Educational Leadership & Policy Studies - Graduate Programs

Programs

The Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies offers the Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. In addition to core courses in K-16 educational leadership and policy, two distinct emphases are available: Principal Certificate Courses and Higher Education Administration Emphasis. Students build upon their existing expertise with progressive skills that can increase student achievement, improve teacher performance, and increase organizational effectiveness of schools and higher education institutions. 

For those with a master’s degree, the Department offers certification preparation courses for candidates seeking a Principal Certificate or a Superintendent Certificate. The Department also offers the Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and a BA-PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with Higher Education Emphasis.

Students accepted in the M.Ed. with Higher Education Administration Emphasis can elect, with program approval, to pursue the integrated BA-PhD track which allows students to start doctoral work earlier and transfer into the PhD program upon completion of 30 SCH and after two evaluations of their academic progress.

Out-of-state students will not qualify for Texas educator certification. Therefore, students should review their state's requirements to determine if completion of a certification preparation program at UTA will lead to certification in their state.

Degrees and Certifications

Graduate work in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at UTA may lead to the following degrees and certifications:

Degrees

  • Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (offered through on-campus and Accelerated Online programs)
  • BA-PhD track in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with Higher Education Emphasis
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Educator Preparation Programs

  • Principal (offered through on-campus and Accelerated Online programs)
  • Superintendent (offered online through an Accelerated Online program)

Admissions Requirements - Master’s Degree Program

All students, including those enrolled in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies master’s program, must meet qualifications specified in Texas Administrative Code §227.10 in order to participate in educator preparation programs. Per §227.10, the minimum overall grade point average is 2.5 or at least 2.5 in the last 60 semester credit hours of coursework. Students who do not meet the grade point average requirement should consult with the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies graduate advisor to determine if there are extenuating circumstances by which they might be admitted. Please note that out-of-state students will not qualify for Texas educator certification. Therefore, students should review their state's requirements to determine if completion of a program at UTA will lead to certification in their state.

Students accepted in the M.Ed. with Higher Education Administration Emphasis can elect an integrated BA-PhD track which allows students to start doctoral work earlier and transfer into the PhD program upon completion of 30 SCH and after two evaluations of their academic progress and aptitude for doctoral level study.

Please see other departmental requirements listed below.

Unconditional Admission

Applicants are typically offered unconditional admission if they submit documents required for TEA reporting and meet the first criterion plus either the second or the third criterion:

  1. An undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale, as calculated by the Graduate School or a graduate GPA of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale on 12 or more hours as calculated by the Graduate School may be used in lieu of the undergraduate GPA.
  2. A minimum of two of the following three Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores: (1) verbal minimum score of 153, (2) quantitative score of 144, (3) written analytical minimum score of 3.5. For exams taken before August 1, 2011, a minimum of two of the three scores are required: (1) verbal minimum score of 500, (2) quantitative minimum score of 500, (3) written analytical minimum score of 3.5.
  3. Three letters of reference on file, completed by three persons who can assess the applicant’s aptitude, academic skills, and abilities needed for success in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies master’s program.

Probationary Admission

Applicants are typically offered probationary admission if they submit documents required for TEA reporting and meet the first criterion plus either the second or the third criterion:

  1. An undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, as calculated by the Graduate School or a graduate GPA of 3.3 or higher on a 4.0 scale on 12 or more hours as calculated by the Graduate School may be used in lieu of the undergraduate GPA.
  2. A minimum of two of the following three Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores: (1) verbal minimum score of 146, (2) quantitative score of 140, (3) written analytical minimum score of 3.0. For exams taken before August 1, 2011, a minimum of two of the three scores are required: (1) verbal minimum score of 400, (2) quantitative minimum score of 400, (3) written analytical minimum score of 3.0.
  3. Three letters of reference on file, completed by three persons who can assess the applicant’s aptitude, academic skills, and abilities needed for success in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies master’s program.

Terms of Probation upon Acceptance: All students admitted under probation status will be required to earn a 3.5 GPA during the first 12 hours of graduate coursework in the program.

Provisional Admission

An applicant unable to supply all required documentation prior to the admissions deadline, but whom otherwise appears to meet admissions requirements may be granted provisional admission.

Deferred Admission

An applicant’s admission may be deferred when a file is not complete or when denying admission is not appropriate.

Denied Admission

An applicant may be denied admission if the conditions for unconditional and probationary admission have not been met.

In addition, if a student has been suspended or expelled from the University of Texas at Arlington or any other university or program for reasons other than academic reasons, that student may be denied admission or readmission to an educator preparation program in the College of Education.

Master's Degree Programs

Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, with Principal Certificate Courses

Core Courses
EDAD 5322EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH AND EVALUATION3
EDAD 5360LEADERSHIP THEORY3
EDAD 5380DIVERSITY AND EQUITY IN EDUCATION3
EDAD 5399CAPSTONE PRACTICUM IN EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP AND POLICY STUDIES3
Principal Certificate Courses
EDAD 5350AMERICAN COLLEGE STUDENT3
EDAD 5330LEADERSHIP IN THE INSTRUCTIONAL SETTING3
EDAD 5381GOVERNANCE, POLITICAL AND LEGAL ASPECTS OF EDUCATION3
EDAD 5383THE PRINCIPALSHIP3
EDAD 5384RESOURCE MANAGEMENT IN EDUCATION3
EDAD 5389ADMINISTRATIVE PRACTICUM3
Total Hours30

Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, with Higher Education Administration Emphasis

Core Courses
EDAD 5322EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH AND EVALUATION3
EDAD 5360LEADERSHIP THEORY3
EDAD 5380DIVERSITY AND EQUITY IN EDUCATION3
EDAD 5399CAPSTONE PRACTICUM IN EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP AND POLICY STUDIES3
Higher Education Emphasis Courses
EDAD 5350AMERICAN COLLEGE STUDENT3
EDAD 5351HIGHER EDUCATION ADMINISTRATION AND STUDENT AFFAIRS3
EDAD 5352HIGHER EDUCATION LAW3
EDAD 5354THE AMERICAN COMMUNITY COLLEGE3
EDAD 5356HISTORY, PRINCIPLES, AND PHILOSOPHY OF HIGHER EDUCATION ADMINISTRATION3
EDAD 5357HIGHER EDUCATION TRENDS AND ISSUES3
Total Hours30

Coursework and Degree Completion Requirements

The Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies offers two routes to earn the Master of Education in Educational Administration (M.Ed.) and Principal Certification: the self-paced program, and several cohort programs (i.e., groups of candidates following the same sequence of courses). The Department also offers courses for candidates seeking Superintendent Certification.

Coursework and Completion Requirements

  • Coursework that is more than six years old at the time of graduation or teacher/administrator certification program completion cannot be used toward meeting the requirements for a master’s degree or graduate-level certification.
  • Master’s degree and graduate level certificate programs must be completed within six years (time in military service excluded) from initial registration in the Office of Graduate Studies. 
  • Appropriate state exams and application to the State Board for Educator Certification for a standard certificate must be made within six months of completion of residency/practicum/program. If a candidate allows the six-month period to go by without passing all state exams and applying for certification, additional preparation will be required for recommendation for approval to test. If four or more years have passed, the individual must reapply for admission and, upon acceptance, retake the entire certification program. 
  • All transfer credits must be approved by the Faculty Advisor.
  • Each candidate in the College of Education at UTA will be evaluated on professional dispositions by faculty and staff. These dispositions have been identified as essential for a highly-qualified professional. Instructors and program directors will work with candidates rated as "unacceptable" in one or more stated criteria. The candidate will have an opportunity to develop a plan to remediate any digressions.

All students initially admitted into the Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with Higher Education Administration Emphasis will complete courses from a prescribed 30 hour curriculum. Students seeking only a master's degree will receive an MEd at the end of their 30 hours of study. Qualified students in the BA-PhD track who seek a doctorate will be allowed to continue their studies at the doctoral level as part of the BA-PhD track in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with Higher Education Emphasis.

BA-PhD TRACK IN EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP AND POLICY STUDIES, WITH HIGHER EDUCATION EMPHASIS

Core Courses
EDAD 5322EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH AND EVALUATION3
EDAD 5360LEADERSHIP THEORY3
EDAD 5380DIVERSITY AND EQUITY IN EDUCATION3
EDAD 5399CAPSTONE PRACTICUM IN EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP AND POLICY STUDIES3
Higher Education Emphasis Courses
EDAD 5350AMERICAN COLLEGE STUDENT3
EDAD 5351HIGHER EDUCATION ADMINISTRATION AND STUDENT AFFAIRS3
EDAD 5352HIGHER EDUCATION LAW3
EDAD 5354THE AMERICAN COMMUNITY COLLEGE3
EDAD 5356HISTORY, PRINCIPLES, AND PHILOSOPHY OF HIGHER EDUCATION ADMINISTRATION3
EDAD 5357HIGHER EDUCATION TRENDS AND ISSUES3
Total Hours30

Doctoral Degree Program

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

The Ph.D. degree is designed for candidates who seek to enter careers in research, institutional assessment, policy analysis, institutional leadership, or the professoriate. The program challenges the conventional wisdom that higher education and K-12 education are different worlds by bringing together scholars and students from all levels of education to work and study together. Particularly, the program focuses on narrowing achievement gaps by studying and creating efficacious transitions within the educational experience. Working from the premise that all people can learn at high levels, the program includes the study of the systemic barriers at all levels of education that prevent so many children, adolescents, and young adults from being as successful as they can possibly be.

In addition to becoming experts in their particular area of inquiry, graduates will have a broad foundation in the study of educational leadership and policy at all levels. Students in the Ph.D. program will be part of a cohort throughout their coursework.  Qualified students in the M.Ed. with Higher Education Administration Emphasis program who elect an integrated BA-PhD track in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with Higher Education Emphasis will transfer into the PhD program upon completion of 30 SCH and after two evaluations of their academic progress. After transfer, they will complete same required coursework as the doctoral cohort they have joined, and will have the opportunity to take more higher education elective courses.

Admission Requirements - Ph.D. Program

A select number of qualified applicants are admitted each session to the cohort-based program. Each cohort begins coursework during the fall semester. Specific guidelines for applying to this program are found on the departmental website. Admission into this program is very competitive. The departmental admissions committee considers prior educational experiences, prior work experiences, GRE scores, writing samples, and professional references and so forth. Meeting admission standards does not guarantee admission to the program. Finalists may be invited to campus to interview with the committee.

In addition to the general Office of Graduate Studies admission requirements, applicants must meet the following requirements for unconditional admission.

  • Master’s degree in education or other field appropriate for the doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies.
  • Grade point minimum average of 3.5 out of a possible 4.0 from the master’s degree.
  • Successful applicants for unconditional admission are expected to present a minimum of two of the following three Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores: (1) verbal minimum score of 153, (2) quantitative score of 144, and (3) written analytical minimum score of 4. For exams taken before August 1, 2011, a minimum of two of the three scores are required: (1) verbal minimum score of 500, (2) quantitative minimum score of 500, and (3) written analytical minimum score of 4.
  • Applicants who do not meet the minimum score requirement for a standardized test will be considered for probationary admission status when other factors are taken into account in a holistic review.
  • A minimum score of 550 on the Test of English As a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for applicants whose native language is not English.
  • At least three years of documented experience in a work environment in which the primary professional responsibility at any level has been education (e.g., teaching, administration, curriculum development, professional development, post secondary education, government or private industry settings).
  • Admission is very competitive. Meeting admission standards does not guarantee admission to the program.
  • Applicants who have been suspended or expelled from the University of Texas at Arlington or any other university or program for reasons other than academic reasons may be denied admission or readmission to an educator preparation program in the College of Education.
Required Courses
1. Research Methods Core (15 hours)
EDAD 6304K-16 QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGN & METHODOLOGY3
EDAD 6308QUALITATIVE RESEARCH DESIGN & METHODOLOGY3
EDAD 6310STATISTICAL METHODS3
EDAD 6315ADVANCED STATISTICAL METHODS3
EDAD 6318ADVANCED QUALITATIVE METHODS3
2. Core Content Courses (15 hours)
EDAD 6301INTRODUCTION TO K-16 DOCTORAL STUDIES3
EDAD 6320K-16 PHILOSOPHY & HISTORY POLICY RESEARCH3
EDAD 6327K-16 POLICY & LAW ANALYSIS RESEARCH3
EDAD 6342K-16 ORGANIZATIONAL & LEADERSHIP THEORY RESEARCH3
EDAD 6343SOCIAL & CULTURAL CONTEXTS OF EDUCATION3
3. Elective Courses (18 hours)
Approved elective courses
4. Dissertation (18 semester credit hours minimum) selected from:
EDAD 6399DISSERTATION3
EDAD 6699DISSERTATION6

 Written and Oral Comprehensive Examinations

To be elevated to candidacy for the Ph.D., students must successfully pass a written and oral qualifying examination.

Dissertation

The dissertation is the culmination of the Ph.D. program and represents a distinct contribution to the field of knowledge. A dissertation defense is required.

Grade Point Average Requirement

All students, including those enrolled in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies master’s program, must meet qualifications specified in Texas Administrative Code §227.10 in order to participate in educator preparation programs. Per §227.10, the minimum overall grade point average is 2.5 or at least 2.5 in the last 60 semester credit hours of coursework. Students who do not meet the grade point average requirement should consult with the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies graduate advisor to determine their eligibility.

Please see other departmental requirements listed below.

Recommendation to the State Board for Educator Certification

To be eligible for certification under all programs, a candidate must meet specific criteria set by the College of Education, the University, and the Texas Education Agency/State Board for Educator Certification. To be recommended to the Texas Education Agency/State Board for Educator Certification for certification, a candidate must have successfully completed the following:

Effective fall 2007, students must pass all appropriate state exams and apply for appropriate state certifications with the State Board for Educator Certification/Texas Education Agency within six months of the completion of their residency/practicum/program. If a student allows the six-month period to go by without passing all state exams and applying for certification, additional coursework and/or state exams will be required for recommendation for certification. Additional coursework will be determined by the appropriate Program Director in consultation with the faculty. There is a limit of four TExES exam retakes.

Principal or Superintendent

Before you apply for certification as a Principal or Superintendent, please make sure you have completed the following requirements (subject to verification by the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs):

  1. Conferred master’s degree (or higher);
  2. Completed all courses on the certification plan;
  3. Completed all appropriate TExES exams (limit of four retakes); to be eligible for the TExES exam, a student's practicum must be completed in a TEA-approved school;
  4. Valid Texas teaching certificate;
  5. Two years of classroom teaching experience.

If you are a candidate who is applying for Principal or Superintendent certification, you must request that your school district mail a copy of your teacher service record indicating you taught for at least two years. Please request that your school district mail your teacher service record to the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at UTA. Then, apply to the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC). Out-of-state students will not qualify for Texas educator certification. Therefore, students should review their state's requirements to determine if completion of a certification program at UTA will lead to certification in their state.

Master’s Degree with Principal Certification Courses

The Master’s Degree includes courses required for candidates seeking the Texas Principal Certification. In addition to obtaining the Master’s Degree, candidates must also pass the Texas Principal Certification exam, have a valid Texas Teacher Certificate, and have at least two years of accredited classroom teaching experience. Candidates must have their school district send via U.S. mail (not fax) their official Texas Teacher Service Record to the Certification Officer in the UTA College of Education. The Department offers the Master’s Degree with Principal Certification courses on campus or online.

Superintendent Certification Program

The Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies offers coursework and practicums leading to a Superintendent Certificate. Upon completion of superintendency coursework, Texas administrators seeking a Texas Superintendent Certificate must make a passing score on the Superintendent Texas Examination of Educator Standards (TExES) (limit of four retakes) and provide evidence of Principal or equivalent certification before they will be recommended to the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) for issuance of the certificate.

Required EDAD courses for the Superintendent Certificate: 6179, 6279, 6371, 6373, 6374, and 6378. Currently, courses are offered in an online format.

All students must meet qualifications specified in Texas Administrative Code §227.10 in order to participate in educator preparation programs. Per §227.10, the minimum overall grade point average is 2.5 or at least 2.5 in the last 60 semester credit hours of coursework. Students who do not meet the grade point average requirement should consult with the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies graduate advisor to determine their eligibility.

Out of state students will not qualify for Texas educator certification. Therefore, students should review their state's requirements to determine if completion of the Superintendent Certification program at UTA will lead to certification in their state.

Admissions requirements for the superintendent certificate program:

  • Certified administrator in state of residence (if applicable)
  • Currently serving in an administrative position or 2 years of administrative experience at building or district level
  • Master's GPA of 3.75 or 3 recommendation forms submitted
  • Other documents required for TEA reporting

Superintendent Certificate

EDAD 6179SUPERINTENDENCY PRACTICUM1
EDAD 6279SUPERINTENDENCY PRACTICUM2
EDAD 6371PERSONNEL & SCHOOL LAW3
EDAD 6373THE SUPERINTENDENCY3
EDAD 6374ADVANCED SCHOOL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION3
EDAD 6378ADVANCED CURRICULUM AND PROGRAM ASSESSMENT3
Total Hours15

Currently, courses are offered in an online format.

Principal Certification Preparation Only (PCO)

For students with a Master’s Degree, three letters of reference on file (completed by three persons who can assess the applicant's aptitude, academic skills, and abilities needed for success in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program), and other documents required for TEA reporting, the Department has a Principal Certification Only (PCO) program that is 18 hours (six courses). These candidates must also pass the Texas Principal Certification exam, have a valid Texas Teacher Certificate, and have at least two years of accredited classroom teaching experience. Candidates must have their school district send via U.S. mail (not fax) their official Texas Teacher Service Record to the Certification Officer in the UTA College of Education. Courses for the Master’s Degree are offered on campus and online.

After being admitted, students must meet the following:

  • Maintain a GPA of 3.0 or above in order to continue in the program
  • Submit all documents required for the field-based practicum which must be conducted in a Texas Education Agency approved site
  • Have their school district send an official Teacher Service Record to the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
  • Submit other documents required for TEA reporting

Certificate Information

To be eligible to receive the Texas Standard Principal Certificate, candidates must:

  • Hold a master's degree from an institution of higher education that is accredited by an accrediting agency, as recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
  • Hold a valid Texas classroom teaching certificate.
  • Have two years of creditable teaching experience as a classroom teacher. A teacher service record must sent from the school district directly do the director of certification via US Postal Service. Creditable years is defined as having been completed in an accredited school district. Out of state teaching experience may qualify provided it was done within a school accredited by that state.
  • Successfully complete an approved Texas principal educator preparation program which includes a supervised practicum in an accredited Texas public school or other school approved by the Texas Education Agency.
  • Successfully pass TExES Principal Test (limit of four retests).
  • Apply to State Board of Education Certification and pay the appropriate fees.

TExES Certification Exam

Candidates in the Principal Certification Only Program seeking to take the TExES Principal Test must:

  • Be enrolled in or have completed EDAD 5399 Capstone
  • Submit a ready to test form and have it approved
  • Submit a request for approval to test
  • Register for the state test

Candidates who do not pass the test must submit a ready to test form and have it approved each time they wish to retest (limit of four retests).

Certification

Candidates must pass the TExES Principal Test and apply for the Texas Standard Principal Certificate with the State Board for Educator Certification/Texas Education Agency. TEA will notify the University of Texas at Arlington who will verify the candidate has completed all the certification requirements before recommending release of the certificate.

Candidates must pass all appropriate state exams (limit of four retakes) and apply for appropriate state certifications with the State Board for Educator Certification/Texas Education Agency within six months of the completion of their student teaching, internship, or practicum program. If a candidate allows the six-month period to go by without passing all state exams and applying for certification, additional preparation will be required for recommendation for approval to test. If four or more years have passed, the individual must reapply for admission and, upon acceptance, retake the entire certification program.

Out-of-State Students 

Out-of-state students will not qualify for Texas educator certification. Therefore, students should review their state's requirements to determine if completion of the Principal Certification program at UTA will lead to certification in their state.

Additionally, since certification requirements vary among states, students should ensure they are in compliance with these requirements to ensure eligibility for school administrator licensure in their state.

All students, including those enrolled in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies master’s program, must meet qualifications specified in Texas Administrative Code §227.10 in order to participate in educator preparation programs. Per §227.10, the minimum overall grade point average is 2.5 or at least 2.5 in the last 60 semester credit hours of coursework. Students who do not meet the grade point average requirement should consult with the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies graduate advisor to determine their eligibility.

 Principal Certification Preparation Only (for students who already have a master’s degree)

Core Courses
EDAD 5330LEADERSHIP IN THE INSTRUCTIONAL SETTING3
EDAD 5381GOVERNANCE, POLITICAL AND LEGAL ASPECTS OF EDUCATION3
EDAD 5383THE PRINCIPALSHIP3
EDAD 5384RESOURCE MANAGEMENT IN EDUCATION3
Practicum Courses
EDAD 5389ADMINISTRATIVE PRACTICUM3
EDAD 5399CAPSTONE PRACTICUM IN EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP AND POLICY STUDIES3
Total Hours18

Coursework and Degree Completion Requirements

The Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies offers two routes to earn the Master of Education in Educational Administration (M.Ed.) and Principal Certification: the self-paced program, and several cohort programs (i.e., groups of candidates following the same sequence of courses). The Department also offers courses for candidates seeking Superintendent Certification.

Coursework and Completion Requirements

  • Coursework that is more than six years old at the time of graduation or teacher/administrator certification program completion cannot be used toward meeting the requirements for a master’s degree or graduate-level certification.
  • Master’s degree and graduate level certificate programs must be completed within six years (time in military service excluded) from initial registration in the Office of Graduate Studies. 
  • Appropriate state exams and application to the State Board for Educator Certification for a standard certificate must be made within six months of completion of residency/practicum/program. If a candidate allows the six-month period to go by without passing all state exams and applying for certification, additional preparation will be required for recommendation for approval to test. If four or more years have passed, the individual must reapply for admission and, upon acceptance, retake the entire certification program. 
  • All transfer credits must be approved by the Faculty Advisor.
  • Each candidate in the College of Education at UTA will be evaluated on professional dispositions by faculty and staff. These dispositions have been identified as essential for a highly-qualified professional. Instructors and program directors will work with candidates rated as "unacceptable" in one or more stated criteria. The candidate will have an opportunity to develop a plan to remediate any digressions.