Top Schools for a Doctorate in Educational Leadership: School List

Explore the top schools offering doctoral programs in educational leadership. Read up on school rankings, degree opportunities, and school locations. Compare the similarities and differences of each school to make the right decision.

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School Information

Doctoral degree programs in educational leadership are available from some of the premiere schools in the country. Explore a handful of these top institutions and learn why their programs stand out above the rest. Educational leadership programs are available at top universities that have been ranked by U.S. News and World Report. These programs typically award a Doctor of Philosophy degree. Programs often have concentrations in kindergarten through 12th grade or higher education. Class topics can include school law, policy, finance, budgeting, community relations, and curriculum development.

Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN

Vanderbilt University was ranked fifth best graduate educational program, and the education administration and supervision program was named the best by U.S. News & World Report in 2016. The Peabody College of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Policy with concentrations in K-12, higher education, and international education policy. Students choosing the K-12 concentration can study accountability, improving instructional practices, leadership development, performance incentives, teacher hiring, urban school reform, and school choice. Those with a focus on higher education may opt for international higher education, undergraduate college teaching, or state higher education policy. The international education policy concentration involves K-12 and higher education coursework and also includes international policy reform, economics, sociology, and political science.

Columbia University in New York

The Teacher's College at Columbia University is the oldest and largest of its kind in the nation. Columbia University's graduate education program was ranked seventh overall by U.S. News & World Report in 2016. It was also ranked as having the sixth best program for education administration and supervision in 2016. The Doctor of Philosophy in Education Leadership program includes coursework in ethical issues, the role of the state in the educational system, education in urban environments, and creating charter schools.

Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA

U.S News and World Report ranked Boston College as tied for the 23rd best graduate education program in 2016. Boston College's Lynch School of Education offers a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership that focuses on leadership in several areas, including school reform and community building. The program follows a cohort model and is designed for full-time school administrators. This program is a member of the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate.

Top Educational Leadership Doctorate Programs

The following schools also offer top educational leadership doctorate programs.

College/University Name Distinction Location
George Washington University Has an Education Specialist in Educational Leadership and Administration degree program that is recognized by National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education Washington, D.C.
New York University Offers a summer study abroad program in South Africa that emphasizes learning about education reform issues New York, NY
University of California - Berkeley Offers three concentrations in leadership Berkeley, CA
University of California - Los Angeles Has a cohort program that meets one night per week and takes three years to complete Los Angeles, CA
University of Connecticut Their program offers a cohort experience Storrs, CT
University of Florida Offers a doctoral program on campus and online Gainesville, FL
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Home to the National Research Center on Rural Education Support and LEARN NC programs Chapel Hill, NC
University of Southern California Offers four different doctoral programs Los Angeles, CA
University of Texas at Austin Houses the Department of Educational Administration and Supervision that ranked #3 nationwide in 2016 among public schools with similar departments by U.S. News and World Report Austin, TX

Students pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership can study at a number of top-ranking institutions, including Vanderbilt University, Boston College, and Columbia University. These schools are considered high quality because of their program offerings, available concentrations, and high rankings from U.S. News and World Report.

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