PhD in Educational Leadership & Research: P-12 Educational Leadership


The mission of the PhD program in P-12 Educational Leadership is to further develop the capacity of educational leaders for the diverse needs of P-12 educational environments. The PhD program in P-12 Educational Leadership engages PhD students in a relevant, demanding curriculum focusing on leadership and involves a high level of academic rigor with a relentless commitment to social justice education.

Candidates seeking this degree program often serve a variety of school leadership capacities: the principalship, school-level leaders, curriculum directors, instructional directors, assistant and associate superintendents, and superintendents, all of whom understand and apply education research.

Program Structure

The curricular requirements for Educational Leadership include:

  • a core area of 20 hours (14 hours of research and 6 hours in a school core)
  • 24 hours in the primary area of P-12 Leadership specialization, and
  • Nine hours of dissertation research

The student must pass a General Exam consisting of written questions and a comprehensive oral exam; write a dissertation proposal and pass an oral defense of the proposal; and write a dissertation and pass an oral defense of the dissertation.

Admission Requirements

Students are anticipated to have a master’s degree in an educational field. Students with a non-education master’s may be required to take additional coursework.

In addition to the Graduate School requirements, the P-12 Educational Leadership program requires:

  • minimum one-page letter of intent that explains the reasons why you are seeking a PhD
  • current curriculum vitae
  • a professional letter of recommendation; and
  • competitive scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), verbal, quantitative, and writing sections




Financial Information


For More Information

Margaret-Mary Sulentic Dowell, PhD
228 Peabody Hall

Email Dr. Sulentic Dowell