COE: PhD: Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
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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 provides you with the research knowledge and skills needed to begin your own scholarly work within a university setting. Our faculty are leading scholars in their respective fields and are often sought out for their expertise.

Graduate students seeking the doctoral degree in Education with a concentration in Education Administration are those interested in PreK-12 leadership. Other available areas of research within this emphasis area include Higher Education, Adult Education, Social Justice, and Educational Foundations. Some graduates with the Ed.D. or the Ph.D. in Educational Leadership have been able to secure positions of leadership in other fields as well. Contact us today to discuss your interests and discover your passion for advancing the future of educational leadership.

Please note that our doctoral programs do not align with MO state requirements for administrative certification. Students interested in pursuing certification should inquire with the appropriate advising staff member to pursue our master’s or specialist degree programs in Educational Administration.

Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)

Student Support Specialist:

Alexandra Gresick

203 Education Administration Building (EAB)
p: (314) 516-5107

Deadline to Apply:
December 1st


Slide 1 Sharonica Hardin-Bartley works to close opportunity gaps at University City schools
Alumna Sharonica Hardin-Bartley, superintendent of the School District of University City, strives to advance social justice and racial equity by giving students a voice. (Photo by August Jennewein)

The requirements below detail multiple emphases in this program. Keywords have been highlighted to draw your attention to this particular emphasis.

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.

Degree Program

  • Coursework: A minimum of 60 credit hours is required beyond the master’s degree, including 6 hours of dissertation research. A minimum of 42 of these hours must be completed in residence. For students who have not completed a master’s degree, a minimum of 90 hours, postbaccalaureate, is required, including 6 hours of dissertation research (the Graduate School’s residency requirement applies). Students in the Counseling emphasis area complete the following requirements: a minimum 90 hours, postbaccalaureate, including 12 hours of dissertation research (the Graduate School’s residency requirement applies).
  • Dissertation: All students must defend orally a written dissertation proposal to their dissertation committee. A dissertation embodying the results of original research must be accepted by the dissertation committee and the Graduate School.

Admission Application

To ensure time for review and decision, applicants should submit the Graduate School application, college transcripts, and any program-specific materials (e.g. supplemental application, letters of recommendation, etc.) well in advance of the December 1st deadline. Please note that unofficial transcripts can be uploaded with the Graduate School application to expedite admissions decisions; however, official transcripts must be received directly from all prior institutions attended before regular admission to any program will be granted. 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.

Degree Requirements

Students in the Teaching-Learning Processes, educational leadership and policy studies, and Educational Psychology emphasis areas complete the following requirements.

1. Research Methods15-18
Students in the Teaching –Learning Processes, educational leadership and policy studies, and Educational Psychology emphasis areas should complete the following research methods courses (or equivalent).
ED REM 6735
Statistical Analysis for Education Research (Prerequisite)
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.
2. Program Area of Study to Develop Discipline Knowledge (as determined by student, advisor, and program)24-26
3. Core courses 10-14
EDUC 7490Directed Readings in the Education Research Literature1-3
EDUC 7050The Research Process I: Framing Research Questions in Education Research3
EDUC 7625Building Socially Just and Ethical Educational Communities3
4. Dissertation Proposal Writing
EDUC 7950Preparation for Writing the Dissertation Proposal1-3
5. Dissertation
EDUC 7999Dissertation Research6
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Vanessa Garry, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Vanessa Garry is an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in the College of Education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL), St. Louis, Missouri and holds K-12 principal and superintendent certification. She earned her Ph.D. and Ed.S. degrees in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the UMSL. Dr. Garry teaches graduate s...
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Thomasina F. Hassler, Ph.D.
Assistant Teaching Professor

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E Paulette Isaac-Savage, Ed.D.

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Jerome Ellis Morris, Ph.D.
E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professor of Urban Education

Dr. Jerome E. Morris is the E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professor of Urban Education (in conjunction with St. Louis Public Schools). His research is grounded in sociology, anthropology, school reform, and urban studies. As a social scientist, Dr. Morris’ scholarship reflects a deep and abiding familiarity with communities, families, and schools. The nexus of race...
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Shawn Woodhouse, Ph.D.
Associate Dean

Shawn Woodhouse is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education Administration in the Division of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies for the College of Education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. A Gus T. Ridgel Fellow, Dr. Woodhouse completed her Ph.D. at the University of Missouri-Columbia in Higher and Adult Education.