Student Handbook

Educational Leadership Ph.D. Program


Mininum total semester hours required: 90 s.h.

Course Delivery

Educational leadership faculty teach courses for the superintendent endorsement programs in a blended format on Saturdays and via distance delivery. Interested students may count coursework in the program toward the PhD. Completion of the PhD requires attendance on campus for two semesters of residency (9 semester hours each), 18 semester hours of research courses, and other requirements as determined by academic advisors.

Course Requirements

Common Courses (12 s.h.)

  • EPLS:6217 Theory and Practice of Leadership (3 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6224 Organizational Theory & Administrative Behavior (3 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6226 Educational Management (3 s.h.)
  • EPLS:7291 Administration of Educational Programs and Personnel (3 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6311 Seminar: Research Topic in Education/Leadership (3 s.h.)

Cognates (9 s.h.)

Students who specialize in leadership must complete a 9 s.h. cognate outside of the Educational Policy and Leadership Studies department.

Electives (29 s.h.)

Each student will complete electives in a related field approved by their academic advisor. Students are encouraged to present their M.A. degree as the related field, where appropriate.

Specific Area of Concentration - Educational Leadership (12 s.h.)

Courses applicable to building a strong background in leadership include coursework in Educational Policy and Leadership Studies (educational leadership, higher education, social foundations of education), public administration, business, and behavioral and social sciences, among others.

Courses may be chosen from the following:

  • EPLS:6218 The Law and Higher Education or EPLS6:6299 Legal Aspect of School Administration (3 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6225 Introduction to Public Policymaking (3 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6228 Policy Design and Implementation (3 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6265 Standards-based Education and Accountability (3 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6270 Politics and Policy of Leadership (3 s.h.)
  • EPLS:6311 Seminar: Research in Education (3 s.h.)


Each student will complete no fewer than 18 semester hours of graduate courses in research design, quantitative, and qualitative required methods appropriate for doctoral-level research in Educational Leadership. Students will consult with their advisors to select appropriate courses approved by the College of Education. College of Education Research Requirements.

Note: Educational Leadership Ph.D. students may substitute EPLS:6206 Research Process and Design for EALL:5150 Introduction to Educational Research. Contact your advisor for more information.

Comprehensive Exams

The comprehensive exam is viewed as a culminating experience for doctoral students. Ph.D. students must satisfactorily complete a take-home comprehensive examinations consisting of three areas. The first is in the major area of study; the second is in the other concentration area; and the third is in the students’ chosen outside area of study and is prepared by faculty members outside the Educational Policy and Leadership Studies department. The written exams are followed by an oral examination.


An original research project is to be developed in an area of Educational Leadership.

  • EPLS:7493 Ph.D. Thesis (10 s.h)