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McNeely Teaching

Educational Administration PhD

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



Educational Administration Foundations (18 hours)
EDAM 610 Advanced Seminar in Leadership Theory
EDAM 629 Seminar in Policy Issues in Education
EDAM 680 Administration of Complex Organizations
EDAM 670 Values and Ethics in Educational Leadership
EDAM 695 History and Philosophy of Education
EDAM 695 Comparative Studies in Global Leadership

Research Foundation (15 hours)
ELPS 615 Research Design
EDPY 577 Statistics in Applied Fields
EDPY 677 Advanced Statistics in Applied Fields
HEAM 695 Qualitative Research Design and Methods
Qualitative Research Elective

Specialization Courses (12 hours)
The specialization is individually designed to meet students’ professional goals and interests. Specialization
interests may be pursued in regularly scheduled coursework in the program and/or cognate work in other departments
and via internships, independent studies, and readings courses.

Cognate (6 hours taken outside ELPS Department)

ELPS 600: Dissertation (24 hours)
All students must enroll for 24 semester hours of dissertation to complete the PhD degree. Once enrollment in ELPS 600 dissertation has begun, the student must remain in continuous enrollment until the degree is completed.


Download a Copy of the EDAM PhD Curriculum