Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville


Related to the Educational Administration/Leadership Studies in Education Programs (MS, EdS, and PhD):

The cognate for the leadership studies in education doctoral degree consists of a minimum of 6 hours of graduate coursework offered outside the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (ELPS). These courses may fulfill two purposes: (1) the acquisition of additional skills and knowledge not covered by the prescribed coursework within the field of educational leadership and (2) the acquisition of skills and knowledge needed to complete the dissertation.

The educational administration faculty recognize the value of developing additional skills related to an individual’s future career plans. The cognate courses, selected in consultation with the student’s advisor, are in a discipline related in some logical way to an individual’s field of graduate study. The cognate courses may also be related to the student’s research interest and may serve to better prepare the student to work on the dissertation.

The IRB is the Institutional Review Board at the University of Tennessee. It has the responsibility of reviewing all research projects that involve human subjects. The history surrounding the formation of IRBs dates back to 1979 and the Belmont Report.

The Belmont Report, released in 1979 by the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects in Biomedical and Behavioral Research, provides the ethical framework for the Federal Regulations designed to protect human research subjects.

Summary of Belmont Report: On July 12, 1974, the National Research Act was signed into law, thereby creating the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research. One of the charges to the commission was to identify the basic ethical principles that should underlie the conduct of biomedical and behavioral research involving human subjects and to develop guidelines which should be followed to assure that such research is conducted in accordance with those principles. Basic ethical principles: The expression “basic ethical principles” refers to those general judgments that serve as a basic justification for the many particular ethical prescriptions and evaluations of human actions. Three basic principles, among those generally accepted in our culture, are particularly relevant to the ethics of research involving human subjects: the principles of respect of persons, beneficence and justice.

The Master of Science and Specialist in Education degrees in educational administration take approximately two years for the completion of coursework.

Courses taken at another institution (within the last six years) may be considered for transfer into a master’s or EdS program as determined by the program faculty and the dean of the Graduate School. At the doctoral level, courses are not officially transferred although they may be used to meet degree requirements. When a requirement has been met through coursework from another institution, the student must petition the academic unit for a waiver of the requirement at the doctoral level. For a course to transfer into a master’s or EdS program it must be taken for graduate credit, carry a grade of “B” or better, not have been used for a prior degree, be approved by the program faculty and the dean of the Graduate School on the Admission to Candidacy form. The majority of the total hours for any degree must be taken at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

A very clear and complete discussion of transfer courses can be found in the Graduate Catalog under the heading of Transfer Credits.

Well-developed curriculums are the norm in all of the educational administration and educational leadership programs (i.e., MS, EdS, PhD). With the approval of the advisor, a student may enroll in an independent study (ELPS 593 for master’s and specialist students and ELPS 693 for doctoral students). Independent studies are offered to afford our students the opportunity to explore areas that are not currently covered in the prescribed curriculum. While there is no limit on the number of hours that can be taken, independent studies are usually taken sparingly.

The master’s, specialist, licensure, and doctoral programs in educational administration/leadership are comprised of courses that are sequenced in meaningful ways. With the permission of the student’s advisor, courses may be taken “out of sequence,”  but this practice is not encouraged.

With the approval of the advisor and the department head, a doctoral student may register for ELPS 600 prior to finishing all required coursework, passing the comprehensive examination, and being elevated to candidacy. This practice is not encouraged but is sometimes necessary for the purpose of maintaining the appropriate number of hours to satisfy student loans.

The doctoral dissertation committee is comprised of four members. The chair and one other member must be from the ELPS department. There must also be one member from outside the department (e.g., from EPC, TPTE, or some other department or college in the university). Three members of the committee must hold doctoral directive status.

Students must acquire 24 hours of dissertation credit in order to satisfy the graduation requirements. It is certainly possible that a doctoral student may earn more than the 24 minimum number of hours of ELPS 600. Students are advised to plan how long it will take to complete and defend the dissertation and register for the appropriate number of hours for ELPS 600 each semester during that timeframe.

The University of Tennessee allows eight years from the start of the first course to complete the doctoral degree in education with a concentration in leadership studies in education. While few exceptions are granted, a doctoral student’s advisor may petition the Graduate School for an extension of time. In most cases where exceptions are granted, the student is in the final stages of defending the dissertation.

Related to the College Student Personnel and Higher Education Administration Programs (MS and PhD):

The program does not offer distance learning or online courses in its current program. It is possible that selected courses taken in distance learning or network formats might be used to satisfy requirements in the area of specialization.

There is no alternative residency option. However, most students complete residency in the first year by taking nine hours in the fall and spring terms respectively, with two courses during the week and one course conducted one Saturday each month during each of these two terms. Many students find it manageable to remain in full-time leadership appointments and satisfactorily complete residency course work in the first year of the program, though this requires a keen sense of personal discipline and commitment.

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