Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies


The K-12 Cohort Ph.D. program in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Purdue University develops leaders for the schools of Indiana and the nation. The graduate program at West Lafayette offers preparation in educational leadership for K-12 schools and school districts. The Cohort Doctoral Program concentrates on K-12 superintendent preparation and features the use of hybrid distance learning technologies. Although it utilizes distance learning technology such as interactive video (WebEX) and on-line conferencing such as Brightspace to supplement class discussions, it is not an on-line degree program.

Application Deadline: June 30
Transcript Evaluation and Credential Review (TECR) Request Deadline: June 15



For more information, view the:

Purdue quality. Flexible schedule.

Hybrid students enjoy the same rigorous academic programs as on-campus students, but with a much more flexible class schedule. Assignments, discussions, and other coursework are posted each week in the virtual classroom.

Cohort Format

Each year a select group of 8-10 students is admitted as a cohort. Students usually have two required on-campus Saturday class meetings for their core course each semester with weekly video-conferencing (WebEX) classes or on-line class discussions (Brightspace). Weekend on-campus summer courses are also required.

Request Information – Ph.D. Educational Leadership

This program leads to an Indiana District Level (Superintendent) license. Contact the College of Education Office of Teacher Education and Licensure (OTEL) at before continuing with program application.

Please visit the Graduate Licensure Program page for information about license eligibility requirements.

Program Overview

What makes for a successful leader in education?

Purdue specific outcomes and program highlights: 

  • Distinguish yourself in the education industry with a superior credential from an institution with worldwide recognition and impact.
  • Learn tools & highly relevant techniques for leading P-12 schools.
  • Advance and network with an experienced and motivated peer group for mutual support, team exercises, and enhanced learning. 
  • Learn educational leadership practices and how to be applicable in working with individuals.

Why choose Purdue’s Ph.D. in Educational Studies with a concentration in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies?

Program Rational

As a performance-based preparation program, the curriculum focuses on the seven District Level National Educational Leadership Preparation (NELP) Program Standards for district administrators. Within that structure there is a heavy emphasis on visionary leadership, policy and planning, management, and operations, learning environments, school culture, community building and ethical behavior. The core curriculum explores contemporary educational issues as they play out in urban settings, in suburbia, and in rural America. The reforms associated with the Every Student Succeeds Act (2015) demand that schools educate all students. Developing these schools requires school leaders with competencies in systems analysis, planning, fostering change, and building consensus and collaboration. Above all, these school leaders must first be educators with a compelling vision of what education can mean for students. The Cohort Doctoral Program strives to develop leaders with those qualities.

Make your next giant leap



Course Content Information:
Course Registration, payment, drops/withdraws, and removing holds:
Purdue Online
Career accounts:
ITaP (765) 494-4000