College of Education



The Ph.D. program is designed to meet the personal and professional needs of educational leaders in school districts, higher education, and non-governmental organizations through rigorous courses in leadership, research and policy. Although this program is offered in the College of Education, it attracts candidates from various career fields such as the military, non-profit organizations, business, state agencies, the ministry, and P-20 education. This innovative program combines challenging coursework with collaborative faculty-students research labs that prepare students for successful completion of the dissertation and professional application of skills and knowledge.

As an active participant in these programs you will develop as a leader through an expanded self- knowledge and worldview. You will develop the competencies and strategies to lead others. You will learn how to guide a professional team as you integrate recommendations from research with an assessment of the needs of an organization and create a plan for success. You will explore the political and social implications of education and the educational requirements of a diverse, democratic, multicultural society. You will acquire the confidence necessary to ignite and inspire others.

Warren Bennis has written that the primary goal of leadership is the creation of a human community held together by a common purpose. True leaders, he said, demonstrate a balance of competence, virtue, and vision. It is our mission to guide you in developing all three.

Student Handbook

The following are minimum requirements for admission into the Ph.D. program in Leadership, Research, and Policy. The application deadline for this program is April 1.

The Applicant must:

  1. Hold a master's degree from an accredited college or university.
  2. Submit scores of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) taken within the past five years. Scores from the Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical subtests are required. There are no cut­off scores for the GRE subtests or composite score. GRE scores will contribute to an index score, which will be considered in admission decisions. Please have official scores for the GRE sent directly to UCCS. UCCS school code for the GRE is 4874. The GRE department code is 3999.
  3. Submit three letters of recommendation: one from a former graduate instructor, one from a current supervisor, and one from a professional colleague. The requirements for the letters are described in the admission packet. Letters from current UCCS faculty in the Department of Leadership, Research, and Foundations (LRF) will not be accepted.
  4. Exhibit a history of professional leadership experience that demonstrates high motivation and a significant contribution to the field of education. This criterion should be reflected in the required Career Goals Statement described in the admission packet.
  5. Describe a pattern of professional experience that exhibits a trajectory of increased leadership responsibilities over time. This criterion will be reflected in the Career Goals Statement described in the admission packet.
  6. Submit an up­to­date resume or academic vitae. Acceptance decisions will be based upon an overall index score generated from all admission requirements.

Program Goals

The 3-year program for working professionals prepares graduates to:

  • Engage in scholarly inquiry and culturally responsive practice
  • Synthesize diverse research perspectives in facilitating educational excellence
  • Lead others in continuous improvement through implementation and evaluation
  • Communicate successfully through oral and written professional discourse


Leadership & Policy (21 Credits)

Course/TitleSemester Credits
LEAD 7300 - Ethical Leadership & Democratic
                 Values in a Multicultural Society
LEAD 7350 - Leadership, Power, & Authority
                 in Education Policy & Governance
LEAD 8200 - Large Scale Student Assessment 3
LEAD 8250 - Policy Analysis & Evaluation 3
LEAD 8300 - Leadership Excellence in Complex
LEAD 8350 - The Economics of Education 3
LEAD 8600 - American and Comparative Foundations
                 of Education

Research (54 Credits)

Course/TitleSemester Credits
LEAD 7100 - Intermediate Quantitative Research & Statistics 3
LEAD 7150 - Methods of Qualitative Research 3
LEAD 7600 - Doctoral Research Laboratory in Leadership 15
(taken over 4 semesters)
LEAD 8100 - Advanced Quantitative Research & Statistics 3
LEAD 8150 - Applications of Qualitative Research 3
LEAD 8990 - Doctoral Dissertation 30


Candidates must be enrolled for 3 credits of Doctoral Dissertation each semester of doctoral coursework for a total of 18 credits. Candidates must be continuously enrolled in a minimum of 1 credit hour of dissertation credit per semester during completion of the dissertation. Five credits of dissertation credit must be taken during the semester of the oral defense. A total of 30 credits of Doctoral Dissertation must be earned to complete degree requirements.