UTSA | COEHD | University of Texas at San Antonio | College of Edcuation and Human Development
Tue, October 22, 2019

Ph.D. in Educational Leadership


The primary objective of the doctoral degree program is to provide advanced academic training in educational and administrative leadership.  Sixty semester hours of coursework beyond the master's degree is required, including courses in culture, leadership, and methodology.  The program offers an emphasis in P-12 (Pre-K thru 12th) administrative leadership and an emphasis in higher education administration. 

Doctoral students obtain advanced academic training in educational leadership focused on theories of education and learning; emerging paradigms of organizational leadership; and high-level research skills for developing, analyzing, and evaluating educational programs and practices.  This program prepares students to become transformational leaders and faculty members who can work effectively in diverse, ambiguous, and challenging contexts. The program emphasizes equity, excellence, social justice, democracy, risk-taking, and responsiveness to community needs.


  • P-20 (Pre-K thru Undergraduate) school-university collaborations
  • Successful principals
  • College student access and success
  • Critical Race Studies
  • Education law and ethics
  • Leadership preparation
  • Validating and mentoring college students
  • Education and human rights
  • Equity and access for undeserved and underrepresented student groups
  • Community contexts and schooling

Educational Leadership Emphasis (P-12 Grade)

Students complete advanced coursework dealing with important issues pertaining to P-12 educational environments, helping them to better understand urban and multi-cultural institutions, politics, school culture, and innovation and change.

Higher Education Administration Emphasis (Colleges and Universities)

Students complete advanced coursework reflecting critical issues in higher education, including foundations, diversity, equity, organizations and systems, and politics and policy.


  • Our program exposes students to proven leadership practices aimed at improving the learning opportunities for P-20 students, especially those from under-represented racial and ethnic groups.
  • Our faculty brings a wealth of diverse educational and research interests, which invigorates and informs their teaching.
  • Our faculty and students conduct and disseminate research on critical issues in P-20 education.
  • Our students expand their personal professional networks by working alongside other dedicated educators, administrators, and student affairs professionals.
  • Our department has a diverse and experienced faculty who are nationally and internationally recognized for their research, service, and teaching. 
  • Our department offers graduate research assistantships with stipend awards to assist with tuition and fee payments. 
  • Our students present research at national conferences, such as the American Educational Research Association (AERA), the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), and the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE).


Graduates have a number of diverse career options such as: assistant principal, principal, assistant and deputy superintendent, superintendent, curriculum coordinator, university professor, and higher education administration positions in universities and community colleges.


  • Official transcripts from all institutions 
  • A GPA of at least 3.5 from a master's program and a master's degree from an accredited institution are required
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • A resume or curriculum vitae including demonstrated experience in a work environment where education is the primary professional emphasis
  • Three letters of recommendation from professionals 
  • A statement of purpose outlining:

  • Provide a detailed description of why you seek admission to this particular doctoral program and if you plan to attend as a fulltime (9 hours per semester) or part-time (6 hours per semester) student.
  • Describe your short term and long-term professional/career goals. What do you want the program faculty to know about you as a learner?
  • Provide a detailed description and explanation of your research/scholarly interests specifically related to this program area (i.e., higher education leadership/administration-college student affairs). How does your research-intellectual interests connect with faculty members’ (specifically or generally) interests within the program area or across the department? Incorporate and cite relevant scholarship when describing your interests.
  • Describe your views on and understanding of social justice and equity in education generally, and higher education/post-secondary education specifically. What does social justice and equity mean to you and how will those concepts guide your learning experience in this program?
  • Provide a few examples of your educational and/or professional experiences related to: 1) accepting and applying constructive criticism; 2) learning from others; 3) helping other students (i.e., peers, mentees, family members, etc.); 4) managing stressful situations and balancing life-work or life-education situations.
  • Identify and describe at least one policy issue in higher education that you feel need reform. What type of changes are needed and why?  

Only applications that are certified as complete by the Graduate School will be reviewed. For additional requirements to complete your application, visit the graduate school website.


Samantha Sifuentes    210.458.2721       

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