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Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Ph.D. in Educational Leadership

The Ph.D. in Educational Leadership is designed for candidates who seek to enter careers in research, institutional assessment, policy analysis, institutional leadership, or the professoriate. The program challenges the conventional wisdom that K-12 and post-secondary education are different worlds by bringing together scholars and students from all levels of education to work and study together. Particularly, the program will focus on narrowing achievement gaps by studying factors and creating more efficacious transitions within the educational experience. Working from the premise that all people can learn at high levels, the program will study the systemic barriers that prevent so many children, adolescents, and young adults from achieving their fullest potential.

In addition to becoming experts in their particular area of inquiry, candidates will receive a broad foundation in the study of educational leadership and policy development. Candidates in the Ph.D. program will be part of a cohort throughout their three years of coursework, leading to the comprehensive exams and dissertation. Research has demonstrated that cohort models can be very effective in fostering deep learning and increasing the likelihood of students moving towards program completion. We expect that most of the students in the program will work full-time and therefore the cohort will take only six graduate semester credit hours (two courses) per semester. The number of candidates selected for the first cohort will be limited to 15.

For further information about the Ph.D. program in Educational Leadership, contact the Ph.D. Program Director,

Enhanced Graduate Teaching Assistantship

The Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies is able to offer an Enhanced Graduate Teaching Assistantship (EGTA) to qualified incoming doctoral students. Although our Ph.D. program is designed for working professionals, this would allow a student to work part-time and teach part-time. To be eligible for EGTAs, newly admitted students must have a GPA of at least 3.0 in their last 60 undergraduate credit hours plus at least a 3.25 GPA in any graduate-level credit hours, be unconditionally admitted to our Ph.D. program, and satisfy English proficiency requirements necessary to hold a graduate teaching assistantship. EGTAs are offered a stipend and accompanying tuition waivers for up to five years. Students who are EGTAs must take six doctoral hours per semester in addition to their other responsibilities. If this is something of interest to any incoming student, please submit a one-page document outlining your professional goals, how being an EGTA would enhance your studies, and courses you are interested in and qualified to teach with your other application materials. Email all inquiries about this program to

Visit our info page to receive more details about the EGTA positions available to potential Ph.D. students.