Doctoral Degree Programs
Graduate Certificate Programs
Downtown Campus Programs
Educational Leadership (Ph.D.)
Basic Degree Information/Description:
The primary objective of the doctoral degree program is to provide advanced academic training in educational leadership, particularly in the area of administrative and instructional leadership. Graduates should gain an advanced understanding of theories of education and learning; extensive theoretical background and experiences in emerging paradigms of organizational leadership; high-level research skills for developing, analyzing, and evaluating educational programs; and in-depth training for the increasing cultural and linguistic diversity of contemporary education. Students may pursue an emphasis in administrative leadership or instructional leadership. Administrative leadership focuses on managerial skills for improving educational effectiveness. Instructional leadership focuses on innovative programs to help solve critical literacy, technological, and socio-cultural educational issues.
Why pursue an Ph.D. in Educational Leadership?
- We offer graduate research-assistantships with stipend awards totaling up to $42,000.00. These awards include assistance with tuition and fees, appointments as research assistants, and monthly stipends.
- Our department has a diverse and experienced faculty who are nationally recognized.
- Our doctoral students are assigned a faculty advisor based on their research interests. Students may change advisors based on evolving research interests. Students work closely with their dissertation advisors on their qualifying examination, dissertation proposal, and dissertations. This collaboration keeps students on track to complete their doctoral dissertation.
Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Admission to the program is limited and competitive. Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the program. Competitive applicants often exceed minimum requirements.
For more specific requirements, please visit the Online Graduate Catalog.
All applicants must submit the following material for evaluation:
Transcripts:Official transcripts from all institutions attended. All international transcripts must be recorded in English or officially translated to English.
Graduate School Application:Yes
Test Scores: Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores from a recent (no more than five years old) administration of the examination
Resume:Professional Résumé or Curriculum Vitae including demonstrated experience in a work environment where education is the primary professional emphasis (e.g., teaching, administration, curriculum development in elementary, secondary, postsecondary, governmental, or private industry settings)
Letters of Recommendation:Three letters of recommendation from those who have supervised the applicant in an academic, employment, or community service capacity; letters should comment on the applicant’s intellectual ability, discipline, creativity, sensitivity to others, and cite examples of leadership and scholarly potential; at least one letter should come from a university professor familiar with the applicant’s academic work.
Statement of Purpose:Yes, a written personal statement/essay outlining, at a minimum, (1) the applicant’s reasons for pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership, including but not limited to the social justice purposes the applicant will strive to achieve as an educational leader; (2) a biographical sketch of the applicant’s experiences relevant to the field of education, including but not limited to describing (a) the obstacles the applicant has had to overcome in their educational experiences, (b) how the applicant has worked to improve the education of all students, (c) how the applicant has used criticism constructively to improve the performance of their educational duties, and (d) leadership experiences; (3) career plans, (4) scholarly interests including but not limited to areas of educational leadership about which the applicant would like to learn more; and (5) views on and roles in current and future educational reform efforts, including but not limited to discussing (a) a reform that the applicant believes has improved education significantly and (b) the reform or reforms most needed in educational institutions.
Minimum TOEFL/IELTS score (for International Applicants):International students must have a minimum score of 79 on the TOEFL Internet-based test, 550 on the TOEFL paper-based test, or 6.5 on the IELTS.
Additional Requirements:International students and those with international degrees may be required to submit additional documents per our admissions policies and procedures. The Graduate School reserves the right to request any additional documents needed to fairly and consistently evaluate applicant credentials.
Interview: Qualified applicants may be required to interview as part of the admissions process. Interviews are conducted by the Doctoral Program Committee or a subcommittee thereof. As part of the interview process, students may be asked to produce an extemporaneous writing sample. The number of students admitted to this program may be limited.
Career Options Available for an Ph.D. in Educational Leadership Graduate:
- Graduates of our Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership: Assistant Principal, Principal, Assistant and Deputy Superintendent, Superintendent, Curriculum Coordinator, University Professor, Higher Education Administration positions in Universities and Community Colleges, etc.
Research taking place in the Ph.D. in Educational Leadership program:
- Our students and faculty use a variety of research methods: quantitative, ethnographic, discourse analysis, and mixed methods. Students are engaged in studying topics like servant leadership, administrator burnout, high school social processes including organizational climate, trust, collective efficacy, principal influence, and its relationship to school achievement, induction program for new teachers, what successful new teachers do to stay in the profession, issues of education law and policy, along with program evaluations of specific programs.
- Students gain extensive theoretical knowledge of educational practices and emerging paradigms of organizational leadership. The curriculum emphasizes coursework designed to develop, analyze and evaluate educational programs, school personnel, and effective system practices.