PhD Program

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Main Office

Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis
School of Education
UW-Madison
253 Education Building
1000 Bascom Mall
MadisonWI  53706-1326

Tel: 608/262-3106
Fax: 608/265-3135

Email: elpa@education.wisc.edu
or by contact form
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The main part of intellectual education is not the acquisition of facts but learning how to make facts live. —Oliver Wendell Holmes

Ph.D. Program - 75 Credits

The following minimal requirements will satisfy the Ph.D. degree in Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis. The student’s program is to be developed in consultation with a departmental advisor.

The Ph.D. degree is the highest academic degree awarded by the Department and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It requires at least three (3) years of study and research beyond the bachelor’s degree.

Overall, doctoral students must take 75 credits of course work, distributed across the categories as described below. Courses may only be counted in one category. At least 39 credits of the total program have to be in Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis courses completed at UW-Madison. 


INTRODUCTION TO THE FIELD  
6 CREDITS

These introductory courses lay the foundational framework for work in the department. The Doctoral Inquiry class, 810,  is taken during the first ​semester  of course work, and is required for all incoming Ph.D. students regardless of their area of interest. In addition to the Doctoral Inquiry class, students are strongly encouraged to take the introduction to the field course(s) at the beginning of their studies as well.

  • ELPA 810 Doctoral Inquiry (required)
    Select 1
  • ELPA 701 Introduction to Higher and Post-Secondary Education
  • ELPA 702 Introduction to Educational Leadership
  • ELPA 940 Critical Issues in Educational Policy Analysis
 








INTRODUCTION TO THE FIELD  
6 CREDITS

These introductory courses lay the foundational framework for work in the department. The Doctoral Inquiry class, 810,  is taken during the first ​semester  of course work, and is required for all incoming Ph.D. students regardless of their area of interest. In addition to the Doctoral Inquiry class, students are strongly encouraged to take the introduction to the field course(s) at the beginning of their studies as well.

  • ELPA 810 Doctoral Inquiry 
  • ELPA 701 Introduction to Higher and Post-Secondary Education
  • ELPA 702 Introduction to Educational Leadership
  • ELPA 940 Critical Issues in Educational Policy Analysis
INTRODUCTION TO THE FIELD  
6 CREDITS

These introductory courses lay the foundational framework for work in the department. The Doctoral Inquiry class, 810,  is taken during the first ​semester  of course work, and is required for all incoming Ph.D. students regardless of their area of interest. In addition to the Doctoral Inquiry class, students are strongly encouraged to take the introduction to the field course(s) at the beginning of their studies as well.

  • ELPA 810 Doctoral Inquiry 
  • ELPA 701 Introduction to Higher and Post-Secondary Education
  • ELPA 702 Introduction to Educational Leadership
  • ELPA 940 Critical Issues in Educational Policy Analysis
INTRODUCTION TO THE FIELD  
6 CREDITS

These introductory courses lay the foundational framework for work in the department. The Doctoral Inquiry class, 810,  is taken during the first ​semester  of course work, and is required for all incoming Ph.D. students regardless of their area of interest. In addition to the Doctoral Inquiry class, students are strongly encouraged to take the introduction to the field course(s) at the beginning of their studies as well.

  • ELPA 810 Doctoral Inquiry 
  • ELPA 701 Introduction to Higher and Post-Secondary Education
  • ELPA 702 Introduction to Educational Leadership
  • ELPA 940 Critical Issues in Educational Policy Analysis
INTRODUCTION TO THE FIELD  
6 CREDITS

These introductory courses lay the foundational framework for work in the department. The Doctoral Inquiry class, 810,  is taken during the first ​semester  of course work, and is required for all incoming Ph.D. students regardless of their area of interest. In addition to the Doctoral Inquiry class, students are strongly encouraged to take the introduction to the field course(s) at the beginning of their studies as well.

  • ELPA 810 Doctoral Inquiry 
  • ELPA 701 Introduction to Higher and Post-Secondary Education
  • ELPA 702 Introduction to Educational Leadership
  • ELPA 940 Critical Issues in Educational Policy Analysis


CORE KNOWLEDGE
12 credits

The department believes that students in educational administration should be familiar with four program areas of knowledge:

  Organizations and Planning
  Program and Instructional Leadership and Management
​  Politics, Policy and Finance
  Learning and Diversity


Knowledge in each of these areas is focused on providing a theoretical and empirical research knowledge base to facilitate improvements in teaching and learning in educational organizations. Students should take one course from each program area.  Students who have taken similar courses at other institutions and are transferring credits for those courses should take an advanced or related ELPA course in each area identified through consultation with their advisor.  

 ORGANIZATIONS AND PLANNING
Knowledge of classic and emerging theoretical approaches to organizations; Understanding and interpreting organizational experience; Decision making; Planning and evaluation; Key relationships between organizations and their environments.
SELECT 1 COURSE

  • ELPA 730 Program Development in Continuing Education
  • ELPA 860 Organizational Theory and Behavior in Education
  • ELPA 875 Theory and Practice of Educational Planning
 PROGRAM AND INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT

Leadership theory; Effective leadership; Functional, symbolic, political, and human aspects of leadership; Leading change; Conflict resolution; Empowerment; Sharing leadership; Motivation of self and others; Ethical and moral dimensions of leadership. 
Select 1 course 

  • ELPA 715 Governance and Administration of Colleges and Universities
  • ELPA 845 School-Level Leadership
  • ELPA 847 Instructional Leadership and Teacher Capacity
 POLITICS, POLICY AND FINANCE

Educational governance; Operating within a political environment; Understanding and interpreting political context; Principles of design and implementation of educational policies; Sources of revenues; Effective expenditure of educational dollars; Equity and adequacy issues.
select 1 course

  • ELPA 832 Resource Allocation for Equity and Social Justice
  • ELPA 831 Financing Post-secondary Education
  • ELPA 840 Public School Law
  • ELPA 841 Legal Aspects of Higher Education
  • ELPA 870 The Politics of Education
  • ELPA 872 Educational Policy Research Design and Implementation
 LEARNING AND DIVERSITY

Addressing the diverse learning needs of students; Professional development; Managing academic program, curriculum and instruction to promote student learning; Administering learning and co-curricular activities to reflect students’ common and distinct experiential base.
select 1 course

  • ELPA 735 Leadership for Equity and Diversity
  • ELPA 736 Administration of Student Services in Higher Education
  • ELPA/C&I 746 The Adult Learner: Implications for Curriculum & Instruction
  • ELPA 848 Professional Development and Organizational Learning
  • ELPA 880 Academic Programs in Colleges and Universities
  • ELPA 887 Diversity and Inequality in Higher Education



PROGRAM DEPTH 
9 credits

The department believes that students should have depth in at least one of the four program areas. Therefore, the department requires that students in Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis take at least three ADDITIONAL courses in one of the four program areas:  

At least one of the three additional courses must be in Educational Administration.

  ORGANIZATIONS AND PLANNING
PLANNING FOR QUALITY AND PRODUCTIVITY IMPROVEMENT
  • ELPA 826 Evaluation for Administrative Decision Making in Education
  • ELPA 875 Theory and Practice of Educational Planning
  • ELPA 970 Seminar in Educational Planning
  • OTM BUS 770 Sustainable Approches to System Improvement
ORGANIZATIONAL ANALYSIS
  • ELPA 860 Organizational Theory and Behavior in Education
  • ELPA 950 Seminar Organizational Theory and Behavior in Education
  • SOC 632  Sociology of Organizations
  • Business 900 level Seminar in Organizational Theory and Strategy 
  PROGRAM AND INSTRUCTIONAL LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT
  • ELPA 715 Governance and Administration of Colleges and Universities
  • ELPA 785 Staff Personnel Systems in Education
  • ELPA 845 School-Level Leadership
  • ELPA 846 The School Superintendency
  • ELPA 847 Instructional Leadership and Teacher Capacity
  • ELPA 848 Professional Development and Organizational Learning 
  • ELPA 863 Race, Class and Educational Inequality
  • ELPA 915 Seminar: College and University Administration
  • ELPA 940 Seminar in Educational Administration BY TOPIC (consult timetable and advisor)
  POLITICS, POLICY AND FINANCE
POLITICS AND POLICY
  • ELPA 770 School-Community Engagement
  • ELPA 870 The Politics of Education
  • ELPA 872 Educational Policy Research and Implementation
  • ELPA 965 Seminar in the Politics of Education
  • ELPA 940 Seminar in Educational Administration BY TOPIC (consult timetable and advisor)
  • EPS 600 Problems in Educational Policy (by topic)
  • EPS 765 Issues in Educational Policy Analysis
  • Pub Aff 869 Workshop in Public Affairs
  • Pub Aff 871 Public Program Evaluation
  • Pub Aff 874 Policy-Making Process
  • Pub Aff 974 Seminar: Politics and Public Policy
  • INTER-HE 501 Special Topics
FINANCE
  • ELPA 832 Resource Allocation for Equity and Social Justice
  • ELPA 831 Financing Postsecondary Education
  • ELPA 960 Seminar in Educational Finance
  • ELPA 940 Seminar in Educational Administration BY TOPIC (consult timetable and advisor)
  • Econ 711 Economic Theory - Macroeconomics Sequence 
  • Econ 712 Economic Theory - Macroeconomics Sequence 
  • Econ 741 Theory of Public Finance and Fiscal Policy 
  • Econ 742 Theory of Public Finance and Fiscal Policy 
  • Pub Aff 880 Microeconomic Policy Analysis
  • Pub Aff 881 Benefit-Cost Analysis
  • Pub Aff 890 Federal Budget and Tax Policy and Administration
  • Pub Aff 891 State and Local Government Finance
LEGAL
  • ELPA 840 Public School Law
  • ELPA 841 Legal Aspects of Higher Education
  • ELPA 842 Legal Foundations of Special Education and Pupil Services
  LEARNING AND DIVERSITY
K-12
  • ELPA 703 Evaluating and Supporting Quality Classroom Teaching
  • ELPA 735 Leadership for Equity and Diversity
  • ELPA 835 Leadership for Inclusive Schooling
  • ELPA 848 Professional Development and Organizational Learning
  • ELPA 863 Race, Class and Educational Inequality
  • ELPA 940 Seminar in Educational Administration BY TOPIC (consult timetable and advisor)
  • C&I 662 Elementary School Curriculum
  • C&I 704 Curriculum Planning
  • Ed Psych 795 Introduction to Learning Sciences I
HIGHER EDUCATION
  • ELPA 736 Administration of Student Services in Higher Education
  • ELPA 880 Academic Programs in Colleges and Universities
  • ELPA 881 Ideas of the University
  • ELPA 882 Minority-Serving Institutions of Higher Education
  • ELPA 883 Perspectives on College Student Identity and Development
  • ELPA 887 Diversity and Inequality in Higher Education
  • ELPA 888 Assessment in Higher Education
  • ELPA 915 Seminar: College and University Administration
  • ELPA 940 Seminar in Educational Administration BY TOPIC (consult timetable and advisor)
K-12 AND HIGHER EDUCATION 
  • ELPA 746 The Adult Learner: Implications for Curriculum & Instruction
  • ELPA 742 Facilitating Learning for Adults
  • ELPA 817 Reflective Practice in Higher, Postsecondary, and Continuing Education
  • ELPA 940 Seminar in Educational Administration BY TOPIC (consult timetable and advisor)
  • Ed Psych 708 The Study of Teaching             


ELECTIVES  
15 credits

Students may take any five courses inside or outside of the Department, to provide depth or breadth to program focus. Students are reminded that their programs must include at least 39 credits taken from Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis. Note that electives are separate from minor/supporting coursework.



MINOR/SUPPORTING COURSEWORK  
12 credits

The minor is a rational, unified set of courses taken outside of the department which have a clearly articulated theme or focus which allows the student to develop knowledge in a related area of study. Students may either pursue an option A (departmental minor in a SINGLE department outside of Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis) or an option B-distributed (courses in two or more departments outside of Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis) minor. The Option A minor requires a minimum of 10 credits; the Option B, 12 credits. Students interested in an Option A minor should initiate contact and seek approval from the minor department. Students electing the Option A minor must complete an additional 2 credits of course work outside of the department in order to satisfy the supporting coursework requirement for the department. At least two courses (6 credits) must be completed during or after the semester in which the student is admitted to the Ph.D. program.



RESEARCH METHODS AND DESIGN  
12 credits

Students must complete a sequence of courses in research methods and design, focusing on either quantitative or qualitative methods. Students choosing to focus on quantitative methods should take two statistical methods courses and one qualitative methods course. Students choosing to focus on qualitative methods should take two qualitative methods courses and one statistical methods course. After the methods requirement has been met, all students should take the research design course.

STATISTICAL METHODS
  • ELPA 822 Introduction to Quantitative Inquiry in Education (fall)
  • ELPA 827 Surveys and Other Quantitative Data Collection Strategies (spring)
  • ELPA 940 BY TOPIC (consult timetable and advisor)
  • Ed Psych 760/761 Statistical Methods Applied to Education I/II
  • Sociology 360/361 Statistics for Sociologists I/II
  • Statistics 301/302 Introduction to Statistical Methods I/II
  • Or equivalent
QUALITATIVE METHODS
  • ELPA 824 Field Research Design & Methodologies in Educational Administration
  • ELPA 940 BY TOPIC (consult timetable and advisor)
  • EPS 755 Methods of Qualitative Research
  • CI 719 Introduction to Qualitative Research
  • CI 718 Introduction to Narrative Inquiry
  • EDPSYC/COUNPSYC/C&I/EPS/RP&SE/ELPA 788 Qualitative Research Methods in Education: Field Methods I
  • EDPSYC/COUNPSYC/C&I/EPS/RP&SE/ELPA789 Qualitative Research Methods in Education: Field Methods II
  • CI 975 Discourse Analysis & Education 
  • And other appropriate courses

  Complete listing of qualitative methods courses

RESEARCH DESIGN
  • ELPA 825 Advanced Research Methods in Educational Administration
    After the 9 credit methods requirement has been met, all students are required to take the research design course, ELPA 825. Substitutions for 825 are not allowed.   

 

 

RESEARCH / THESIS
9 CREDITS

Students are required to complete a minimum of nine credits of research/thesis and/or independent reading.  While nine credits is the minimum required, there is no maximum.  

  • ELPA 990 Research or Thesis
  • ELPA 999 Independent Reading
  • Or equivalent in other departments

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