University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)

The UIC Ed.D Program in Urban Education Leadership is a university-based school leader preparation program designed to develop a new breed of visionary and competent urban principals. Through a careful balance of coursework, a year-long clinical residency, and extended on-site coaching across three full years of leadership practice, the Ed.D Program in Urban Education Leadership targets the skills and dispositions that leaders need most to transform the cultures of underperforming urban schools.

Program Description

UIC embeds leadership development in an Ed.D. program because they know that it takes several years to develop expertise through cycles of preparation, practice, reflection, and improvement, even among a highly selective group of new school leaders.  The extended structure of the Ed.D program allows them to scaffold this developmental process in intentional ways.  Because leaders learn best by leading, the full-time residency anchors the state licensure program in the first 18 months.  They then support more advanced learning in the heat and challenge of high-stakes leadership after licensure.  Most UIC Ed.D students are drawn from teacher leader or assistant principal positions.  A few are experienced school leaders seeking higher levels of effectiveness or aspiring to system-level leadership.  

Program Requirements

  • 3 years of teaching experience.

  • Baccalaureate Field: No restrictions.

  • Master's Degree: Required.

  • Grade Point Average: At least 3.00/4.00 for the final semester hours (90 quarter hours) of undergraduate study and for all post-baccalaureate course work.

Application Requirements

  • Complete the UIC Graduate School application. Submit your application fee when completing the application.

  • Complete the online College of Education application.

  • The following documents should be uploaded online upon receiving email instructions after completing the UIC Graduate School application. View the Document Upload Guide for more information.

    • Upload undergraduate transcripts for your last 60 hours of the undergraduate degree and all graduate transcripts.

    • TOEFL or IELTS test scores for international applicants only

    • Three letters of recommendation. Taken as a whole, these letters should address the applicant’s instructional performance, capacities to work effectively with adults, demonstrated abilities to learn and adapt in challenging situations, and intellectual strengths. Letters may be from current or former supervisors, colleagues, or professors.

    • Goal Statement: Please address the following two topics within your goal statement. 1) The EdD program in Urban Education Leadership is interested in candidates who have demonstrated their performance as classroom instructors and leaders in educational settings and who are strong and adaptable learners. In 500 words, explain your goals in becoming a principal, why you think this program is a good match for you, and your qualities as a learner that will contribute to your success in the program and as a principal. 2) In an additional 300 words, please write an analytical explanation of why urban schools perform at comparatively low levels of student achievement and discuss the leadership strategies you believe are necessary to improve urban school performance.

    • Resume, including teacher leader roles with time frame

  • Submit GRE or GMAT test score to UIC.