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Online Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Leadership and Learning in Organizations


Online Ed.D. Program Overview

Since 1785, Vanderbilt University Peabody College has educated passionate individuals who lead change that positively impacts society. The online doctor of education (Ed.D.) in leadership and learning in organizations allows you to join this Peabody tradition by gaining the expertise needed to create widespread change in communities and organizations.

In addition to building the skills needed to drive organizational success, you will develop a deep understanding of human development within the context of management practices. This new knowledge will empower you—and those you lead—to grow personally and professionally.

In the program, you will collaborate closely with classmates who bring diverse backgrounds and experiences while engaging with a curriculum developed by Vanderbilt faculty who are active researchers and practitioners. Through in-depth class discussions and interactive course work and projects, you will gain advanced knowledge and skills that you can apply directly to your career.

Learn more about how you can lead change in your organization.

Personalized Learning—Delivered Online

Our online programs are a product of in-depth research into how students and faculty can most effectively learn and instruct outside of traditional classrooms. As a result, we’ve built an experience that blends face-to-face, live classes with interactive course work, in-person learning, and a distinct sense of community.

Learn more about our intuitive online platform.

Program Curriculum

The online Ed.D. in leadership and learning in organizations curriculum prepares you to identify, assess, and resolve organizational challenges. You will learn how to improve operations in organizations across industries while focusing on three key competency areas:

  • Leadership and Organizational Development
  • Data and Analytics
  • Learning and Design

You will also develop leadership skills and an in-depth understanding in the following areas:

  • Organizational change and systemic improvement
  • Different methods of inquiry and analysis
  • Issues of practice from a variety of perspectives
  • Impact of systems and practice on learning
  • Methods to organizational challenges
  • Context-specific individual and organizational learning
  • Organizational improvement, practice, and processes
  • Data analytics
» Take an in-depth look at the program’s courses.

As a student in the program, you will also attend three convenings on the Vanderbilt campus in Nashville, Tennessee. Over the course of a few days, you will build on curricular topics, meet classmates, and work on your capstone project.

The on-campus immersion and convening schedule is continuously being assessed due to COVID-19 and will be adjusted as needed.

Build Expertise through a Capstone Project

The program culminates with a capstone project that gives you the opportunity to identify a problem of practice, conduct research, test a solution, and make recommendations for improvement. Students will work in small teams of two to three, or independently with the approval of a faculty adviser. More specifically, you will:

  • identify and analyze a problem of practice, challenge, or complex phenomenon in an external organization;
  • investigate the problem and provide multiple forms of evidence that demonstrate a need to focus on the problem in the particular organizational context;
  • design an intervention or process that implements a learning, improvement, or change to solve the problem;
  • develop a system of evaluation for the recommended intervention; and
  • share a detailed plan and evaluation strategy to address the organization’s challenges.
Program Curriculum


Admission to the online Ed.D. in leadership and learning in organizations depends on several factors, including the overall quality of application materials, depth and relevance of leadership experience, and a record of academic and professional achievement.

Upcoming Deadlines

Program Start Date Priority Application Deadline Final Application Deadline
January 11, 2021 October 16, 2020 November 13, 2020
May 10, 2021 February 12, 2021 March 12, 2021

The program is designed for mid-career professionals who have at least three years of work experience in leadership roles. Those with less experience are unlikely to be admitted to the program. Internships, student teaching, and assistantships during undergraduate or graduate study will not be counted as work experience.

» Learn more about admission requirements and our application checklist.

Faculty and Leadership

Vanderbilt University’s online degree programs are designed and led by the same multi-disciplinary faculty who teach on campus. Our faculty have built the program curriculum based on their expertise, research, and experiences working in the field. In addition to continually evaluating and improving the curriculum, faculty lead courses, teach classes, and work with adjunct faculty members to deliver a high-quality learning experience. As a result, the online Ed.D. enables you to become highly effective, well-rounded professionals in your field.

» Learn more about Peabody College faculty.