to increase the success of learners in their educational settings.
Leadership, Equity, Innovation, and Learning (LEIL)

The Ed.D. in Education with a concentration in Leadership, Equity, Innovation, and Learning (LEIL) is designed to provide leaders with opportunities to advance their knowledge and skills in order to lead an organization as the chief executive officer, implement the vision and mission of the governing body, strategically navigate within micropolitical arenas, and ultimately ensure the overall success of the organization.


  1. To strengthen executive/senior level leaders' critical thinking skills, theoretical knowledge, and historical/contemporary understandings of the field that foreground a commitment to educational equity, innovation, and change.
  2. To develop educational leaders who can meet, head on and with aplomb, the challenges associated with public education policy and practice.
Contact Us
Dr. Monica Smith-Woofter Danielle Maxham
Dr. Monica Smith-Woofter
Program Director
Danielle Maxham
Graduate Programs Coordinator

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