Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Higher Education Administration


We’re pleased that you are interested in doctoral study in the Higher Education Administration program, and I would like to extend a personal welcome to the program website. This site is designed to furnish background on the program mission and values, curriculum, and admissions criteria. If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 865-974-6150 or by e-mail at We also welcome personal visits from interested students and would be pleased to arrange opportunities for you to meet the faculty and other students and to see the community of the university and Knoxville.

Doctoral study preparing administrators, faculty, and policy scholars in educational leadership has a history reaching back a half century at the University of Tennessee. In the early history of the doctoral program, study in college administration was a specialization within educational leadership, but higher education administration is now a full major. The program has a rich history in preparing and placing students in a variety of leadership positions, including a large number in executive appointments at the vice presidential and presidential levels (institutions and systems). In addition, we are renewing and strengthening our commitment to the preparation of faculty and policy scholars.

Our program is based on the assumption that leadership is a conceptual, moral, and performing art form. Effective leadership is built on the power of ideas, the influence of thoughtfully considered values, and the knowledge/skill that flows from the practice of the art. Note also our conviction that leadership is more a matter of passion than position. Those who do not care for the promise of those entrusted to their care and who do not care for principles of excellence and integrity will not be effective leaders.

If you believe the mission and features of doctoral study in higher education administration at the University of Tennessee resonate with your interests and goals, then we would be pleased to have you as a candidate for admission consideration.

Norma T. Mertz, EdD
Department Head and
Program Coordinator

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The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Big Orange. Big Ideas.

Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.