Educational Leadership

Program details

Credits required: 90

Location Format   
Grand Rapids Face-to-face

Industry highlights

In the United States, 179,000 master's degrees were conferred in education in 2008-09.National Center for Education Statistics

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

When personal and professional growth is what you desire

For some people, a master's degree just isn't enough. The personal and professional growth they desire requires more. For educational leaders who want to go further than their master's degree will take them, WMU offers a Ph.D. in educational leadership.

This prestigious Ph.D. program at Western Michigan University offers a great deal of flexibility for busy professionals. Specializations are available in higher education leadership and in K-12 leadership, allowing educational leaders to choose their own career path.

Why educational leadership at Western Michigan University?

The engaging faculty and staff at WMU's College of Education and Human Development are dedicated to the success of their students, bringing extensive educational leadership experience to the program. Besides excellent people, WMU also offers innovative scheduling designed to meet the needs of today's busy professionals.

  • Courses are offered in the evenings and on weekends. Students are encouraged to incorporate work experiences into their academic projects.
  • The educational leadership (Ph.D.) faculty takes mentoring very seriously. Students are encouraged to get their research ideas together during the first year of study to benefit from a successful mentoring relationship throughout their program.

Two exciting program concentrations

  • Higher education leadership—This concentration is designed to serve educational faculty who have not yet obtained a terminal degree, as well as those working in student services or other administrative areas within universities, community colleges or other institutions focused on adult learning.
  • K-12 leadership—This concentration is designed for persons who wish to develop leadership skills and serve as a superintendent or other central office administrator within a school district serving elementary and secondary students.

Endorsements available through the K-12 concentration

Students completing the K-12 concentration may also receive one or more 'endorsements' indicating that they have met the state requirements for various K-12 certificates (e.g., superintendent, central office, etc.). Learn more at the Michigan Department of Education's website.

Who should apply

School administrators, teacher leaders, and educational directors in K-12 schools with at least three years of experience and a related master's degree are encouraged to apply.

Career opportunities

Professionals who obtain the Ph.D. in educational leadership could advance to leadership positions in higher education or K-12 settings, depending on area of focus and commensurate experience.

Employer tuition reimbursement

If your employer has a tuition reimbursement program, find out about WMU’s deferment program for employer paid tuition.

"Best bang for the buck"

Washington Monthly placed WMU on a list of national universities that offer "the best bang for the buck." WMU came in at No. 50 based on the economic value students receive per dollar.