Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Develop advanced research skills, generate theories, and gain expertise in a specific field of educational leadership (e.g., post-secondary education, curriculum design or educational assessment). Our Ph.D. program will prepare you for careers in executive leadership, higher education, research organizations, and policy centers.

The ELPS Ph.D. program consists of two years of doctoral coursework in a cohort composed of Ed.D. and Ph.D. students. In the first two years you will take two courses per quarter: one research methods course and one leadership content course. In order to gain a strong grounding in the leadership of educational organizations, research and policy, you will customize your coursework in year three. Successfully defending your dissertation marks the completion of the Ph.D. degree.


You must complete 90-quarter credit hours and a traditional dissertation.

Click here for an overview of the ELPS Doctoral Programs


If you complete the optional six-credit hour administrator internship (300 contact hours) in addition to the Ph.D. program requirements, you can eligible to apply for two licenses through the Colorado Department of Education (CDE): the Initial Administrator (Superintendent) License or the Initial Administrator (Director of Special Education) License.


Four to seven years


Department Chair
Dr. Doris Candelarie
303-871-6560, KRH 353

Academic Services Associate
Mayumi Beckelheimer
303-871-2314, KRH 340D

Admissions Contact
Rachel Riley
303-871-2509, KRH 110
Office Hours: By appointment only

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