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Leadership in Education Ph.D.

The Leadership in Education Ph.D. program at the University of Massachusetts Lowell emphasizes the generation, critical evaluation and application of knowledge in the field of Leadership PK-Higher Education. The Ph.D. (requiring the highest level of research and content expertise) is recognized as the terminal degree for persons pursing a future career in research universities and other policy and research organizations. Students admitted to this degree may study on a part-time or full-time basis (there is a limited number of Teaching and Research Assistantships available for suitably qualified full-time students). The program requires 60 credits of study beyond the master's degree. There is no residency requirement for part-time students. 

The Leadership in Education Ph.D. option at UMass Lowell provides students with an experience that is unique among Leadership Ph.D. programs offered by other universities in the region.

At UMass Lowell, students will experience:

  • Four specialization courses which provide the depth of understanding of the field of leadership, namely Leadership and Education Reform, Transformative Leadership for Education, Socio-cultural Contexts of Education, and Education Policy. Core research courses required of all doctoral students are enhanced in the Leadership Ph.D. option by additional seminars and research courses ensuring that their dissertation is of significance to the field. 
  • The benefits of a College of Education that is large enough to provide access to a diverse range of faculty expertise and small enough to ensure personalized attention. Students in the program meet with each other and all Leadership in Education faculty at regularly scheduled doctoral seminar meetings, ensuring the development of professional relationships with one another and with their professors. Most of our peer institutions are too large to facilitate such a collaborative network among faculty and students. 
  • Ready access to a wealth of regional resources for research and policy experiences. Lowell’s geographic location puts students within easy driving distance of urban, suburban, and rural communities of diverse makeup, as well as state government, and non-university research policy centers. 
  • Assessment at key stages of the student’s program that is performance-based, ensuring rigor, depth of understanding and relevance. En route to the dissertation, students must prepare and defend a pilot study that prepares them for  dissertation research. 

The Leadership in Education Ph.D. program at the University of Massachusetts Lowell emphasizes the generation, critical evaluation and application of knowledge in the field of Leadership PK-Higher Education. The Ph.D. (requiring the highest level of research and content expertise) is recognized as the terminal degree for persons pursing a future career in research universities and other policy and research organizations. Students admitted to this degree may study on a part-time or full-time basis (there is a limited number of Teaching and Research Assistantships available for suitably qualified full-time students). The program requires 60 credits of study beyond the master's degree. There is no residency requirement for part-time students.

The degree pathway can be found in the academic catalog.  

Questions about the Ph.D. should be sent to the Ph.D. coordinator via email: Phitsamay_Uy@uml.edu.

To qualify for admission to the Ph.D. all applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Admission statement which addresses the applicant’s purpose for embarking on advanced graduate study, research interests and aspirations for future employment.
  • Earned master’s degree from an accredited institution. The most appropriate master’s degree is the M.Ed.; however, other related master’s degrees will be considered if the candidate can demonstrate work experience or knowledge of education policy and/or research. The master’s degree must have been earned with a 3.0 GPA or better.
  • Resume, which highlights the applicant’s education and experience relevant to the degree after completion of the bachelor’s degree.
  • Satisfactory GRE scores taken within the last five years.
  • Satisfactory TOEFL scores taken within the last year for international applicants as appropriate.
  • Three letters of recommendation which speak to the suitability of the applicant for advanced graduate work, work ethic and knowledge of the field of education and/or education research.
  • Writing sample that demonstrates the applicant’s ability to present a cohesive, focused and persuasive response to an education issue of his or her choice.
  • Interview on-campus or via a video-conferencing tool for those applicants seeking Teaching or Research Assistantships, or for those whose application materials raise unanswered questions.
Questions about the Ph.D. should be sent to the Ph.D. coordinator via email: Phitsamay_Uy@uml.edu
Application for admission to the Ph.D. program is available online through the Office of Graduate Admissions.