Mar 03, 2024  
2023-2024 University Catalog 
2023-2024 University Catalog

Educational Administration, Ph.D.

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Program Overview:

The Educational Administration doctoral program prepares individuals intending to build academic or administrative careers in the areas of school, college, or university leadership and administration. Consistent with emerging paradigms for effective practice which attend to pipeline issues as a key factor in student success through college, the program curriculum will focus on understanding and leading education as a PK-16+ integrated system. Because students will be coming from a variety of curricular backgrounds the core curriculum has been designed to engage students in a basic understanding of educational administration and leadership with progression to more advanced theoretical formulations of leadership, administration, and organization of schools and post-secondary institutions.


Student Learning Outcomes

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) for Ph.D. Educational Administration

Students will produce a research project of publishable quality as judged by a jury of faculty members.  

Students will demonstrate specialized knowledge of the scholarship in a specialty area of educational administration.  

Students will analyze and evaluate a current issue of practice in the field of educational administration. 






Prospective Ph.D. degree students must meet the admission requirements established by the Graduate School and also provide valid GRE scores, a statement of purpose, a CV or Resume and recommendations from 3 individuals able to address the applicant’s academic potential. Admission decisions are based on all criteria considered in relationship to the needs of the program and number of students who can be reasonably accommodated. Applicants who present test scores or graduate grade-point averages that are lower than those listed above may be considered for provisional admission. It is recommended that applicants consult at least one program faculty member early in the process of preparing the application. Students who submit complete applications prior to the date published by the department will be considered.

Requirements for the Doctoral Degree

The Educational Administration Ph.D. program is suited for those planning careers in school and university administration, university teaching, educational research organizations, or any education-related leadership profession. Ph.D. studies in educational administration emphasize research methodology, and students conduct self-directed dissertation research to extended both theory and practice in the field. The program curriculum focuses on understanding and leading education as a PK-16+ integrated system. For those students without a Master’s degree in educational administration or higher education, concentrations are available in K-12 school leadership and higher education administration.

The general regulations and procedures governing programs leading to the Doctor of Philosophy, as explained elsewhere in this catalog, will be followed. Specific application of these regulations and procedures to doctoral programs in education, as well as fundamental differences in the programs, is listed below.

Program of Study

The Ph.D. program goes well beyond the accumulation of graduate course credits. It includes coursework, completion of examinations, a research project, and a dissertation. The degree program includes a minimum of 52 credits beyond the Master’s degree. Students take a group of core doctoral courses, research methods courses, and dissertation research. Students with no Master’s degree in either educational administration or higher education may be required to complete additional coursework (a 12-hour concentration in their discipline). Students should consult the department for specific requirements.

Research Tools

Ph.D. students must complete a minimum of 21 credits in educational research methods. Students develop competency in both quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Retention Standards

Ph.D. degree students will be dismissed for any of the following reasons: they accumulate six or more hours of grades lower than B in graduate coursework required in their programs of study (this includes the accumulation of more than one “U” grade in EDAD 7050, indicating lack of progress on the dissertation); their cumulative UNO graduate grade-point average for two consecutive semesters (fall and spring or spring and fall) is below 3.0; they fail the qualifying, general, or final (dissertation defense) examination twice; or they fail to maintain continuous enrollment in all fall and spring semesters until successful completion of the dissertation and graduation.


A doctoral student must earn two consecutive semesters of a minimum of nine hours of residence.

The doctoral residence requirement may be met alternatively by three semesters of enrollment at six or more hours, which may be non-consecutive.

Students who are in residence for the purpose of the above requirement are expected to devote all of their energies to graduate study under the direct supervision of a major professor and/or advisory committee.

Research Project

Doctoral students complete a research project as defined by the faculty prior to taking their general examination.

Continuous Enrollment

Doctoral students, after being admitted to the Ph.D. program, must enroll in graduate courses each fall and spring until being awarded the degree. A leave of absence must be formally requested from the faculty prior to any semester in which this requirement is not met. Students will be dismissed if they fail to meet this continuous enrollment requirement.

Qualifying Examination

After successful screening into the PhD program, and typically during the second semester of their enrollment in the program, students must successfully complete the Qualifying Examination to qualify for continued enrollment in the program. Program faculty develop exam content and evaluate student responses to the exam. The exam is designed to assess the level of critical thinking and scholarly writing demonstrated by the student.

General Examination

Students must successfully complete a general examination to continue in the Ph.D. program. Students may take the general examination when they have completed most of their coursework, as defined by the faculty, and garnered advisor approval of the dissertation prospectus for the proposed dissertation research project.

Time Limit

New doctoral students must complete their degree not more than six years from admission to candidacy (Generals) to degree completion. Prior work completed that is applied toward the degree must have been completed within nine years of the date the Ph.D. is awarded.

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