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School Administration PhD Program Requirements and Prerequisites

Teachers desiring to advance their careers may pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in school administration. This terminal degree can broaden a teacher's business, management and leadership skills.

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Essential Information

Students in an education administration Ph.D. program learn to manage operations in different types of institutions including K-12 schools, pre-schools, colleges and universities. Some programs allow students to develop more specialized skills that qualify them to direct educational programs in non-educational organizations, such as prisons, corporations, museums or nonprofit organizations.

Programs typically take 3-5 years to complete if a student is enrolled full time. Research is a major component of these doctoral programs, and it culminates in a dissertation, which is an original research project overseen by an advisory committee. Applicants must have at least a bachelor's degree to be considered for admission into a school administration Ph.D. program; in many cases, a master's degree is also required. Programs commonly prefer those applicants with substantial teaching experience.


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Ph.D. in School Administration

Considerable time is spent engaged in independent research, in addition to learning various theories and educational models of use in the classroom. Education administration coursework also includes topics in marketing, budgeting and leadership. Here are some classes that might appear in the curriculum:

  • Education policy
  • Instruction methods
  • Management
  • Finance in educational institutions
  • Community relations
  • Education politics

Popular Career Options

Graduates of a Ph.D. in Education Administration program often work in elementary schools, high schools or higher education institutes, although they can hold various titles. While this degree is often sought by teachers interested in becoming school principals, there are a number of other possible jobs for graduates, such as:

  • Dean
  • Chief development officer
  • Program director
  • Assistant principal
  • Superintendent
  • Admissions director

Graduates of a Ph.D. in School Administration program can advance their careers in a variety of roles. The degree can help students develop skills in advanced education, research, finance, management, policy, and leadership.

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