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Degree Requirements

Students must complete a total of 100 semester hours of coursework beyond the bachelor's degree or 68 semester hours beyond the master's degree, including the dissertation. Candidates select from 1 of 2 concentrations that matches their degree interests – Education, Leadership, and Policy or Social Foundations.

Students will pursue a program of study that equips them to conduct research from theoretical perspectives that constitute the Education, Leadership, and Policy field, including organizational theory and research, administration and leadership theory, educational policy processes, educational organization and leadership and educational change.

Advising Guides Heading link

Program Coordinator Heading link

College Doctoral Core and Research Methodology Core (24 credit hours) Heading link

  • ED 504 Urban Contexts and Educational Research
  • ED 505 Introduction to Educational Research: Paradigms and Processes
  • ED 506 Introduction to Educational Research: Designs and Analyses
  • ED 502 Essentials of Qualitative Inquiry in Education
  • ED 503 Essentials of Quantitative Inquiry in Education
  • Plus one additional 4-semester hour course in qualitative or quantitative research methodology that is selected in consultation with the faculty advisor

Educational Policy Studies Core (8 hours) Heading link

  • EDPS 510 Introduction to Doctoral Education in Policy Studies
  • EDPS 511 Introduction to Academic Writing in Policy Studies
  • EDPS 592 Professional Career Training in Education Policy Studies

EDPS 510 and 511 should be taken within the first year of the program.

Education, Leadership, and Policy Concentration Required Courses (12 hours) Heading link

  • EDPS 571 The Education Policy Process
  • EDPS 579 Organization Theory in Education
  • EDPS 589 Administrative and Leadership Theory in Education

Education, Leadership, and Policy Concentration Electives (12 hours) Heading link

Elective credit hours should be selected in consultation with the faculty advisor

Dissertation (12 hours) Heading link

  • EDPS 599 Thesis Research

Additional Requirements Heading link

Annual Reviews

To monitor student progress effectively, and to provide a vehicle through which students and their advisors will reflect on student progress in a structured way, each student will prepare and submit a formal Annual Review. Each student’s Annual Review will follow a program-wide template and each student’s progress will be reported to and discussed by the area faculty on an annual basis. One element on which students will be assessed will be their engagement in the scholarly community beyond coursework for the program. Students are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities for professional growth such as colloquia, conferences and preparing papers for publication. The Annual Review provides a structured occasion to examine each student’s participation in such professional activities.

Comprehensive Qualifying Examination

Near to or upon completion of required coursework, all students will be administered a comprehensive written exam as part of the requirement for qualification for the dissertation stage of the program. This examination will help students organize and focus their coursework toward dissertation proposal development and research. The comprehensive exam is individually designed for each student by the student’s program advisor and at least 2 additional faculty members who compose a comprehensive exam committee. The committee members will together compose and approve questions for the student to answer. The questions will address the student’s general knowledge of the field of concentration, specialized knowledge within that field, and the student’s use of the methods of inquiry appropriate to research in that field. A student has 2 opportunities to pass all portions of the comprehensive exams to move to the next phase of the program.

Oral Preliminary Examination

After successful completion of the written comprehensive examination and coursework, a 5-member faculty committee shall be constituted to advise the student on the development of a dissertation proposal. At least 2 members of this committee must be full members of the Graduate College. One member must be from outside the student’s chosen area of specialization. This committee is appointed by the Dean of the Graduate College on the recommendation of the department director of Graduate Studies. When the dissertation proposal is completed, an oral preliminary examination is administered by this faculty committee. The examination focuses on the substantive area of the student’s dissertation proposal as well as the proposal itself. The committee may require a written component to this exam.

Dissertation and Oral Defense

A dissertation of original research is required to complete the program. It must be defended before a faculty committee appointed by the Dean of the Graduate College on the recommendation of the department director of Graduate Studies. The committee shall have at least 5 members, of whom at least 2 must be full members of the Graduate College. One member must be from outside the student’s chosen area of specialization. This committee may be the same as the committee constituted for the preliminar.