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Graduate Programs

The department offers four programs with options for five graduate degrees:


The master’s degree program in college student personnel is a practitioner-oriented program philosophically based in college and university administration. It is designed to prepare thoughtful, compassionate student and university service administrators armed with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to serve in a wide and growing variety of positions in postsecondary institutions. Among them are admissions, orientation, career services, records, housing, diversity resources, disability services, alumni affairs, Greek life, advising, judicial affairs, and development. Resting on standards articulated by the Council for the Advancement of Standards for Student Services/Student Development programs, the program involves two years of study and includes two different practicum experiences.

The University of Tennessee has been a leader in the preparation of educational leaders for PreK–12 schools in Tennessee and the Southeast. The first doctoral degree was conferred in 1950. The Educational Administration program is a founding member of the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), a consortium of leading research universities from across the nation that are actively engaged in the preparation of educational leaders. Our programs, including the master’s, education specialist, and doctoral programs, are NCATE and SACS approved.

The PhD program in higher education administration features course work and learning experiences for advanced graduate study to those students aspiring to enhance their leadership knowledge and skills for service in their current positions; to establish knowledge and skill bases for more responsible and executive leadership appointment; to build the capacity and inclination for active participation in policy dialogue related to the purpose and performance of higher education; and to prepare selected scholars for service in faculty and policy scholar roles.


The V.O.L.S. Lead program is an online program that offers master’s and specialist in education (EdS) degrees in educational administration with the option of obtaining a K–12 licensure certificate in educational administration. All courses are offered in an online delivery format along with an internship and thesis requirements for the master’s and EdS degrees. Students of the V.O.L.S. Lead program will be trained to become administrators in K–12 public schools and conduct action research that will aim to improve the conditions of public school systems.

ELPS Graduate Student Handbook

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