Doctoral Degree: Educational Policy and Leadership Specialization in Educational Leadership

Ed LeadershipThe Specialization in Educational Leadership  is intended for individuals with interests and/or experiences in PK-12 education (for example, teachers, counselors, school or district leaders, education agency personnel).  Recognizing the centrality of policy in education practice, the program provides the opportunity for current and aspiring leaders, policy analysts, academics, and researchers to (1) critically examine and synthesize theories, research, practices, and policies, and (2) conduct rigorous research that contributes to improving education.  Because courses are taken with peers from the fields of higher and international education, Educational Leadership students expand their perspectives beyond U.S. PK-12 education to gain insight regarding leadership, organizational change and school reform, policies and politics, curriculum development and instructional improvement, and evaluation in both domestic and international contexts. The doctoral specialization is closely linked with the Center for Educational Policy, which manages externally-funded grants and contracts.

Admission Criteria

The doctoral specialization in Educational Leadership leading to an Ph.D. is designed for professionals with experience related to PK-12 education, including policy or other education work (PK-12 experience is desirable, although not necessary). Applicants are required to hold an earned Master’s degree from an accredited institution. The ability to write clearly and coherently must be demonstrated in the applicant’s personal statement, which should include information about his/her areas of interest within Educational Leadership.

Program of Study

Credits Required: 60 credits

Course Number

Course Title

Credit Hours

EPRA Common Doctoral Course


EDUC 739

Introduction to Inquiry


Research Methods: minimum of 4 courses (2 must be quantitative*)


EDUC 555

Introduction to Statistics I*


EDUC 619

Qualitative Research Methods


EDUC 652

Mixed Methods Research*


EDUC 656

Introduction to Statistics II*


EDUC 661

Education Research Methods I*


EDUC 671

Survey Research Methods*


EDUC 718

Action Research


EDUC 790

Social Network Analysis*



Qualitative Data Analysis


EDUC 815

Ethnography (2 semesters)


Other courses with Guidance Committee approval_____


Educational Leadership: 7 required courses


EDUC 633

Education and Public Policy


EDUC 638

Leading Organizational Collaboration


EDUC 646

Leadership for Curriculum and Instruction


EDUC 726

Introduction to School Leadership


EDUC 742

Leadership Skills that Matter


EDUC 824

Strategies for Institutional Change


One other EL content course with Guidance Committee approval_____


Elective Courses: minimum of 12 credits approved by Guidance Committee


Up to 6 credits of which could be additional dissertation credits


Dissertation Credits


Minimum Total Credits


Educational Leadership Specialization Contacts in the Education Policy and Leadership Concentration

Rebecca H. Woodland, Chair, Department of  Educational Policy, Research and Administration
Sharon F. Rallis, Distinguished Professor and Educational Leadership Specialization Coordinaton
Jeffery W. Eiseman, Associate Professor
Kathryn A. McDermott, Professor