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Why Pursue a PhD in Educational Leadership

The PhD in Educational Leadership offers students the opportunity to learn from diverse and experienced department faculty who are nationally recognized in their fields. In this doctoral program, students are assigned a faculty advisor based on research interests and may change advisors based on evolving research interests. Students and advisors work closely on their qualifying examination, dissertation proposal, and dissertations. This collaboration keeps students on track to complete their doctoral dissertation.

Graduate students have the option to pursue an emphasis in administrative leadership or instructional leadership. Administrative leadership focuses on managerial skills for improving educational effectiveness. Instructional leadership focuses on innovative programs to help solve critical literacy, technological, and socio-cultural educational issues. Program graduates will gain an advanced understanding of:

  • Theories of education and learning
  • Extensive theoretical background and experiences in emerging paradigms of organizational leadership
  • High-level research skills for developing, analyzing, and evaluating educational programs
  • In-depth training for the increasing cultural and linguistic diversity of contemporary education

Research Opportunities

Students and faculty use a variety of research methods: quantitative, ethnographic, discourse analysis, and mixed methods. Students are engaged in studying topics like servant leadership, administrator burnout, high school social processes including organizational climate, trust, collective efficacy, principal influence, and its relationship to school achievement, induction program for new teachers, what successful new teachers do to stay in the profession, issues of education law and policy, along with program evaluations of specific programs.

Admission & Application Requirements

Applications are submitted through the UTSA Graduate Application. Please upload all required documents (listed below) on your UTSA Graduate Application. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure completion and submission of the application, a nonrefundable application fee, and all required supporting documents are on file with UTSA by the appropriate application deadline.

Educational Leadership (PhD)
Admission is only available for the Fall semester
  Required Degree Master’s Degree from an accredited college or university in the United States or have proof of equivalent training at a foreign institution.
  Minimum GPA 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) Departments may consider GPA of last 60 semester credit hours
  Coursework 18 credit hours in an area related to this graduate degree and at least 12 hours must be at the upper-division level.
  Transcripts* Required from all institutions attended; international transcripts must be recorded/translated to English
  Credential Evaluation Required if you have earned university-level credit from foreign institutions. Submit an evaluation of your transcripts from Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) directly from the graduate admission application platform
  English Language Proficiency 550 TOEFL Paper / 79 TOEFL Internet / 6.5 IELTS / Duolingo 100
  Purpose Statement Required
  Resume Required
  Letters of Recommendation 2 academic or professional reference(s) demonstrating your attributes for successful completion of this program (you will request these through the Graduate Admissions Application; let your recommenders know of your deadline to ensure submissions are on time)
*Unofficial transcripts will be taken into consideration for admissions; however, if admitted into the program, you must submit official transcripts to the University.
Apply 2024-25 Application

Admission Deadlines

Applicants are encouraged to have their admission file completed as early as possible. All applications, required documents and letters of recommendation, if applicable, must be submitted by 5:00 PM U.S. Central Time on the day of the deadline. Deadlines are subject to change.

Educational Leadership (PhD)
Timing on Admission Decision: Students can expect to hear back on an admission decision within 4 to 6 weeks after on March 15.
Academic Year 2023-24 International Domestic
Fall 2023 February 1 February 1
Spring 2024 Not Available Not Available
Summer 2024 Not Available Not Available
Academic Year 2024-25 International Domestic
Fall 2024 February 1 February 1
Spring 2025 Not Available Not Available
Summer 2025 Not Available Not Available

Funding Opportunities

The PhD in Educational Leadership offers graduate research-assistantships with stipend awards totaling up to $42,000.00.  These awards include assistance with tuition and fees, appointments as research assistants, and monthly stipends. For more information about graduate funding, click below.

Learn More

Career Options

UTSA prepares you for future careers that are in demand. The possible careers below is data pulled by a third-party tool called Emsi, which pulls information from sources like the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, online job postings, other government databases and more to give you regional and national career outlook related to this academic program.


During both the Fall and Spring Semester, all of our courses run from 6:00 PM to 8:45 PM Monday through Thursday.  During the Summer Semester, doctoral courses typically begin at or after  6:00 PM.

Graduate Advisor of Record

Curtis Brewer, PhD

curtis.brewer@utsa.edu