Degree Requirements

Master of Education

This is a professional degree offered in two areas of specialization—higher education leadership and public school executive leadership. In the public school executive leadership specialization, the master’s degree is offered in educational policy and planning, or the principalship. The master’s degree in the principalship is part of the state certification program. At least 36 semester hours of coursework are required, concentrated in one of the areas of specialization. All specializations require at least 30 hours of approved coursework in the department. Several specializations require a minor of at least six hours outside of the department. 

Doctor of Philosophy

Programs leading to this degree emphasize preparation for a research career in which the graduate will add to the core of knowledge in the fields of educational policy or higher education leadership. Programs are oriented toward theory development and the development of research skills in a variety of methodologies and include a strong secondary emphasis in a cognate field. To be admitted to candidacy, a student must pass the mid-program review and a written examination in the area of specialization.

The student’s program must consist of at least 60 semester hours of coursework at the University in addition to dissertation hours, including at least 42 hours in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy. The student must be in residence as a full-time student for two consecutive semesters. Students may register for no more than 15 hours each semester and for no more than six hours each six-week summer term.

All students must complete the coursework listed below. Additional coursework is required in some areas of specialization.

  1. Twelve hours in core areas that form the theoretical foundation for the study of administration. Core areas include educational economics and finance policy; educational politics and policy; organizational design and behavior; and social and cultural contexts of education.
  2. At least 18 hours of coursework unique to the specialization.
  3. At least 15 hours (the minor) outside the College of Education but in areas supporting the field; nine hours must be in a single theme or discipline or must form an integrated sequence.
  4. Twelve hours in research methods courses, including Educational Leadership and Policy 391P391Q391E. Knowledge of basic statistics is prerequisite to some research methodology courses; this knowledge may be demonstrated by coursework (which may not be counted toward the doctoral degree) or by examination.
  5. The candidate must enroll for two consecutive semesters in dissertation courses.

The focus of the dissertation must be in-depth, original research that has the possibility of creating new knowledge and understanding of a particular educational construct. In addition, the implications of the dissertation research should be much wider than a specific problem in a specific context.

The dissertation committee must be comprised of a minimum of four individuals. The chair of the committee must be a faculty member with GSC status in the Department. The second and third committee members must be faculty with GSC status in the Department. The fourth member is an individual with a doctorate degree who is not a member of the student’s GSC. The fourth member, if external to the University, will need to submit a curriculum vitae and a letter indicating his/her willingness to serve on the dissertation committee. 

Doctor of Education

Programs for the Doctor of Education degree emphasize preparation for leadership careers in a variety of educational settings, including superintendent executive leadership and higher education executive leadership. Programs are oriented toward the application of theory and knowledge to practical problems and toward the development of sophisticated management skills and intelligent, informed leadership. To be admitted to candidacy, a student must pass the mid-program review and a written examination in the area of specialization.

Doctor of Education students in the superintendent executive leadership area must take coursework that consists of at least 63 semester hours at the University in addition to the treatise courses, including at least 54 hours in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy. Students must be in residence as full-time students for two consecutive semesters or a semester and a summer session. Students may register for no more than 15 hours each semester and for no more than six hours each six-week summer term. Students must complete the following coursework:

  1. Twelve hours in core areas that form the theoretical foundation for the study of leadership. Core areas include educational economics and finance policy; educational politics and policy; organizational design and behavior; and social and cultural contexts of education.
  2. At least 33 hours of coursework unique to the specialization.
  3. Nine hours (the minor) outside the department but in areas supporting the field of educational leadership.
  4. At least nine hours in research methods courses. Knowledge of basic statistics is prerequisite to other research methodology courses. This knowledge may be demonstrated by coursework (which may not be counted toward the doctoral degree) or by examination.
  5. At least one semester in an internship or practicum. The internship is individually designed to provide each student with on-site experience in the practice of educational leadership.
  6. The candidate must enroll for two consecutive semesters in treatise courses.

Doctor of Education students in the higher education executive leadership program* must take coursework that consists of at least 57 semester hours at the University including the treatise courses, including at least 48 hours in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy. Students must be in residence as full-time students for the length of the program.  Students may register for no more than 15 hours each semester and for no more than six hours each six-week summer term. Students must complete the following coursework:

  1. At least 18 hours of coursework unique to the specialization.
  2. Nine hours (the minor) outside the department but in areas supporting the field of educational leadership.
  3. Three hours in an internship course. The internship is individually designed to provide each student with enhanced experience in the practice of higher education leadership. 
  4. The candidate must enroll for two consecutive semesters in treatise courses.

For all Doctor of Education students, the focus of the treatise must be on problems of practice and should address a specific problem or program in a given context. The treatise can examine a particular issue or evaluate a specific program in any educational institution.

The treatise committee for the EdD must be comprised of four individuals. The chair of the committee must be a faculty with GSC status in the department. The second and third committee members must be faculty with GSC status in the department.  The fourth committee member will be an individual with practical experience directly related to the proposed treatise, who holds a doctorate degree, and who is not a member of the student’s GSC.  The fourth member, if external to the University, will need to submit a curriculum vitae and a letter indicating their willingness to serve on the treatise committee.