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PhD in Educational Leadership

woman explaining research poster
Director: 
Gina Biancarosa, EdD
Contact: Angela Burham, Student Services Coordinator
Phone: 
(541) 346-1492
Degrees: 

Location

Mailing Address: 
Educational Methodology, Policy, and Leadership
5267 University of Oregon
Eugene
OR
97403

Program Philosophy

The doctor of philosophy (PhD) program in Educational Leadership develops expertise in educational research and is intended for those who wish to pursue faculty or research careers.

A degree in educational leadership through the Department of Educational Methodology, Policy, and Leadership (EMPL) focuses on the development, implementation, and generation of outcomes in the organization and management of K–12 education. The program is designed to develop researchers and scholars who can apply theoretical frameworks, methodological approaches, and analytical skills to improve educational performance.

The program focuses on several dimensions of research leadership in Pre-K-12 educational systems:

(a) development of policies to guide programs,
(b) creation of organizational structures and functions to facilitate change, and
(c) measurement and analysis of educational outcomes to enact accountability.

Students can also choose to earn a specialization in Quantitative Research Methods in conjunction with their PhD program.

Wondering which type of doctoral degree is right for you? This video explains the differences between our PhD and DEd programs.

Program Requirements

  • Total credits required: 135 (at least 84 earned after admission to the program)
  • Transferable credits: Up to 51 from prior related masters degree or from other accredited university (must be pre-approved)
  • Time limit on program completion: 7 years

Program Overview

The PhD program is organized around a cognitive apprenticeship model anchored to a program of research with a clear line of inquiry. In cognitive apprenticeship, students are expected to work closely with faculty members and other scholars on a variety of class-based and field projects to engage in first-hand research practice, with a focus on the production of original research. Students are expected to incorporate interdisciplinary principles into their thinking and are encouraged to consider evidence-based practice and leadership among their research contexts. The coursework is designed to create a culture of community for advising/mentoring and for sustaining students’ continuous progress toward degree completion.

Coursework

The PhD program is designed to include a shared core of courses for all PhD students and additional advanced coursework targeting one of the three available emphasis areas. The three emphasis areas are: Policy and Organizations, Methodological Approaches, and Measurement and Assessment.

Comprehensive Academic Portfolio

As part of the first several years of study, PhD students compile evidence for an academic portfolio that demonstrates mastery of the competencies required to advance to the dissertation phase. This portfolio meets the graduate school’s requirements for a comprehensive examination. In general, evidence will include key course assignments specifically designed to document mastery of foundational concepts as well as skills and knowledge gained in a specialized interest area.

Proposal and Dissertation

Upon successful completion of coursework and the comprehensive portfolio, PhD students submit a proposal that outlines their proposed dissertation research. To advance to the dissertation phase, PhD students must:

  • satisfactorily complete all required coursework in their planned program of study with at least a 3.0 GPA;
  • satisfactorily complete a portfolio of evidence indicating that they have mastered the competencies necessary for the dissertation phase;
  • receive approval from their advisor for their research proposal;
  • complete residency requirements of three contiguous terms of full time enrollment.

The dissertation topic must align with the interests and expertise of the program faculty so that the advisor can successfully guide the student on its design and implementation. Through a sequence of courses in research foundations, students are taught a range of research methods that enable them to complete a high quality dissertation on a problem, utilizing qualitative, quantitative, or single subject methods.