Educational Policy and Leadership Doctor of Philosophy Degree Program

The program leading to the Ph.D. in educational policy and leadership requires at least three academic years of full-time work, or the equivalent over a longer period, beyond the baccalaureate and may involve as many as four years. The program is designed to develop research competence and the effective application of skills in the educational administration and policy studies field.

Program of Study (69 credits, minimum)

The student, in consultation with the faculty advisor, develops a program of study taking into account the previous preparation, area of specialization, and objectives.

Credit requirements (a total of 69 minimum) include the following:

  1. Pre-core requirements: Either Epl 600 or 601, and the statistics requirement;
  2. Core requirements: Epl 700 and 701;
  3. Research sequence: Epl 714 and 715;
  4. 15 credits (minimum) in a concentration area of K-12 Education, Higher Education, Education Policy, or Global Comparative Education Policy;
  5. 12 credits (minimum) in support disciplines such as philosophy, economics, sociology, psychology, and political science;
  6. 21 credits (minimum) of approved electives.

To satisfy the program requirement of 69 credits, students may select with advisement an additional three credits in concentration, support, or electives.


The student must submit a dissertation which demonstrates ability to treat comprehensively a significant problem in education. The dissertation should reveal the student's ability to employ both the fundamental concepts of administration and the technical skills of scholarly research.

Departmental Examinations

The student must pass a doctoral examination covering, as a minimum, the following areas: organizational leadership, social analysis of education, and an area of concentration.

Research Sequence

  • All doctoral students in the program must satisfy the statistics requirement by either taking an approved quantitative research methods course (e.g. EEpl 614 or see your advisor for other courses that qualify), or by passing a departmental research methods exam (in which case an additional three credits must be taken in one of the other areas). The examination will be offered once each semester. Doctoral students must satisfy this requirement with a grade of B or better before they are permitted to take the research sequence.
    • Epl 714 Introduction to Research Methods in EPL
    • Epl 715 Research Practicum in EPL

Full Time Study in Residence

Students must demonstrate, with the approval of their faculty adviser and the Curriculum Committee of the department, that they are engaging in work or other experience of at least one year in duration which is relevant to their doctoral studies and contributes to intensive intellectual growth. The requirement for continuing registration in the program must be met during this period, in accordance with the University of Albany’s Graduate Policy and Procedures for doctoral students.
They must earn a minimum of 18 course credits in two regular sessions, not necessarily consecutive.

Admission to Candidacy

  1. Satisfactory record in course and seminar study.
  2. Completion of University requirements.
  3. Satisfactory completion of the doctoral examination.
  4. Demonstrated knowledge of educational research procedures and techniques.
  5. Acceptance of a dissertation proposal.

Please note: 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 you have concerns about this matter please contact the Dean’s Office of your intended academic program.