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Ph.D. in Educational Administration at KU

The Ph.D. is considered a research degree designed for someone who wants to teach at a research university (like KU or MU). Professors at research universities are expected to be actively engaged in research and thus need to know a great deal about statistics, research methods, and a specific content area (e.g., finance, law, or organizational theory). The Ph.D. degree requires a research minor (12 hours), a college teaching practicum (ELPS 996) and a slightly different continuous study requirement.


The courses in the program vary according to the interests of the student but generally include 30 hours of course work in educational leadership, a 12 hour minor, and several courses in research methods and statistics. A Ph.D. in educational leadership may or may not lead to district level certification since certification is not required to teach at the college level. The Ph.D. is not offered at the Edwards Campus although much of the course work may be taken at that location. Obtaining a Ph.D. will require taking some course work on the Lawrence campus. The dissertation associated with the Ph.D. must be original research. Non US citizens should only pursue the Ph.D. since many foreign governments only recognize that degree. Review the program curriculum here.

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.

Comprehensive Examinations

When the student completes the majority of all course work he or she is eligible to take comprehensive examinations. These examinations test the student's knowledge of the areas of the course work; their ability to reason, evaluate and draw supportable conclusions within the context of the subject area; and knowledge of current issues and trends within the subject field as documented in the contemporary literature. A portion of the exam will be devoted to the student's elective minor and research methods. Once the oral comprehensive examination has been passed, a student must be continuously enrolled including summers.


In contrast to the academic course work, which is designed to develop the knowledge base necessary for effective leadership, the dissertation's purpose is to study one administrative problem or specialty in depth. As a result of this independent study under the guidance of the student's dissertation advisor, the student is expected to generate original knowledge in a specialized field and contribute to resolving important problems or questions within the field of educational leadership. The field of inquiry and method of analysis are limited only by the availability of faculty to sponsor the project.

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Graduate Teaching Assistantship

Graduate Teaching Assistant(s) needed to teach the following:

  • ELPS 301. Educational Technology in Elementary-Middle Education. 3 Hours.
  • ELPS 302. Educational Technology in Middle/Secondary Education. 3 Hours.
  • ELPS 250. Education and Society. 3 Hours. AE41/AE51.

Learn more & apply here. (pdf)