All schools & programs > School of Education > Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies >

Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Visit their website » Print...

Ph.D. Degree Programs

The Ph.D. prepares scholars for roles as professors, policy makers, or researchers who are qualified to contribute theoretically grounded, original research. All doctoral students must complete a program that provides a broad understanding of educational leadership and policy as well as a concentration in educational administration, higher education, foundations of education, or policy studies, or a focus in educational technology.

Basic and applied research skills, including statistics, research design, and related options appropriate to the degree, are required for the Ph.D. Specific descriptions of research requirements may be obtained from the department. Candidates for the Ph.D. must complete the School of Education doctoral core.

Note: Contact your department or program for more information about research skills and responsible scholarship, and the current requirements for doctoral students. Current Lawrence and Edwards Campus policies on Doctoral Research Skills and Responsible Scholarship are listed in the KU Policy Library.

A general description of each concentration is given here. Request the appropriate program brochure or visit the department's website for specific information on courses and requirements for each area.

Educational Administration

The educational administration concentration prepares teachers and administrators for school district leadership roles. Studies stress fundamental fields of knowledge and educational policy development necessary for effective leadership of school districts. Students pursuing this concentration must take course work in the summer.

Foundations of Education

The foundations of education area features a broad examination of educational theory and its practical application on local, national, and international levels. Emphasis is placed on social, philosophical, historical, comparative, and interdisciplinary inquiry into the relationship between human aspirations and the aims and methods of education. Courses of study are flexible and reflect the particular needs and aspirations of each student.

Higher Education

The concentration in higher education provides current and prospective college or university staff members and administrators with theoretical and practical knowledge of higher education as a complex human activity. The Ph.D. program includes required and elective courses in the concentration, in a cognate area.

Policy Studies

The education policy studies concentration features a multidisciplinary approach to policy analysis. Students prepare for roles as researchers, policy analysts, higher education faculty, and educational leaders through individualized programs. Each student takes courses from 2 or more of the other doctoral concentrations in the department and, depending on interest, other relevant courses in social sciences.

Educational Technology

The Ph.D. with a focus in educational technology advances research, theory, and practice in the design, development, and application of information technology in education. The focus includes required and elective course work in educational policy, educational technology, the School of Education core, research, and a cognate. Program graduates typically assume leadership positions as faculty in higher education, researchers or directors of educational technology in schools, and in corporate and governmental settings.

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University’s programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access,, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785)864-6414, 711 TTY.