Ph.D. in School Technology Leadership

Program Overview

Students interested in pursuing research-based careers (e.g., university faculty, departments of education, policy centers, district research officers) may be interested in considering the PhD in Education Sciences with a specialization in School Technology Leadership. This specialization is offered as part of the existing PhD in Education Sciences that has leadership courses at the core. The official web site for the PhD in Education Sciences can be found here. All candidates who are interested in the PhD with a focus on School Technology Leadership should contact Dr. John Nash (STL Program Chair) or Dr. Wayne Lewis (Doctoral Program Chair) for more information and specific requirements.

Key Features

  • Online coursework with up to five summer meetings in Lexington for major events such as cohort meetings and doctoral defenses.
  • Integration with students from local educational organizations in Kentucky.
  • Small cohorts that take two courses per semester.
  • Synchronous meetings on Saturdays (based on U.S. Eastern time zone).
  • Structured to have coursework completed in 2.5 years.
  • Traditional research dissertation to prepare candidates for the rigor of future faculty positions.
  • All students qualify for in-state tuition for EDL online courses.
  • Only 42 hours of coursework (plus a minimum of 4 dissertation hours over 2 semesters).
  • By taking 1 additional course, students qualify for the Graduate Certificate in addition to the PhD


Required Courses (30 credit hours; these will vary by candidate; see an example program of study in PDF format)

Leadership Courses (15 credit hours)

  • EDL 700, Knowledge Base for Leaders (3 hours)
  • EDL 701, Leadership in Educational Organizations I (3 hours)
  • EDL 702, Leadership in Educational Organizations II (3 hours)
  • EDL 703, Leading Organizational Change (3 hours)
  • EDL 704, Politics of Educational Leadership (3 hours)

Research Courses (15 credit hours)

[minimum 9 hours in advanced research methods with at least one course in both qualitative and quantitative methods; these courses are selected in consultation with students’ program committees and the department]
  • EDL 751, Foundations of Inquiry (3 hours)
  • An advanced qualitative methods course (3 hours)
  • An advanced quantitative methods course (3 hours)
  • An advanced qualitative or quantitative methods course (3 hours)
  • EDL 792, Research in Educational Administration and Supervision (3 hours)

Please note: EDL cannot guarantee research courses that meet a student’s needs related to their dissertation research will be offered in an online format. Therefore, students should work closely with their advisor and/or the Director of Graduate Studies to determine options for meeting the research requirements.

Specialization Courses (12 credit hours)

Specialization courses are your electives. [Students take any 4 of the 5 Graduate Certificate courses; taking the remaining course will earn students the Graduate Certificate as well]

  • EDL 661, School Technology Leadership (3 hours);
  • EDL 662, Digital Age Learning and Technology Leadership (3 hours);
  • EDL 650,School Program Improvement (3 hours);
  • EDL 664, Technology Leadership for School Improvement (3 hours); or
  • EDL 665, School Technology Leadership for Digital Citizenship (3 hours).

Dissertation Courses (minimum 4 credit hours)

Sample Course Sequence

Year 1

Fall Semester (6 credits)
EDL700, Knowledge Base for Leaders
EDL751, Foundations of Inquiry

Spring Semester (6 credits)
EDL701, Leadership in Educational Organizations I
EDL771, Seminar in Educational Leadership: Qualitative Methods

Summer Semester (6 credits)
EDL703, Leading Organizational Change
Specialization course (in Summer 2014 this is EDL 661)

Year 2

Fall Semester (6 credits)
EDL702, Leadership in Educational Organizations II
EDL771, Seminar in Educational Leadership: Quantitative Methods

Spring Semester (6 credits)
EDL704, Politics of Educational Leadership
Specialization course

Summer Semester (6 credits)
Specialization course
Specialization course

Year 3

Fall Semester (6 credits)
EDL 792, Research in Educational Leadership
Specialization course

Program Exit Requirements

For details on these elements, see the EDL Student Handbook.

  • Completion of all required and elective courses, including minimum of 4 dissertation hours;
  • Completion of University of Kentucky residence requirements;
  • A cumulative grade point average of no less than 3.0 on a 4.0 scale;
  • Successful defense of the qualifying examination (upon finishing coursework);
  • Successful defense of the dissertation proposal (by dissertation advisory committee); and
  • Successful final defense of the dissertation (by dissertation advisory committee)

Contact Information

Dr. John Nash, STL Program Chai
(859) 257-7845