Educational Leadership and Organizational Development (PhD)

Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Organizational Development
Unit: College of Education and Human Development (GE)
Department: Educational Leadership, Evaluation, and Organizational Development

Program Website 
Academic Plan Code(s): ELODPHD

Program Information

The Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Organizational Development encompasses five specialties:

  • P-12 Administration
  • Post-secondary Administration
  • Sport administration
  • Human Resource Development
  • Evaluation

The doctoral degree is granted in recognition of scholarly proficiency and distinctive achievement in a specific field/discipline. All candidates for a doctoral degree in the College of Education and Human Development must successfully complete qualifying exams and a dissertation/professional portfolio that clearly indicates the candidate has mastered and can exhibit/articulate the content knowledge, skills and dispositions specific to their discipline and can utilize appropriate research methodologies to contribute to the body of knowledge in their field.

Distinctive Characteristics of Doctoral Programs in the College of Education and Human Development

  1. Social Justice and Equity
    Doctoral students in our program build experience and expertise in the issues of social justice and equity which aligns with our metropolitan mission and focus on student achievement.
  2. Leadership
    Our doctoral students gain expertise in supervising and leading others to achieve organizational goals and missions, managing complex systems, addressing administrative issues and procedures, conducting research to enhance leadership and teaching others about the art of organizational leadership.
  3. Practical Experience
    The doctoral program contains practicums, internships, or embedded field experience that aligns with program and career goals. These mentored experiences may include teaching, research, administration or other appropriate areas.
  4. Scholarship/Research
    An emphasis on scholarship includes experience and mentorship in ethics, publications, presentation, grantsmanship, and other forms of creative activity. The research component is characterized by the development of vertical research teams: senior faculty, junior faculty, doctoral students, master's students, and in some programs, undergraduate students, working together on research projects and research areas. These may be bolstered by partnerships with local school districts, businesses, or community agencies.

Admission Requirements

The following must be completed before your application will be considered:

  1. Graduate Application (even if currently enrolled in a University of Louisville program). All other application materials, except GRE Scores and online recommendation letters, should be sent to the address at the bottom of this page.
  2. Resume or Curriculum Vitae. It is expected that applicants have prior academic and professional experience in their field of interest. The PhD program is intended for experienced professionals, holding relevant academic degrees and who are qualified to undertake advanced study at the doctoral level. It is important that the academic and professional experience of applicants match the educational focus of the program curriculum and the educational and professional orientation of the program faculty.
  3. Recommendations. Using the Graduate School online application, enter email addresses of three individuals familiar with your background to provide a letter of evaluation in addition to the Recommendation form. It is recommended that at least one of the individuals be a former faculty member who is able to speak to your academic background.
  4. Graduate Record Examination test scores (Verbal & Quantitative). Please have official scores sent to UofL from Education Testing Services (UofL's code is 1838). If you are a former University of Louisville student, and believe your scores are on file, please note this in the comment section of your Graduate Application. If applying for an assistantship, scholarship, or fellowship, scores must be no more than five years old.
  5. The TOEFL is required of students from countries where English is not the native language, and who have not completed a college level degree in the United States. It is the expectation of the Admissions Committee that applicants would have a minimum computer-based TOEFL score of 220 or a paper-based score of 560.
  6. Official Transcripts. Send official transcripts for all previous undergraduate and graduate coursework to the address indicated below. Do not provide University of Louisville transcripts and transcripts previously submitted to the College of Education and Human Development.

    Applicants who have completed a degree outside the United States must have their transcripts evaluated by World Education Evaluation Service or Education Credentials Evaluators. The agency will do an evaluation according to US guidelines and mail an official copy of the evaluation to UofL. In some cases the applicant may only have one official copy of the transcript. In that situation, WES or ECE will mail the official transcript back to the student after the evaluation has been completed. If you have a master's degree from the U.S., this requirement is waived.
  7. Grade Point Average: It is expected that applicants would have GPAs of at least 3.5 for prior undergraduate and graduate degrees.
  8. Formal Statement of Goals. Prepare a formal statement that describes 1) your detailed rationale for pursuing a doctoral degree and 2) your research interest(s). State which track of the PhD program for which you are applying. Discuss your interest in a doctoral study, indicating how your personal and professional goals, professional experiences, and commitment to education, learning, and research are congruent with a doctoral program in educational leadership and organization development. More specifically, relate your goals to a particular specialization(s). Include a clear statement about your research interest(s) and goals, and how this doctoral program will help you achieve those goals.

    Admissions Committee members will expect a statement of at least 1,500 words. Please keep in mind that the statement of goals also serves as a sample of your writing ability and the committee will review it in this light.

Send ALL admission materials to:

University of Louisville
Graduate School
Graduate Admissions

Houchens Bldg., Room 105
Louisville, KY 40292

 The Admissions Committee takes a holistic approach to the evaluation of applications, and while GRE scores are one part of the application package, they do not determine admission (i.e., very high scores do not guarantee admission, and low scores do not preclude admission).  The holistic approach takes into account all aspects of a candidate's application, as faculty try to determine if the candidate is prepared for the program, and if the candidate is likely to successfully complete the program.

Program Requirements

Master’s degree prerequisite + 60 credit hours minimum

The Student and Committee must develop courses, programs and experiences that clearly identify and address the specific themes of Leadership, Scholarship, Social Justice and Equity. These areas of emphasis must have descriptive competencies that the student should attain and the Committee can assess.

Coursework Requirements

Doctoral Seminar in Educational Leadership
Advanced Leadership Theory
Advanced Organizational Theory
Problem Analysis in Educational Leadership I
Applied Statistics
Intermediate Applied Statistics
Applied Multiple Regression
Multivariate Educational Statistics
Qualitative Field Research Methods
Qualitative Data Analysis and Representation
Dissertation/Portfolio Research
LEAD 795Doctoral Research12
Minimum Total Hours60