A smiling group of diverse colleagues.

Doctor of Philosophy in
Educational Policy and Leadership


Program of Study

Pre-Core Requirement: An approved statistics course and either Introduction to Organizational Leadership or Introduction to Social Analysis.


Core Courses

  • Organizational Management and Leadership in Education
  • Advanced Social Analysis

Research Sequence

  • Intro to Research Methods in Educational Administration
  • Research Practicum in Educational Administration and Policy Studies

Concentration Courses

Five or more classes in your primary area of interest.

Support Discipline Courses

Four or more classes in subjects such as philosophy, economics, sociology, psychology, and political science.


Seven or more courses in subjects related to your interests and doctoral research goals.

Additional Information

See the Graduate Bulletin for details.

For more information, contact Graduate Advisor Gina Giuliano at [email protected].

International Research Opportunities

Educational policy faculty in the School of Education have been active and prominent members of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) for more than 30 years. Their global education research initiatives include:


  • The International Curriculum and Textbook Archive
  • The Institute for Global Education Policy Studies
  • The Cross-Border Education Research Team (collaboration with Penn State University)


In addition, UAlbany faculty have held senior positions at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); the UNESCO Latin American Laboratory for Assessment of the Quality of Education (LLECE); and the European Training Network on Outcomes and Causal Inference in International Comparative Assessments (ETN/OCCAM).


Areas of Concentration
Educational Policy

Obtain a working knowledge of different philosophical approaches to policy adoption and implementation, and learn how to lead policy initiatives in government agencies, analyze policy for research and advocacy organizations, and succeed in faculty positions.

Global and Comparative Educational Policy

Dive into the global education policy-making process. From early proposals to implementation, learn how policy adoption, monitoring, and evaluation happens in international contexts. Alumni work with foreign ministries of education, NGOs, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and UNESCO.

Higher Education

Learn how to be a strategic leader in post-secondary education organizations, such as departments of academic affairs, student success, advancement, enrollment management, and institutional research. Graduates work at colleges, universities, and corporate, government, and nonprofit training departments.

School Leadership

Prepare to step into leadership positions in preschools, elementary schools, secondary schools, and university appointments in the area of school leadership. Note: This program does not lead to NYS certification as a School Building Leader. If you are seeking this credential, see UAlbany's Advanced Graduate Certificate.

Admissions Requirements


Departmental Assistantship Consideration

Fall: February 15
Spring: October 1
Summer: Not Available

No Departmental Assistantship Consideration

Fall: Rolling
Spring: Rolling
Summer: Rolling

Required Application Materials
  • Transcripts from all schools attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
    Applicants may submit up to 5 letters. Wherever possible, at least two of the letters of recommendation should be from faculty members, at least one of those from a full-time faculty member. 

Supplemental Documents


Personal Statement of Goals
The statement is generally one to two pages discussing what you have to offer the program and what you wish to get out of the program.  It should include a brief description of the applicant's field of interest, related background, desired area of study and research emphasis or career goals. 

Educational Leadership Essay
Please submit an educational leadership essay responding to the following question. The response should not exceed 800 words. 

Identify a current state, national, or international problem, dilemma, or controversial situation affecting educational leaders in either the k-12 or higher education fields.  Describe the nature of the issue, effective strategies for addressing the issue, and the role of an effective leader in implementing those strategies.    

Academic Writing Sample
Wherever possible, applicants should submit an English-language sample of their academic work (e.g., course term paper).

Special Notes

Candidates should not use letters, personal statement of goals or resume submitted for a prior application. Wherever possible, at least two of the letters of recommendation should be from faculty members, at least one of those from a full-time faculty member. Wherever possible, applicants should submit an English-language sample of their academic work (e.g., course term paper).

This program offers an internship, field experience, study abroad component, or clinical experience in the course listing as an option to fulfill course requirements. Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of certain academic programs and/or to meet licensure requirements for certain professions. If applicants have concerns about this matter please contact the Dean’s Office of the intended academic program.

Student Learning Objectives

Learning objectives that UAlbany students are expected to attain through their course of study within their academic program.

  • Graduates are prepared to enter high level teaching, research or leadership posts in the field of educational policy and leadership.
  • Graduates are prepared to draw from, and critically apply, information from the relevant knowledge and skill base.

Careers and Advisement

The Pathways Into Education (PIE) Center is the central office on campus serving undergraduate, graduate, and prospective students interested in pursuing careers in education and programs leading to teacher certification.

Please call or email to schedule an appointment.

Graduate Advisement:
Email Graduate Advisement