PhD in Educational Administration and Policy
Become qualified for a career in educational policy analysis or leadership within P–12 educational research, government, academia, or non-profit sectors with our Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Policy.
- Taught by renowned faculty in educational leadership, policy, and law
- Based in Athens with coursework at the Gwinnett campus
The coursework offers two possible “cores,” one in law and policy, and the other in administration and supervision. Both will prompt you to examine educational policy issues, scrutinize the current educational reform movement, and discover how to improve student learning and accountability within these contexts. You will also be exposed to multidisciplinary perspectives on educational policymaking, processes, and implementation.
Courses combine lectures and student-led discussions to provide you with a more comprehensive learning environment. You work closely with our faculty throughout your study, with opportunities for collaboration on funded research projects, articles for academic journals, and other policy- and leadership-related projects.
You fulfill 52 hours of coursework to meet this program’s requirements, which includes a core, a specialization, an internship, research methods, and a dissertation. Both cores require the following:
- Nine hours of core-specific courses
- 12 (minimum) hours of research methodology courses
- A three-hour dissertation support course
- 12 (minimum) hours of specialization courses
- A three-hour apprenticeship or internship course
- Three or more pre-candidacy hours
- 10 dissertation hours
The law and policy core courses examine roles of federal and state constitutions, legislation, regulations, and judicial decisions and their relationships to educational policies. Courses also examine local, state, federal, and nongovernmental political influences in public schools.
The administration and supervision core courses examine theoretical approaches to educational administration, emphasizing organizational theory, educational policy issues, and theories of leadership. It also illuminates influential factors affecting the practice of instructional supervision.
Download a Program of Study (PDF)
Additional information and disclosures regarding state licensure for professional practice in this field can be found at the UGA Licensure Disclosure Portal .
How to Apply
Part 1: Apply to the University of Georgia
The Graduate School handles admission for all graduate programs at the University of Georgia, including those in the College of Education. The Graduate School website contains important details about the application process, orientation, and many other useful links to guide you through the process of attending UGA at the graduate level.
Start A Graduate School Application
Part 2: Apply to the Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Policy
The Ph.D. in Adult Education only admits students for the Fall semester each year. Applicants must submit valid (within the past five years) GRE scores with their UGA Graduate School application.
While completing the application, be sure to attach the following documents:
- Statement of purpose
- Official transcripts
Statement of Purpose
In no more than two single-spaced pages, describe your research interests, past academic and professional background, and long-term goals for using the doctoral degree. You should also list two to three faculty members with whom these research interests are a fit, as well as the reasons why you see the UGA College of Education as a fit for your professional goals.
Please submit a writing sample, which may be excerpted from a longer piece of academic writing but limited to five to eight double-spaced pages. If the writing sample is an excerpt, please include a paragraph or two, providing context about its source.
Please do not exceed the recommended page limits for the Statement of Purpose or the Writing Sample.
The admissions deadline is January 10th. All components should be received by that date. You are encouraged to solicit the letters of recommendation to allow recommenders sufficient time to meet the deadline. However, applicants whose files are complete by December 15th will not be penalized for late letters.
The Program of Educational Administration and Policy uses a holistic admissions process that looks at applicants’ academic background, fit with the research interests of the faculty and professional and academic goals. GRE scores are one element of a complete application.
Deadline To Apply
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The College’s programs are taught by dedicated faculty who are experts in a range of areas and are passionate about helping students succeed both in their programs and professionally.
Most graduate students at UGA are not assigned to a faculty advisor until after admittance. A close working relationship with your advisor is paramount to progressing through your program of study.
Almost all in-state students begin their studies at UGA paying limited tuition or fees. Please note that these amounts are subject to change and are meant to give prospective students an idea of the costs associated with a degree at the University of Georgia College of Education.
Students may qualify for a variety of assistantships, scholarships, and other financial awards to help offset the cost of tuition, housing, and other expenses.
You have opportunities to work with our renowned faculty throughout your study, from individual courses to policy-related projects.
The University of Georgia Lifelong Learning Association provides career networking for students, faculty, and professionals through seminars, workshops, and leadership roles.
See for yourself how much UGA College of Education has to offer! Schedule a tour of campus to learn more about the UGA student experience.
I currently serve as an assistant professor of educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Cincinnati. I can confidently say that my experiences in UGA’s EDAP program have been transformative and played an instrumental role in preparing me to serve in my current position and those to come. While I can remark on a number of these experiences, I will focus my attention around the people and the place.
EDAP is filled with many incredible individuals whose interests are clearly aligned with supporting the needs and investing in the development of students. These investments were expressed most profoundly to me through my advisors’ efforts to continually affirm my scholarly identity and support my professional growth. They expressed a vested interest in ensuring I acquired the necessary research, teaching, and mentoring skills to become an effective scholar and teacher. The EDAP program has a vibe that is energetic and family-oriented, which made transitioning out of the community both difficult and worrying. As I interviewed for jobs, I realized how natural it was to compare each place to EDAP. After some time, I affirmatively concluded that this EDAP place is uniquely special.
To EDAP—the people and place—thank you! I am forever indebted to you and will strive to make the spaces I occupy moving forward as inclusive of and kind towards others as the community was to me when I joined in 2016.
I am currently an assistant professor in the educational leadership program at the University of Iowa, where I joined the faculty in 2016. My research focuses on educational access and opportunity for students of color broadly, and Black students in particular, in P-12 contexts. I use the intersection of race, place, and socioeconomic class to examine the impact of historical and contemporary educational policies—including school desegregation, school choice, student attendance, and the retention of educators of color—on student achievement.
UGA’s educational administration and policy (EDAP) program was very instrumental to my current success. The guidance and mentorship I received from EDAP faculty helped me define and shape the academic I am now. I had numerous opportunities to publish manuscripts and present at national conferences with faculty, work as a graduate research assistant on large grants, and guest lecture in several courses. EDAP faculty encouraged my participation in professional organizations while ensuring my personal, professional, and academic needs were met. As a faculty member, I try to model the support and mentorship EDAP faculty provided me when advising my own doctoral students.
I am honored to share a professional update and reflection on how the Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Policy program within the EDAP department has helped shape me professionally. Currently, I serve as the Assistant Vice President and Chief of Staff for Finance and Administration here at the University of Georgia. In this role, I provide leadership for Finance and Administration through continuous strategic planning and, holistic client relations mitigation while helping to manage the day-to-day operations. As an administrator with a faculty appointment, I appreciate the way EDAP was able to tailor the program for my academic and professional goals. The program was perfect for me as I continue working as a higher education practitioner that also directly serves students.
EDAP is a pivotal part of my new role as it expanded my knowledge and understanding of practices and policies within education and how they affect various groups of stakeholders. That knowledge directly translates as I represent my unit across campus in areas related to admissions and student affairs where this understanding is paramount. Equally as important were the courses that linked education to the greater community. The appreciation gained through the assignments, group discussions, and one-on-one time with professors broadened my knowledge of how the history of education and policy affects communities and their trajectory. Whether I am representing UGA on a community initiative or personally volunteering, the program has helped me become a better citizen. EDAP enhanced what I offered and gave me additional tools that are mutually beneficial for me and those I serve in this expanded role.
The program also allowed me to make lasting friendships with professors and classmates of which many are now my colleagues. We are able to network and encourage each other through personal and professional breakthroughs and struggles.
I work as a senior policy analyst at the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute (GBPI), a non-profit think-tank that examines the state’s budget, taxes, and public policies to provide thoughtful analysis and responsible solutions. I focus on state polices and research that affect public P-12 education in Georgia. In this role I research, write, and communicate reports/briefs/blogs to a variety of audiences and strategic partners. I also engage in legislative lobbying for, among other policies, an equitable school funding system for Georgia’s 1.8 million public school children.
UGA’s educational administration and policy doctoral program not only provided me with the content knowledge and frameworks to perform well in this role, it also changed how I view higher education altogether. The work and support I received push me to be a better writer, researcher, and analyst. I was able to learn from (and work with) professors with keen minds who were faithful to the curriculum, while also being compassionate to students. I rely on the work of those professors, my fellow classmates, and all the staff in the EDAP program daily, and am happy to forge a career in educational policy because of it.