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Ph.D. in Educational Leadership

The Ph.D. in Educational Leadership program is designed for candidates who seek to pursue careers in research, institutional assessment, policy analysis, institutional leadership, higher education administration, student affairs, or the professoriate. The program challenges the conventional wisdom that K-12 and postsecondary education are different worlds by bringing together scholars and students from all levels of education to work and study together. Working from the premise that all people can learn at high levels, the program explores the systemic barriers that prevent so many children, adolescents, and young adults from achieving their fullest potential. Students receive a broad foundation in the study of educational leadership and policy development through a wide range of course offerings focused on both K-12 leadership and higher education.

Candidates in the Ph.D. program will be part of a cohort throughout their required coursework, leading to the 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. Because most of the students in the program work full-time, they are required to take only six graduate credit hours per semester.

Early admission deadline for Fall 2020 UTA cohort is March 1, 2020. 
Final deadline: May 1, 2020

1. Research Methods Core (15 hours)

EDAD 6304 K-16 Quantitative Research Design & Methodology 3
EDAD 6308 Qualitative Research Design & Methodology 3
EDAD 6310 Statistical Methods 3
EDAD 6315 Advanced Statistical Methods 3
EDAD 6318 Advanced Qualitative Methods 3

2. Core Content Courses (15 hours)

EDAD 6301 Introduction to K-16 Doctoral Studies 3
EDAD 6320 K-16 Philosophy & History Policy Research 3
EDAD 6327 K-16 Policy & Law Analysis Research 3
EDAD 6342 K-16 Organizational & Leadership Theory Research 3
EDAD 6343 Social & Cultural Contexts of Education 3

3. Elective Courses (18 Hours)

A. Doctoral-level electives selected from the following (9 hours):

EDAD 6390 Selected Topics K-16 Educational Leadership Research  3
EDAD 6391 Independent Research 3
EDAD 6392 Selected Topics K-16 Educational Policy Research 3

B. Other Elective Courses (no more than 9 hours): Must be pre-approved by Supervising Professor/Dissertation Chair.

4. Dissertation (18 hours minimum) selected from:

EDAD 6399 Dissertation 3
EDAD 6699 Dissertation 6

* Students will continue enrolling in dissertation hours until the dissertation is completed and approved by their committee.

5. Final Dissertation Defense

EDAD 7399 Doctoral Degree Completion 3

* Students must be enrolled in in EDAD 7399 the term in which they plan to defend the final dissertation.

***Please refer to your Cohort Handbook for additional requirements. ***

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