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We have two teams to help you through the process.

General questions prior to applying can be directed to our Graduate Recruiters.

Once you have applied, questions about the application process should then be directed to our Graduate Processors.

Graduate Recruiters: Located in the Multidisciplinary Studies Building 4.01.52

Office Hours: 8 A.M. - 5 P.M.

Monday, Wendesday and Friday - virtual office hours
Tuesday and Thursday - in-person


Contact Us:

Email: Grad.Recruitment@utsa.edu
Phone: (210) 458-4331
Fax: (210) 458-4332

Book an appointment with a recruiter in-person or virtually .

Graduate Processors: Located in the Flawn Sciences Building 1.01.05

Office Hours: 8 A.M.–12 P.M.

Tuesday and Thursday - in-person


Contact Us:

Email: Graduate.admissions@utsa.edu
Phone: (210) 458-
Fax: (210) 458-

Send Official Transcripts to: graduate.documents@utsa.edu

Unofficial Transcripts and Other Documents for Spring 2022 can be Uploaded here! (requires UTSA
student ID in the form of abc123) if they have not been submitted as part of your application.

Unofficial Transcripts and Other Documents for Summer 2022 and Fall 2022 must be uploaded directly to the application.


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.
    (see http://elps.utsa.edu/Faculty/ELPS.htm)
  • 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

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:

Admission Prerequisites:

 Required Degree Master's degree in education or other appropriate field.
 Other Degree Requirements Grade point average of 3.5 or better out of a possible 4.0 in a master's degree.
Application Requirements:
 General University Requirements Must meet university wide requirements.
 Application A completed a Graduate School application.
 Transcripts Official transcripts from all institutions attended. All international transcripts must be recorded in English or officially translated to English.
 Resume or Curriculum Vitae 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
  • K-12 Leadership Emphasis

A statement of purpose outlining your interest in K-12 leadership, 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.

  • Higher Education Administration Emphasis

A statement of purpose outlining your interest in higher education administration, at a minimum, (1) provide a detailed description of why you seek admission to this particular doctoral program and if you plan to attend as a full-time (9 hours per semester) or part-time (6 hours per semester) student; (2) describe your short term and long-term professional/career goals. What do you want the program faculty to know about you as a learner?; (3) provide a detailed description and explanation of your research/scholarly interests specifically related to this program area (i.e., higher education leadership/administration-college student affairs). How does your research-intellectual interests connect with faculty members’ (specifically or generally) interests within the program area or across the department? Incorporate and cite relevant scholarship when describing your interests; (4) describe your views on and understanding of social justice and equity in education generally, and higher education/post-secondary education specifically. What does social justice and equity mean to you and how will those concepts guide your learning experience in this program?; (5) provide a few examples of your educational and/or professional experiences related to: (a) accepting and applying constructive criticism, (b) learning from others, (c) helping other students (i.e., peers, mentees, family members, etc.), (d) managing stressful situations and balancing life-work or life-education situations; (6) identify and describe at least one policy issue in higher education that you feel need reform. What type of changes are needed and why?

 Test Scores General GRE, not older than five years.
 Evaluation of Foreign Credentials

All applicants including non-U.S. citizens (International), U.S. Citizens, and permanent residents who have earned university-level credit from foreign institutions are required to submit official transcripts along with an evaluation of the transcripts from Foreign Credentials Service of America

  • An approved evaluation requires a detailed course-by-course evaluation. Summaries will not be accepted.
  • Foreign credential evaluations must be received by the application deadline for your application to be processed.
  • Foreign Credentials Service of America in Austin, TX is the only accepted evaluation agency. They can be reached at (512) 459-8429, info@foreigncredentials.org, or online at https://www.foreigncredentials.org/our-services/apply-now/.
  • If you need a request form, please visit the FCSA website to access the form here.
 International Applicants Must meet international graduate student admission requirements
  • IELTS: Minimum score of 6.5.
  • TOEFL: Minimum scores of 79 or 60 for Internet or paper versions, respectively.
 Other 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.

Contact Information:


Graduate Advisor of Record: Mark Giles, Ph.D.

Email Address: mark.giles@utsa.edu 

Telephone: (210) 458-5403

Student Development Specialist: Jo Ann Jones

Email: joann.jones@utsa.edu

Telephone: (210) 458-6620

Degree Catalog Link: http://catalog.utsa.edu/graduate/educationhumandevelopment/educationalleadershippolicystudies/

Degree Website: Learn more about this program here.

Funding Opportunities:

Course Scheduling and Offerings:

  • During both the Fall and Spring Semester, all of our courses run from 6 PM to 8:45 PM Monday through Thursday.  During the Summer Semester, doctoral courses typically begin at or after  6 PM.