Skip To Main Content

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 a regionally accredited college or university in the United States or have proof of equivalent training at a foreign institution
  Minimum GPA 3.0 (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
  GRE Required scores not older than five years. Scores are currently waived for this program through the 2023-24 academic year.
  TOEFL/IELTS Score 550 TOEFL Paper / 79 TOEFL Internet / 6.5 IELTS scores for International applicants (exempt countries). Scores are currently waived for this program for the 2022-23 academic year.
  Purpose Statement Required
  Resume Required
  Letters of Recommendation 2 letter(s) of recommendation demonstrating your academic and personal attributes for success in 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 using 2021-22 Graduate Application Apply using 2022-23 Graduate 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 a few weeks after on March 15.
  Fall Spring Summer
International February 1 Not Available Not Available
Domestic February 1 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.


While in a doctoral program, a student may earn a master’s degree provided the following conditions are satisfied:

  • A student must be admitted to candidacy.
  • A student is eligible to receive a master’s degree upon completion of University-wide requirements and any additional degree requirements specific to the program.
  • The Doctoral Studies Committee, Department Chair, and the Graduate Associate Dean of the College must recommend students for the degree.
  • The student must apply for graduation by the published deadline the semester prior to awarding the doctoral degree.
  • All required coursework in the doctoral program at the time of admission to candidacy must have been taken within the previous six years.
  • If the master’s degree requires a thesis, the degree cannot be awarded on the basis of the doctoral qualifying examination.
  • Students will not be approved for an additional master’s degree in the same field in which an individual has previously received a master’s degree.

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

Juan Nino, PhD

210-458-5840

juan.nino@utsa.edu

Student Development Specialist

Jo Ann Jones

(210) 458-6620

joann.jones@utsa.edu