Texas Tech University

Educational Leadership Policy Ph.D.

College of Education: on the Edge of Educational Leadership

About the Program
Join us - application information

About the Program

The Ph.D degree program in educational leadership policy prepares graduates to be critically engaged educational policymakers. Graduates will be able to use data-driven methods to craft, enact and evaluate policy with a focus on making educational systems more equitable for students and families.

Our program prepares students for leadership positions in a wide variety of settings at local, state, national and international levels. Those include school districts, universities, government agencies, nonprofits and policy think tanks.

Program at a glance:

  • Fully online
  • 63 credit hours
  • Interdisciplinary course of study
  • Theory-to-practice curriculum
  • Field-based internships
  • Flexibility to pursue in-depth research
  • Cohort approach

Students receive rigorous training in leadership, organizations, policy theory, research methods, policy implementation and advocacy. An interdisciplinary course of study provides a strong foundation for understanding the importance of policy in the context of educational systems, stakeholder relations and social equity. Students also examine the impact of economic, political, sociological and historical factors on education policy.

The program seeks to bridge the divide between policy and practice.

Coursework involves the application of theory to real-world issues such as racial and economic disparities in student achievement or the role of school vouchers in education reform. Our faculty members all have practical experience in public education, ranging from school administrator to classroom teacher and counselor.

A cohort model allows students to move through the fully online program together and be part of a learning community. Using video conferencing, students regularly engage in a virtual classroom as if they were face-to-face.

Program Handbook

Join Us

Become a leader in your school, organization or community! Join a group of educators and professionals that seek to use policymaking to improve educational systems and make them fairer for students and families.

Applications should be submitted online via the online application portal on the Graduate School website. There, you will input biographical and contact information and submit required application materials. You can check the status of your application within the same portal.

Application Materials

Applications should include:

  • Educator personal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Current resume/CV
  • Written response to prompt
  • GRE scores
  • Transcripts

There is a nonrefundable $65 fee for each application. Applicants should read the "Program Application" and "PhD Program Admissions" sections in the program handbook.

Tuition & Fees

Use the Student Business Services Tuition Estimator to estimate your costs.


Do I need a master's degree for this program?

Applicants are strongly encourage to have a master's degree, but possible exceptions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

How much does it cost?

Use the Student Business Services Tuition Estimator to estimate your costs.

What program is used to facilitate online courses?

This program uses Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. Students regularly engage in a virtual classroom using video conferencing as if they were face-to-face. Instructors can share content like videos and slide presentations or use virtual whiteboards to interact.

Can I pursue this program if I am living abroad?


How is the program structured?

The Educational Leadership Policy degree requires 51 hours of coursework and 12 hours of dissertation research for a minimum of 63 hours of total doctoral coursework. It uses a cohort approach to foster a learning community among students. The program is interdisciplinary, meaning it will integrate curriculum from different departments.

What is the admission timeline?

Students are considered for admission on a rolling basis. Applications are accepted at any time during the year, but we recommend that for best consideration applicants submit by June 15 for Fall admission, by November 15 for Spring admission, and by March 15 for Summer admission. Students who are accepted to the program will begin coursework in the upcoming semester. Students who start in the spring or summer are grouped into the next fall's cohort. You can check the status of your application within the online application portal on the Graduate School website.

Can I enroll in this program while working?

Yes — this program can be completed while working full time. The coursework portion of the program lasts three years, with students taking two courses per semester, including the summer term. The dissertation phase begins after coursework ends and is designed to meet the students' schedules and availability.

Where do I apply?

Applications should be submitted online via the online application portal on the Graduate School website.


Alexander Wiseman

Dr. Wiseman is an expert at developing sustainable education policy based on large-scale assessment data to create equitable educational access and achievement. He also focuses on strategic planning, change management and classroom instruction. Wiseman is a former classroom teacher in both the U.S. and Asia.

Alexander Wiseman, Ph.D.

Fernando Valle

Dr. Valle examines leadership practices in schools with a focus on instructional improvement and racial diversity, particularly Latino representation. He has more than six years of experience as a public school administrator, counselor and teacher.

Fernando Valle, Ed.D.
Associate Professor & EDLD Program Coordinator

Educational Leadership Group Photo

Program faculty members are (top row, from left) Hasan Almekdash, Richard Molina; (middle row) Alex Wiseman, Vanessa de Leon, Fernando Valle; (front row) Irma Almager, Dusty Palmer, Cathy Gabro, Selenda Cumby. Not pictured here Joseph Claudet, Fred Hartmeister.

In the News

Texas Tech's Educational Policy PhD Online Program

Texas Tech to host education policy panel discussion online

The Texas Tech University College of Education is hosting a webinar Dec. 3 where policy experts, faculty members and other panelists will discuss the education landscape in Texas ahead of the January start of state and federal legislative sessions. Anyone with an interest in education policy is invited to tune in and ask questions.

Read the full story on Texas Tech Today.

Texas Tech's Educational Policy PhD Online Program

Texas Tech Launches Online Doctoral Program in Education Policy

The degree is the first fully online doctoral program offered by Texas Tech and one of just a handful of online education policy doctoral programs in the nation.

Read the full story on Texas Tech Today.