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PhD Program Curriculum

The PhD with concentration in Educational Administration follows the requirements of the School of Education. Typically, students take some of the coursework required for the EdD and a minor and electives determined in consultation with an advisor.

The courses in the major are taken within the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (ELPS) Department. The elective courses are taken from other departments both within and outside of the School of Education. Students in this program design individual programs with their advisor and are not part of a cohort group. Students may begin the program at any time but normally are accepted in the spring and start in the summer. Completion of the Ph.D. program does not necessarily lead to district licensure. To obtain licensure, all the courses from the major listed below must be completed. These additional courses may be taken during or after completion of the degree program.


  • A graduate level course in educational philosophy (ELPS 958 listed in "Required Courses" will satisfy this requirement)
  • A graduate level course in human development
  • A graduate level course in curriculum (C&T (Curriculum & Teaching) 903 listed in "Required Courses" will satisfy this requirement)

Required Courses for the Major

Five from the following list of courses:

  • ELPS 956 District Leadership
  • ELPS 958 American Educational Reform Movements
  • ELPS 955 District Business Management
  • ELPS 957 Educational Policy, Ethics and Law
  • ELPS 954 Sociology of Educational Organizations
  • ELPS 951 Supervision of Instruction
  • C&T (Curriculum & Teaching) 903 Curriculum Supervision
  • ELPS 952 School Finance: Policy & Practice
  • ELPS 953 District Human Resource Management


  • ELPS 996 College Teaching
  • ELPS 999 Dissertation

Required Research Courses

  • PRE (Psychology & Research in Education) 710 Statistical Methods
  • A second statistical methods or measurement course
  • Qualitative research elective
  • PRE 8186 Evaluating School Programs

Elective Minor Outside the Department

A twelve-hour post-master's degree in a field outside of the ELPS Department is required for the Ph.D. Examples might include a minor in educational research, business, public relations, economics, psychology, or other leadership related areas.

Residency Requirement

To meet residency requirements, Ph.D. students must take 15 hours of graduate level education within two consecutive semesters in resident study at the University of Kansas, (usually 6 hours in the summer followed by 9 hours in the fall semester). During this period the student is be involved in full-time academic pursuits. This residency requirement must be fulfilled before comprehensive examinations can take place and is normally completed within the first two years of study. Most students elect to take at least two courses every semester thereafter to ensure that they can finish their degree in a timely manner. All requirements must be completed within 8 years.

Course Location

With the exception of ELPS 996 College Teaching, which is offered only on the Lawrence campus, all the required courses for the major and the research courses are taught on a rotational basis at both the Lawrence and Edwards campuses. With careful planning, students can take virtually all course work for the major and research core at either campus. The location of courses needed for the minor concentration obviously depend on the field of study selected. Many business courses are offered at the Edwards campus in conjunction with the degree programs offered at that location. However, students in other fields might need to take courses on the Lawrence campus to complete the minor.

Application Process

The University of Kansas' programs in educational leadership are designed for individuals with well developed academic skills and a strong potential for future leadership. Indications of high promise from all of the following categories will be employed in the admission process.

  • Test Results -- a candidate's performance on the Graduate Record Exam.
  • Previous Education -- a candidate's overall academic record.
  • Experience -- a candidate's administrative record and potential for additional leadership responsibilities.

Formal application should be made online by following the procedure on our admissions page. Transcripts, test scores, letter of interest and statement of purpose for graduate study, resume or vita, letters of recommendation, etc should be sent directly to the department.

Applications for the program are reviewed in the order in which they are received beginning April 1 but will be considered after that date if space permits. For additional information please contact us (elps@ku.edu).

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