Urban Education Leaders Program EdD

Doctor of Education in Urban Education Leaders Program

With Certification Eligibility for the NYSED School District Leader (SDL) Certificate

The Urban Education Leaders Program (UELP) is a 90-credit Ed.D. Program in Education Leadership, which is housed in the Department of Organization & Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University. An executive-style leadership preparation program for aspiring urban school superintendents, central office administrators, and non-profit and advocacy organization leaders, UELP integrates historical and present-day research, theory, and practice to provide its students the knowledge and tools necessary to lead and transform complex educational systems in urban contexts and communities.

Continuing TC’s longstanding commitment to social justice, UELP students engage actively with the most persistent and pressing problems of practice in the profession and prepare to make a real difference in the lives of children and families. As the first and oldest educational administration program in the country, UELP is one of the nation’s preeminent leadership preparation program. By leveraging the expertise of TC’s distinguished research faculty, accomplished practitioners, and everyday experiences of our students, UELP is deeply committed to the scholarship of discovery, integration, teaching, and application in ways that are essential to effective and transformative leadership practice.

UELP is a part-time cohort program serving students who work-full time as mid-level or mid-career school administrators and have a combined 8-12 years of teaching and leadership experience. More specifically, students meet for face-to-face class sessions Monday through Friday for 2 weeks in July and one Friday and Saturday (one weekend) per month during the fall and spring semesters. The online learning platform, Canvas, is used for asynchronous course-related learning activities and communications between face-to-face class sessions during the regular academic year.

UELP also leads to NYSED School District Leader (SDL) Licensure.

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Admissions Information

Displaying requirements for the Spring 2024, Summer 2024, and Fall 2024 terms.

Program is not accepting applications for the 2024 cycle.

Doctor of Education

  • Points/Credits: 75
  • Entry Terms: Summer (Odd Year Only)


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  • NY State School District Leadership (SDL)

Application Deadlines

Entry Term AvailablePriority DeadlinesFinal DeadlinesExtended Deadlines
SummerDecember 1, 2024December 1, 2024N/A

Select programs remain open beyond our standard application deadlines, such as those with an extended deadline or those that are rolling (open until June or July). If your program is rolling or has an extended deadline indicated above, applications are reviewed as they are received and on a space-available basis. We recommend you complete your application as soon as possible as these programs can close earlier if full capacity has been met.

Application Requirements

 Online Degree Application, including Statement of Purpose and Resume
 Transcripts and/or Course-by-Course Evaluations for all Undergraduate/Graduate Coursework Completed
 Results from an accepted English Proficiency Exam (if applicable)
 $75 Application Fee
 Three (3) Letters of Recommendation
 Interview Required (Phone, Video, or In-Person)
 Three (3) Letters of Recommendation
 UELP Topic Essay (included in online application)
 Must hold Master's degree
 *Program accepts applications for odd year cycles only*

Additional Details Regarding Requirements

Candidates should have:

  • Master’s degree in education leadership, curriculum and teaching, or another relevant field
  • At least 8-10 years combined teaching and leadership experience
  • Significant administrative experience at the school or district level is preferred

Application requirements:

  • Transcripts of undergraduate and graduate study
  • Professional resume (history of professional employment, including positions held, dates of employment, and major responsibilities)
  • Personal statement of professional experience, career goals, and areas of interest for graduate study
  • Letters of recommendation
  • GRE optional

Requirements from the TC Catalog (AY 2023-2024)

Displaying catalog information for the Fall 2023, Spring 2024 and Summer 2024 terms.

View Full Catalog Listing


Director: Dr. Jeffrey M. Young 

Website: https://www.tc.columbia.edu/organization-and-leadership/education-leadership/urban-education-leaders-program/

(Application code: ELUE) Ed.D. – Summer and school-year cohort program 

The Urban Education Leaders Program (UELP) at Teachers College, Columbia University is an executive education-style Ed.D. degree program that prepares mid-career education professionals for district-level leadership positions in urban school systems. UELP convenes for two weeks in the summer and one weekend per month during the regular academic year. In addition to coursework, case studies and field-based experiences, our structured approach to scaffolding the dissertation process provides the support and advisement working professionals need in order to complete their doctoral studies in a timely manner.

The objectives of the Urban Education Leaders Program are to:

  • Strengthen our students’ ability to lead educational organizations and systems that are purposeful, successful, and humane contexts for learning;

  • Help students develop skills and knowledge needed for the effective leadership and management of complex organizations in a global, technological, and culturally diverse society;

  • Stimulate inquiry and innovation around challenges in professional practice;

  • Broaden and deepen reflection about values, trends, and issues that affect the education enterprise;

  • Create and sustain a community of leaders committed to continuous learning and mutual support.

Students pursue a coherent curriculum grounded in practice and combining the best of theoretical and professional studies.

Degree Requirements:

Students must earn 90 points of academic credit, complete a field experience requirement, pass a doctoral candidacy certification examination, and defend a doctoral dissertation.

NYSED SDL Requirements:

New York State Education Department (NYSED) has certification requirements that are needed for School District Leader Certification. These requirements are described on the Office of Teacher Education website: https://www.tc.columbia.edu/office-of-teacher-education/students/certification-requirements/school-building-leaders--school-district-leaders/

For additional information about the program, please visit the following link: https://www.tc.columbia.edu/organization-and-leadership/education-leadership/urban-education-leaders-program/

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