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McNeely Teaching

Educational Administration

PhD in Education, with a concentration in Leadership Studies

This doctoral program is directed toward developing practitioner-scholars who understand the power of ideas and who place those ideas in service to improve educational practice. In addition, the program seeks to develop in these scholar-practitioners both the skill and disposition to thoughtful inquiry, policy analysis, and evaluation. Students admitted into the program are seasoned leaders in their school systems and possess both the intellectual ability to become scholars and the disposition of mind to become exemplary practitioners.

Further, doctoral study is designed to: (1) accent the heritage of the educational enterprise and its centrality to the strength of a democratic society, (2) equip students with the dispositions and skills to challenge the status quo and engage in evaluative policy dialogue and scholarship regarding the role and performance of educational organizations, (3) link competence and conscience via the study of ethics, and (4) emphasize the connection between theory and practice.


The leadership studies in education doctorate presents leadership as an artistic endeavor enhanced through self-awareness and validation. The program assists students with opportunities and techniques for enhancing self-understanding in conjunction with acquiring knowledge and skills. The program is based on the assumption that leaders lead from their values, and encourages self-exploration and clarification of values as a means for interpreting and responding to learned theory.

PhD Program Hallmarks

  • Adult learning principles
  • Best practices
  • Integration of knowledge, values, and performance
  • Linkage of theory and practice
  • Reflective action
  • Moral and ethical perspectives
  • Evening classes
  • Opportunities to develop leadership skills
  • Participation in professional conferences


The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.

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