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Educational Leadership

Doctoral Degree Program


Graduate opportunities

The doctoral Educational Leadership program at the University of North Texas trains students in current educational theories and research and helps them develop the decision-making skills required for leadership positions in the field.

Our program offers a Doctor of Education or Doctor of Philosophy degree in Educational Leadership, a superintendent certificate and a certification scholarship program that can be combined with your doctoral program.

While pursuing your doctoral degree, you will participate in applied research to improve practice through the generation and application of new knowledge. Conceptual thinking and problem-based learning are emphasized throughout the program.

Acquiring a strong understanding of these concepts will help you establish or further your career in school administration. Our program is also appropriate for those who may want to move into academe.

Courses are available at several locations throughout the North Texas region (Denton, Dallas, McKinney and Fort Worth). A number of the required courses are available online. No matter the location of a course, students have full access to the UNT libraries and all associated research resources.

The College of Education is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (2010 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 500; Washington, D.C. 20036; telephone 202-466-7496). This distinction means we meet or exceed strict academic standards for excellence in education. The college is also one of the stateís top producers of teachers, administrators, counselors and other school professionals.

Strong support

Our courses are structured to create a supportive network of colleagues during and after you complete the program. This network ensures that you achieve your goals in the program and throughout your career.

Faculty advisors work closely with you to ensure completing the program, publishing and presenting research, and participating in scholarly work and school district leadership.

Outstanding resources

Our faculty members have many years of training and experience as principals, assistant superintendents and superintendents. Their scholarly accomplishments include:

  • Writing books, articles and book chapters
  • Presenting research at state, national and international conferences
  • Serving in leadership roles for state, national and international organizations
  • Receiving and implementing numerous grants
  • Delivering keynote speeches at state, national and international conferences

Students and professors collaborate on presenting at conferences and publishing works. Our professors conduct research, publish and perform presentations on data analysis for improved student performance; education law; leadership and reform initiatives; and online instructional strategies, among others.

Research centers and special programs

The Education Management Research Center assists the university, states and local school districts with the conception, design, methodologies and analysis of data related to school performance and improvement. It is also a focal point of research data used by our graduate students in their academic and professional lives.

The Center for the Study of Education Reform conducts research related to public policy and education, cultural and language policy in schools, and social justice initiatives in education. It disseminates the findings to policy makers and educators around the state and region.

The Southwest Securities Superintendent Certification Scholarship Program aims to produce school leaders who provide new opportunities for all children while solving critical problems in education. The program provides a high quality, research-based preparation for top school leaders.

Attending UNT

Admission requirements

Applying to the doctoral program is a two-step process, requiring you to apply to the Toulouse Graduate School® and the program. Graduate school admission requirements include applying at Apply Texas, submitting official copies of all transcripts and taking the GRE.

You will also submit an application portfolio to the educational leadership program with the following documentation:

  • Completed program application form
  • Essay focusing on your two most important professional achievements and career goals and explaining how securing a doctoral degree relates to those goals
  • Essay on the two or three most important books you have read related to education
  • Rťsumť or curriculum vitae
  • Three reference letters (One letter needs to be from a college or university professor. The letters should provide assessments of your work as an academic professional and your ability to do doctoral work.)
  • Writing sample of a published article, book chapter, research term paper, or district or agency report (This demonstrates your ability to write at an advanced conceptual level.)

Additional requirements include:

  • Completion of 24 semester hours in education at the masterís level (Leveling courses may also be applied.)
  • Masterís degree
  • Teaching certificate
  • Two years teaching experience at a private or public school by the completion of the program

If your masterís degree is not in educational leadership, you can take masterís-level educational leadership leveling courses as determined by an advisor.

Application deadlines are March 15 for the fall semester and Oct. 15 for the spring semester.

Degree requirements

You must complete 60 to 63 semester hours for an Ed.D. or Ph.D. degree. The course work for the Ed.D. includes:

  • Educational leadership core courses
  • Educational research and statistics courses
  • Educational leadership electives
  • Minor subject or concentration area courses
  • Dissertation

Ph.D. requirements are similar, but the program has a greater emphasis on educational research. Consult with an advisor to discuss Ph.D. requirements.

Both programs have a residency requirement. For the Ph.D., you will need to take 9 semester hours for two consecutive semesters. For the Ed.D., you will need to take 6 semester hours for three consecutive semesters.

Your progression is based on a degree plan developed in consultation with your major professor.

A maximum of 24 semester hours beyond the masterís degree may be transferred from other institutions that offer the doctoral degree. Transfer credit must be approved by your major professor or advisory committee and the dean of the graduate school.

Superintendent certification

You must meet the admission requirements for the Toulouse Graduate School®. In addition, a Superintendent Certification Program Application and a nomination form from your school district will need to be submitted to the program. The nomination form is available at coe.unt.edu/tea using the certification programs link.

This certification program consists of 15 semester hours of course work including an internship. Twelve semester hours are doctoral-level work and may be applied toward the doctorate if you are accepted to the program. The internship cannot be applied to a doctoral degree.

In addition, for certification, you will need to pass the Texas Examination of Educator Standards (TExES) Superintendent test.

Financial assistance

The College of Education offers scholarships to graduate students including the collegeís The Key to Success for North Texans Scholarship. Visit our website for information about available scholarships. The Southwest Securities Superintendent Certification Scholarship Program is open to superintendent certification students. Information about other financial assistance programs is available on the Financial Aid website.