University of Vermont

2012-2013 Catalogue

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (Doctor of Philosophy)


The Ph.D. program in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies is a multidisciplinary program that seeks to examine complex educational and social problems through the integration of multiple theoretical, methodological, and disciplinary lenses. The Ph.D. in Education Leadership and Policy Studies is intended as a full-time program to prepare candidates to attain a high level of scholarly competence and to develop the capacity to contribute knowledge to their field. The program will develop scholars who can analyze and inform the development of educational systems and public policies that will positively impact the lives of our children and youth and address broad societal issues such as child poverty. The degree will serve students who wish to pursue research/teaching careers in universities and/or research and policy positions in government agencies, think tanks, non-governmental organizations, and other public and private sector organizations.

The goals of the program include, but are not limited to:

  • Preparing professional researchers, scholars, and faculty competent in conducting and sharing research.
  • Focusing on research training that uses advanced quantitative, qualitative, and mixed method approaches to add to theoretical knowledge.
  • Emphasizing publication of research findings to enhance knowledge in education and social services.
  • Developing areas of interdisciplinary specialization.
Expected Applicant Qualifications:
  • Master’s degree or undergraduate work in a related field such as educational leadership, educational studies, higher education, public administration, counseling, social work, or curriculum and instruction characterized by a distinguished academic record.
  • Demonstrated commitment in letters of application and references to social change and justice with experience in inquiry at a level that will predict successful research and college teaching.
  • GRE general test scores taken within the last 5 years.
  • Research interests compatible with those of CESS faculty.
  • Strong inquiry and writing skills.
Type of Candidate Preparation
  • In-depth understandings of systems change, leadership, and policy in order to conduct high quality research.
  • Candidates will be mentored in conducting independent research, presenting papers at professional conferences, and submitting their work for publication.
Dissertation Expectations
  • Journal Article format with a focus on original research illustrating mastery of competing theories with the goal of informing knowledge (per Graduate College guidelines). This format requires that the candidate will complete one or more journal article(s) with the goal of manuscript submission for publication in refereed journals.
Knowledge Assessment
  • Written and oral assessments provide evidence of understanding of the theoretical and conceptual knowledge in the field and of competence in conducting research to acquire new knowledge.
Research Methods
  • Courses develop competencies in research design, analysis, synthesis, and dissemination.
  • Research questions are theory-driven.

General Requirements

Specific Requirements

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

Satisfactory completion of:

  • all core course requirements
  • the research course requirements
  • the comprehensive examination
  • the qualifying paper

All course credits beyond the core are distributed in educational leadership, research, critical perspectives, organizational change and selected specialty content areas.

Transfer of Credit

A maximum of twenty-four (24) semester hours may be accepted in transfer from an accredited graduate program. Transfer credit may be completed prior to admission to the EDLP Ph.D. program provided that the credit is approved by the student's Studies Committee and that the credit conforms to all other Graduate College requirements.

Residency Requirement

A minimum of eighty credits of doctoral studies following formal admission to the program.

For further requirements concerning Studies Committees, Research and Dissertation, and the Dissertation Defense Examination Committee, refer to General Requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.



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