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What will I learn?

This area of emphasis focuses on advanced leadership preparation as it applies to K-12 or to higher education settings. The Ph.D. prepares students for leadership or teaching at the college level or for roles in policy analysis and research. The Ed.D. option is available in this area of concentration for practicing professionals in K-12.

The Ph.D. in Education: Educational Leadership area of emphasis is intended for individuals with a minimum of a master's degree in an education-related field wishing to work in a leadership role. Our goal is to prepare students to excel in their field of interest through a personalized, challenging curriculum that best suits their professional goals.

Curricular Structure

A minimum of 93 credits are required to graduate from this Ph.D. program. The curricular structure is made up of the following four categories:


Doctoral program experiences are designed to ensure that the educational professionals who complete our program have the skills needed to locate research that is relevant to their own present and future professional roles and duties, evaluate the research of others, and design, conduct and disseminate the results of their own research studies. The research and statistics courses in the college are designed to contribute to the mastery of these skills.


Coursework in this area is determined by the Advisory/Examining Committee in close consultation with the student. The courses in Educational Leadership prepare students for leadership or teaching at the college level or for roles in policy analysis and research.

COGNATE, 24 credits

The cognate is made up of courses that provide depth and/or breadth to a student's program as approved by the student's advisory/examining committee. These courses may represent a second area of emphasis, may be interdisciplinary, or may be made of graduate credits from the master's degree that represents a related and coherent area of study.

DISSERTATION, 24 credits

The dissertation is the culminating experience for the doctoral degree. It represents an independent research project that makes a contribution to the field of study.

Which department am I in?

College of Education and Human Development

Study options

Full Time (93 credit hours)

Tuition fees
US$16,542.00 per year
Application deadline

1 October 2022, 15 April 2023

Start date

23 January 2023


College of Education and Human Development

1664 N. Virginia,



89557, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Bachelor’s degree or recognized equivalent from an accredited institution. Eligibility for admission with a 3-year bachelor's degree are determined on a case by case basis. Minimum grade point average (on a 4.0 scale): 3.0 for a doctoral degree.

For international students

Applicants must have

  • Undergraduate or graduate GPA of 3.00 or higher
  • Preference for applicants who hold a master's degree from a regionally accredited institution in an area appropriately related to the chosen emphasis area. High achieving applicants who possess only a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution will be considered. Emphasis of prior degree area(s) should be appropriately related to the chosen emphasis area.
  • Minimum score requirements: TOEFL: 550 (paper) or 79 (internet), IELTS: 6.5 (academic version).

Admission Deadlines

The College of Education has application deadlines for Spring (November 15). Students wishing to apply for a graduate assistantship for Fall semester must apply for the Ph.D. program and the college graduate assistantship by February 1. Applications for Fall will continue to be reviewed up to July 15.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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