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LPO Doctoral Level Concentrations

LPO's doctoral-level program in Leadership and Policy Studies offers two concentrations: Educational Leadership and Policy, and Higher Education Leadership and Policy. Students focus on their selected areas of inquiry throughout the program and are expected to conduct research, present papers at national academic conferences, and publish in academic journals.

The Ph.D. program is designed for those who intend to build an academic career focused on the study of education and policy, as researchers, professors, and policy analysts. It is a full-time, four to five year program that equips its graduates with the knowledge and methodological tools to conduct cutting-edge research on the pressing educational issues of the day. Students learn to examine education problems through the lenses of economics, political science, sociology, and international and comparative education. All students are expected to develop strong statistical and data analysis skills while developing expertise in other tools of inquiry, including experimental and quasi-experimental design, survey research methods, and qualitative research methods.

At the heart of the program is the mentor-apprentice model, where students work on research projects alongside a collection of esteemed faculty. As a doctoral student, you will be matched with an LPO faculty member whose research interests align with your own and you will design an individualized program of study that reflects your specific interests and background. Through your research you will learn to present papers at scholarly conferences and submit journal articles for publication.

Ph.D. Concentrations

Educational Leadership and Policy
Areas of study include accountability, improving teachers' instructional practices, leadership development, performance incentive, school choice, teacher hiring and retention, and urban school reform.

Higher Education Leadership and Policy
Areas of study include international higher education policies, the delineation of a normative structure for undergraduate college teaching, or an analysis of state higher education policy initiatives. You might also develop and test theories of student persistence.


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