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Ph.D. in Educational Leadership

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Ph.D. in Educational Leadership (PK-12 or Higher Education Focus)  

The Ph.D. in Educational Studies: Educational Leadership is a research intensive 66-hour degree designed to equip graduates to engage in high-quality original scholarship. Degree recipients will have the knowledge and skills to assume positions as tenure-track college faculty, tasked with engaging in research and with teaching graduate education courses, as experts with policy organizations responsible for producing or overseeing education-related research, and as high-level leaders in K-12 or higher education-related organizations with oversight and/or responsibility for research-oriented functions.

Within the degree, students may opt to focus some course selections around a concentration in PK-12 leadership or leadership in higher education contexts. Students may also opt to work with an advisor to craft a program with a PK-20 perspective.

For admission into the program, an applicant must hold a master’s degree in educational leadership or a related field; those applicants seeking professional certification as Principal or Superintendent in conjunction with the degree must meet eligibility requirements in the state of Texas, and may be required to take additional coursework in order to meet both programmatic and State of Texas certification requirements.

Each applicant must present:

  • Official transcript(s) exhibiting a strong academic record (e-transcripts may be sent to
  • Current resume reflecting all professional experience
  • Copy of valid educator certificate and official service record
  • Applicants seeking certification as a superintendent must hold the principal certificate or a valid waiver of the certificate from T.E.A. at time of application
  • Three letters of recommendation, at least two of which are from persons known in a professional or supervisory relationship
  • Personal Statement - In 500-750 words, explain why you wish to seek the doctorate and/or superintendent certificate. Explain how you see the degree and/or certification as fitting with personal and professional goals, and what you view as your strengths and challenges as you embark on this new journey
  • Equity Statement - In 500-750 words, discuss the role you think efforts related to diversity, equity, and inclusion do or should play within PK-12 school contexts, what the district leader's role is/should be in those efforts, and what informs your perspective on these issues.
  • Live or video interview
  • Online Criminal Background Check required for PK-12 emphasis applicants

As of March 15, 2017, the Texas Education Agency Board requires the implementation of an Accountability System for Educator Preparation Programs (ASEP) technology fee, as required by 19 TAC 229.9(7). This fee is required for each candidate seeking certification; the candidate must pay a one-time admission fee of $35. The fee will appear on your TCU student account.

Program requirements can be found in the TCU Graduate Catalog.

December 1 - Priority deadline
February 1 - Final deadline