The PhD program in P-12 Educational Leadership: Today’s Schools Need Well Prepared Capable Leaders.


The mission of the PhD program in P-12 Educational Leadership is to further develop the capacity of educational leaders for the diverse and evolving needs of PK-12 educational environments. The PhD program in P-12 Educational Leadership engages PhD students in relevant, demanding curriculum focused on leadership capacity. The PhD program involves high levels of academic rigor, with a relentless commitment to social justice education, and a unique programmatic focus on literacy leadership.

Candidates who seek this specialized degree program often serve in a variety of school leadership capacities:  the assistant principalship, the principalship, school-level leaders, such as coaches, curriculum directors, professional development directors, instructional directors, assistant and associate superintendents, and superintendents, all of whom are required to understand, consume, and apply education research.

Applications are currently being accepted for the doctoral program in Educational Leadership & Research: P-12 Educational Leadership. Applications are considered once annually. The deadline to apply for Fall admissions is March 1st of the current year. The application must be complete with all requirement documents – only candidates with completed applications will be considered.

The PhD program in P-12 Educational Leadership is very competitive. A committee reviews all applications and applicants will be notified if they are accepted.  A follow-up interview may be required of applicants.

Candidates must have at least 3 years of teaching experience to be admitted. Students pursuing the PhD program in P-12 Educational Leadership are expected to ideally have earned a Master’s degree in educational leadership. We occasionally accept students with a Master’s in an educational field; however, these students may be required to take additional coursework on a case-by-case basis.

In addition to the Graduate School requirements, the PhD program in P-12 Educational Leadership program requires:

  • Minimum one-page letter of intent that explains the reasons why you are seeking a PhD
  • Current curriculum vitae
  • At least two professional letters of recommendation, and
  • Competitive scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), verbal, quantitative, and writing sections.

The curricular requirements for the PhD program in P-12 Educational Leadership include:

  • a core of 20 hours (6 hours of required courses ELRC 7299 – Intro to Scholarship & EDCI 7910 – Traditions of Inquiry and 14 hours of research course work) planned with your major professor,
  • 24 hours in the primary area of P-12 Leadership specialization (previous LSU Educational Leadership graduate coursework may be accepted; other prior coursework considered on a case-by-case basis),
  • 12 hours of the Writing Pedagogy Minor coursework
  • Minimum of 9 hours of ELRC 9000 dissertation research

  • ELRC 7000 Philosophy of Education (3 hours)
  • ELRC 7001 Ethics and Educational Leadership (3 hours)
  • ELRC 7402 Organizational Leadership (3 hours)
  • ELRC 7407 Politics, Policy, and Administration in Education (3 hours)
  • ELRC 7805 Perspectives on Leadership (3 hours)
  • ELRC 7806 Leadership for Learning (3 hours)

12 hours of the Writing Pedagogy Minor coursework:

  • EDCI 7311.1 and .2 Topics in Language Arts Education (LSU Writing Project) (6) offered each summer
  • EDCI 7314 Teaching Written Composition from PK through Grade 6 (3 hours) OR
  • EDCI 7142 Studies in the Teaching of Composition in Secondary Schools (3)
  • EDCI 7129 Writing Seminar: From Idea to Manuscript (3) offered every fall as a Saturday seminar

Candidates must: 1) successfully complete a General Exam consisting of written responses to questions and a comprehensive oral exam; 2) successfully propose a Dissertation Proposal which is typically the first 3 chapters of a proposed dissertation study, including an oral defense of the proposal; 3) gain Internal Review Board (IRB) approval, and 4) complete a dissertation study, collecting, analyzing, and writing up research results and successfully passing an oral defense of the dissertation study.




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For More Information

Margaret-Mary Sulentic Dowell, PhD
228 Peabody Hall

Email Dr. Sulentic Dowell