The educational leadership program prepares leaders to achieve results in the nation's schools by translating theory and knowledge into practice, applying skills in interpersonal relations and political diplomacy, applying research and data-based, decision-making skills, and following ethical principles. Graduates are able to adapt to a changing world, predict consequences of actions, and sustain continuous education improvements over time. Individuals develop skills and qualities that enhance their ability to empower, inspire, and guide the performance of others in achieving the goals of a school, a school district, or a community.
Educational Specialist degrees may be awarded to students who are admitted by the Graduate College upon the recommendation of the College of Education, and who satisfactorily complete program requirements specified by the departments in the College of Education offering this degree.
No more than 20 percent of the minimum number of units required for a master's degree can be transferred from other accredited institutions (e.g., if a Specialist degree requires 60 units, then no more than 12 units can be transferred from another university). Such transfer credit can be applied to an advanced degree only upon satisfactory completion of deficiencies as prescribed by the head of the major department in which the student seeks a degree. Transfer of credit toward an advanced degree will not be made unless the grade earned was A or B, and unless it was awarded graduate credit at the institution where the work was completed. Grades of transfer work will not be used in computing the student's grade-point average. Credit for correspondence courses or extension work from other institutions will not be accepted for graduate credit.
The Department of Educational Policy Studies and Practice (EPSP) includes Educational Leadership and the Center for the Study of Higher Education. The EPSP department combines the K-12 focus with postsecondary education to create a P-20 perspective that taps into the dominant discourse of education and policymakers today.
EPSP prepares graduate students at the doctorate and master's levels. Graduate programs in HED include Ph.D. and M.A. degrees. Graduate programs in EDL include an Ed.D., Ph.D., Ed.S., M.A. and M.Ed. The M.A. degree has a focus on policy. The M.Ed. degree is a standards-driven curriculum leading to both a degree and state certification for the principalship.
The Educational Leadership, M.Ed., program is designed for aspiring educational leaders who are seeking administrative certification. This cohort-based, 36-unit program leads to principal certification in the state of Arizona and can be completed within two years. The cohort concept has been used successfully by the University of Arizona Educational Leadership Program for several years. In this model, students develop formal and informal relationships with other students that support their journey to successful completion of an advanced degree. It also provides a solid foundation for leaders considering doctoral work at the elementary and secondary levels. In fact, some of the core courses may be applied toward the doctoral program in educational leadership.
Two courses per fall semester and two courses per spring semester will be offered at an off-campus site on Monday evenings from 4:00 to 9:30 p.m. Four courses will be offered off-campus in the summer as well. Off-campus site locations include settings within Tucson Unified School District, Amphitheater School District, Flowing Wells School District, and Marana School District.
Courses in the program are delivered in a variety of formats, including completely online, hybrid (meaning a combination of in-person and online classes), and in-person. Core coursework of the program includes classes like EDL 560 (Foundations of Educational Leadership: Theory, Research & Practice), EDL 561 (The Principalship), and EDL 562 (Arizona Education Law).
The 30-unit Master of Arts in Educational Policy, offered by the Education Policy Studies and Practice Department in the College of Education, will provide students with an understanding of education policymaking history and process, and develop their skills to analyze data and inform policies. The program will provide anyone interested in education policy with the necessary background to engage in the policymaking process: classroom teachers, school leaders, university personnel, community members, and those interested in continuing their studies in a doctoral program. The program will offer courses flexibly (e.g., evenings, online, hybrid) that will include research methods, critical topics in education policy, as well as the opportunity to take various elective courses that might include a focus on language policy, privatization and education reform, law, and/or public policy, among other focus areas.
Both the Center for the Study of Higher Education (HED) and Educational Leadership (EDL) maintain their core functions and curriculum, consistent with professional career paths and state standards for certification leading to licensure. However, the combined unit more broadly facilitates and encourages research, instructional, and service and outreach initiatives consistent with a policy development and analysis focus.
College of Education
University of Arizona - Main - Tucson
Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
The Graduate Record Exam is part of the holistic application review and therefore there is no minimum score.
International Applicants ONLY:
Minimum TOEFL: 79
Minimum IELTS: 7
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
The EDS requires a minimum of 72 units with an emphasis on theory and research. PhD candidates take doctoral courses in the College of Education at the 600 level or higher. There are three groups of courses that are part of the 72-hour PhD requirement. First, there are courses in educational leadership and policy including some that are required and some that are electives. Additionally, there are required courses in research, statistics and methods that form the foundation for candidate’s dissertation research. The last group are courses in a minor area of study.
Required Core (12 credit hours)
• EDL 606: Policy Analysis in Education Leadership, 3 units, Regular Grades
• EDL 621: Organization, Operation & Resource Leadership, 3 units, Regular Grades
• EDL 625: Leadership for the School and Diverse Community, 3 units, Regular Grades
• EDL 626: Leadership for Social Justice: Ethics and Law, 3 units, Regular Grade
Electives (12-15 credit hours) PhD candidates will select electives, in consultation with their advisors, that support research interests or enhance skills and theoretical knowledge.
EDL 504 Disciplined Inquiry in Education,3 Units, Regular Grades
EDL 522 Critically Evaluating Education Policy Research, 3 Units, Regular Grades
EDL 558 Market-Based Educational Reform, 3 Units, Regular Grades
EDL 560 Foundations of Educational Leadership: Theory, Research and Practice ,3 Units, Regular Grades
EDL 561 The Principalship, 3 Units, Regular Grades
EDL 562 Arizona Education Law, 3 Units, Regular Grades
EDL 563 Supervision of the Instructional Program, 3 Units, Regular Grades
EDL 564 Personnel Administration in Education, 3 Units, Regular Grades
EDL 565 School Finance, 3 Units, Regular Grades
EDL 567 School, Family and Community, 3 Units, Regular Grades
EDL 568 Curriculum Leadership and Data Literacy for Continuous School Improvement, 3 Units, Regular Grades
EDL 587 State and Local Education Policy, 3 Units, Regular Grades
The final project in the EDS is an applied action research project supervised by one of the EDL tenure track faculty. The student seeking the EDS develops and conducts a short project under the faculty's guidance. The final product is a 20-30-page research paper.
Please refer to the Graduate Student Handbook for students who are pursuing this program of study.