PhD: Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Doctor of Philosophy in Education, emphasis in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Innovative education... Engaged educators

Advance the Study of Educational Leadership

There is a need today for strong leaders in educational organizations and institutions. A doctoral degree provides you with strong theoretical and conceptual underpinnings that support your work in your organization and provide you with the research knowledge and skills needed to begin your own scholarly work within a university setting. Graduate students seeking the doctoral degree in Education with a concentration in Education Administration are those interested in PreK-12 leadership. Earning the Doctor of Education (Ed.D) or the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) allows the student to seek certification for leadership positions such as superintendent, assistant superintendent, directors or consultants in the areas of administration, curriculum and or professional development. Some graduates with the Ed.D or the Ph.D. in Educational Administration have been able to secure positions of leadership in other fields as well.

Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)

First-Semester Enrollment:

Education Academic Program Office

201 Education Administration Building (EAB)
p: (314) 516-5483

mon-fri: 8a - 4:30p

Deadline to Apply:
December 1st
The requirements below detail multiple emphases in this program. Keywords have been highlighted to draw your attention to this particular emphasis.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree

The Ph.D. degree in education is designed for educators who desire directed research experience promoting scholarly inquiry in education. Four emphases are available: 

  • Teaching-learning processes 
  • educational leadership and policy studies 
  • Educational psychology 
  • Counseling 

The Ph.D. program is designed for graduates to attain the following learning outcomes: 

  • Understand the major theories in their primary and secondary disciplines.
  • Attain a breadth of knowledge in education in general and a depth of knowledge in the primary discipline.
  • Think critically.
  • Locate literature in the primary and secondary disciplines.
  • Understand research methods in education.
  • Conduct research.
  • Demonstrate leadership skills and attributes.

Admission and General Requirements

In addition to meeting the application and admissions requirements of the Graduate School, students must submit: 

  • Three letters of recommendation (at least two from individuals with earned doctorates, preferably prior instructors). 
  • An original essay. 
  • A professional resume. 
  • Evidence of above-average academic records. A GPA of 3.5 or higher is preferred.
  • GRE scores. Quantitative and verbal scores at or above the 50th percentile are preferred. An analytical writing score of 4.0 or higher is preferred.

Admission is competitive, and a favorable vote of an admission interview committee, composed of faculty in the emphasis area, is required.

Admission Application

To ensure time for review and decision, applicants must complete the Graduate School’s and program applications and submit accompanying materials in a timely manner. In addition, applicants are urged to request transcripts and letters or recommendation two weeks before completing the online application. Consideration of applications cannot be undertaken until all materials are available.

Deadlines for applying are:

  • December 1st for the Teaching-Learning Processes emphasis
  • December 1st for the educational leadership and policy studies emphasis
  • December 1st for the Educational Psychology emphasis
  • December 1st for the Counseling emphasis

Degree Requirements

1. Foundations9-12
Philosophical, historical, psychological, sociological, anthropological, and comparative foundations of education, as well as curriculum, instruction, and supervision courses typically chosen from previous Master's or Ed.S. course work.
Students in the Counseling option should use the following:
CNS ED 6000
Personal and Professional Development in Counseling
CNS ED 6010
Theories of Counseling
CNS ED 6020
Ethical and Professional Issues in Counseling
CNS ED 7075
Teaching, Learning, and Technology in Counselor Education
2. Research Methods15-18
Students in the Teaching-Learning Processes, educational leadership and policy studies, and Educational Psychology emphasis areas should complete the following or equivalent in order:
ED REM 6735
Statistical Analysis for Education Research
ED REM 6750
Advanced Research Design In Education
Plus any three methods courses from the following:
ED REM 7771
Quantitative Research Methods I
ED REM 7772
Quantitative Research Methods II
ED REM 7781
Qualitative Methods in Educational Research I
ED REM 7782
Qualitative Methods in Educational Research II
This sequence totals 15 hours of methods courses. Remaining hours can be completed with other ED REM courses numbered 6000 or higher or research courses in another curriculum.
For Ph.D. students in the Counseling emphasis area, the recommended sequence is:
ED REM 6710
Educational Research Methods and Design
CNS ED 7020
Seminar in Counseling Research
ED REM 7771
Quantitative Research Methods I
ED REM 7781
Qualitative Methods in Educational Research I
One of the following two:
ED REM 7772
Quantitative Research Methods II
ED REM 7782
Qualitative Methods in Educational Research II
One of the following, including the other "II" from above:
ED REM 7740
Historical Research Methods in Education
ED REM 6730
Educational Program Evaluation
ED REM 7712
Discourse Analysis in Education
ED REM 7773
Quantitative Research Methods III
3. Emphasis Area (Primary Discipline) courses27-33
with at least 16 in residence, in one of the following areas:
A. Teaching-Learning Processes
Minimum 15 credit hours in cognate area
Minimum 3 credit hours in curriculum or instruction
Minimum 3 credit hours in educational psychology
B. Educational Leadership and Policiy Studies
Minimum 21 hours in educational leadership, either in K-12, higher education, work, adult or community education settings, selected in consultation with the faculty advisor and advisory committee.
C. Educational Psychology
Minimum of 21 credit hours in educational psychology. Program may include courses in research and evaluation methods, school psychology, developmental psychology, cognition and learning, character education, and socio-cultural theory. Courses in the primary discipline will be selected in consultation with the faculty advisor and advisory committee.
D. Counseling
CNS ED 6030
Foundations for Multicultural Counseling
CNS ED 6040
Group Procedures in Counseling
CNS ED 6050
Individual Inventory
CNS ED 6070
Psychopathology and Diagnosis
CNS ED 6370
Clinical Mental Health Counseling Practicum I
or CNS ED 6270
School Counseling Practicum
CNS ED 6380
Clinical Mental Health Counseling Field Experience
or CNS ED 6280
School Counseling Field Experience
CNS ED 6400
Career Information and Development
CNS ED 6410
Advanced Career Development
CNS ED 7000
Advanced Theories and Practice of Counseling
CNS ED 7010
Advanced Multicultural Counseling
CNS ED 7030
Counselor Education and Supervision of Individuals and Groups
CNS ED 7035
Counselor Education and Supervision Practicum
CNS ED 7040
Advanced Group Procedures in Counseling
CNS ED 7770
Doctoral Practicum
4. Related (Secondary Discipline) Courses, 12-15 hours, in education or another department. 12-15
Counseling students should include:
ED REM 6718
Psychoeducational Assessment And Intervention
5. Required Exit course3
EDUC 7950
Preparation for Writing the Dissertation Proposal
or CNS ED 7025
Advanced Counseling Research
6. Research Internship6-9
EDUC 7880
Research Internship I
EDUC 7881
Research Internship II
EDUC 7882
Research Internship III
or CNS ED 7780
Doctoral Internship
7. Dissertation Research
EDUC 7999
Dissertation Research

Total: Minimum 90 hours, postbaccalaureate  

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Kathleen S. Brown, Ph.D.
Associate Professor Emeritus

Kathleen Sullivan Brown, Ph.D., is Chair and Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in the College of Education at the University of Missouri St. Louis. Dr. Brown earned a Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of Washington University in 1995. She has also ser...
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Matthew D. Davis, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Matthew D. Davis, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Foundations in the Department of Educational Services and Professional Programs at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Dr. Davis earned an interdisciplinary Ph.D., (curriculum & instruction, educational administration, history, and public affa...