Image of Dr. Welkener leading a class discussion
Image of Dr. Dolph greeting a student

Doctor of Educational Leadership

Welcome to the Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership program!

Mission Statement


The Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership Program is designed for educators who are committed to providing leadership at the elementary, secondary and collegiate levels. The program seeks to prepare scholar-practitioners and leaders who:

  • Value both speculative and practical knowledge and engage in continuous inquiry on professional concerns.
  • Deliberate with colleagues upon organizational purposes and the means for achieving them.
  • Work selflessly with others.
  • Commit themselves to improving the quality of life within society.

We offer two doctoral degree programs!

We share faculty, staff and resources with the University of Dayton's Department of Educational Leadership, which offers a master's degree and a specialist degree, as well as licensure programs for principals and superintendents and in curriculum/instruction/professional development (CIPD).

The Doctor in Educational Leadership program offers a choice of two concentrations:

PK-12 School Administration


The concentration in school administration is designed to prepare educators for the following types of positions: administrative roles in elementary and secondary education, educational researchers, consultants and professors of school administration. Students pursuing this concentration may take additional courses to meet the requirements for a principal's license or a superintendent's license.

Concentration Coordinator: Dr. Theodore Kowalski

Program overview >>

Higher Education


This specialization comprises a seven-course sequence probing the important literature, concepts and practices in higher education. Using reflective inquiry to generate right questions, moral inquiry to ground decisions and action inquiry to guide praxis, this program models an ongoing transformative process.

Concentration Coordinator: Dr. Michele Welkener

Program overview >>

Ph.D. Program Faculty & Staff

Our faculty and staff are committed to excellence in teaching, research and service on behalf of students, institution, professions and communities. Let us know how we can help you today.
Image for Kevin R. Kelly, Ph.D.

Kelly, Ph.D., Kevin R.

DeanFull-Time FacultySchool of Education and Health Sciences: Office of the Dean, Doctorate of Educational Leadership
Image for Charles J. Russo, J.D., Ed.D.

Russo, J.D., Ed.D., Charles J.

Director, Doctor of Educational Leadership ProgramFull-Time FacultySchool of Law
College of Arts and Sciences: Prelaw
School of Education and Health Sciences: Doctorate of Educational Leadership, Educational Leadership
Image for Nancy Crouchley

Crouchley, Nancy 

Assistant to the Director of Doctoral Studies, Student Services and Licensure AssistantStaffSchool of Education and Health Sciences: Office of the Dean, Doctorate of Educational Leadership

De Luca, Ph.D., Barbara 

Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Research, and Associate Professor, Department of Educational LeadershipFull-Time FacultySchool of Education and Health Sciences: Doctorate of Educational Leadership, Educational Leadership
Image for Thomas J. Lasley, Ph.D.

Lasley, Ph.D., Thomas J. 

Professor & Executive Director, EDventionFull-Time FacultySchool of Education and Health Sciences: Teacher Education, Doctorate of Educational Leadership
Image for Theodore Kowalski, Ph.D.

Kowalski, Ph.D., Theodore 

Professor and Kuntz Family Chair in Educational AdministrationFull-Time FacultySchool of Education and Health Sciences: Educational Leadership, Doctorate of Educational Leadership
Image for Molly A. Schaller

Schaller, Molly A.

Chair and Associate Professor, College Student Personnel and Higher Education AdministrationFull-Time FacultySchool of Education and Health Sciences: Counselor Education and Human Services, Doctorate of Educational Leadership
Image for Joseph L. Watras, Ph.D.

Watras, Ph.D., Joseph L.

ProfessorFull-Time FacultySchool of Education and Health Sciences: Doctorate of Educational Leadership, Teacher Education
Image for Michele M. Welkener, Ph.D.

Welkener, Ph.D., Michele M.

Associate Professor, College Student Personnel and Higher Education Administration, & Coordinator of the Higher Education Administration Concentration of the PhD ProgramFull-Time FacultySchool of Education and Health Sciences: Doctorate of Educational Leadership, Counselor Education and Human Services

Keep up to date on news and events.

The Program Has Moved!


The Doctor of Educational Leadership program has vacated its offices in Chaminade Hall. As of mid-June, the program and its faculty and staff have made their new home on the sixth floor of the College Park Center, located across from the main campus, on Brown Street. The program's office is now housed in suite 651. Come visit us, and check out our new space!

Hear what former graduates have to say!

Meet our Ph.D. alumni (pdf) >>

Rusty Clifford
Superintendent of West Carrollton City Schools

Named 2013 Ohio School Superintendent of the Year by the Buckeye Association of School Administrators

A University of Dayton Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership is a life-changing, career-enhancing opportunity and an experience of a lifetime. It exponentially links scholar and practitioner – leadership and learners – innovation and sustainability. This doctoral program is not for the “light-hearted.” It is rigorous, stimulating, challenging, rewarding, character building, enlightening, relevant, empowering, systematic, energizing, and purposeful. My doctoral experience at U.D. was and has been, without a doubt, the pinnacle of my 41 years in education, and I’m just getting warmed up. The professors are demanding, dedicated, caring, and focused on student success. The support and resources are extensive and accessible. Since 1998, I think, read, write, reason, communicate, process, synthesize, and create in ways I never would have imagined. You will never work harder but never be more satisfied and fulfilled with the outcome – a Ph.D. from the University of Dayton.  

David L. Collins
Interim Senior Vice President and Provost
Sinclair Community College

The Ph.D. program in Educational Leadership at the University of Dayton was challenging and rewarding. I appreciated the rigor of the curriculum, the expertise and dedication of the faculty, and the diverse backgrounds of the classmates in my cohort. The program assisted me in further developing my writing, research and critical thinking skills, which are essential attributes for any leadership position. I credit the Ph.D. program with preparing me to serve in key leadership roles at Kettering College and Sinclair Community College.

Steven Hinshaw
Finance Director, City of Centerville,
Centerville, Ohio

The Ph.D. program in Educational Leadership at the University of Dayton was a positive, life-changing experience for me. The faculty challenged me to think creatively and to think about problems from a perspective of service, justice, and peace. I still use these critical thinking skills today and often reflect on my time at UD – even a decade after graduation. The program is flexible enough to allow students to pursue their individual interests, and I always felt supported and encouraged at every step of the process, from initial application to graduation. If you are looking for a university that educates students to adapt and change in this dynamic world, then this is the place for you.

We offer a variety of opportunities outside of the classroom!

GRADUATE ASSISTANTSHIPS


Graduate aassistantships are competitive and limited. Assistantships are available in several departments within the School of Education & Health Sciences. Learn more >>

Scholarships


The Ph.D. program is proud to offer students two scholarship opportunities:

  • Dr. Ellis Joseph Scholarship: Available to currently enrolled Ph.D. students who have been in the program for a minimum of one academic year. Recipient must commit to write her/his dissertation in the general area of urban education.
  • Dr. Joseph Rogus Scholarship: Available to currently enrolled Ph.D. students who have been in the program for a minimum of one academic year. Recipient must commit to write her/his dissertation in the general area of school leadership.

Apply to the Ph.D. Program!

Choosing a university is an important step to your overall academic career. It's important to make sure that the institutions to which you apply have the programs and resources that meet your personal and academic needs.

We believe that the School of Education & Health Sciences offers some of the best academic and student-services programs. Our students are some of the most accomplished and motivated students anywhere. Explore the university for yourself. Use the links below to learn more about what it takes to be a Flyer.

Admission Requirements


Applicants to the Ph.D. in Educational Leadership program must submit the following information in addition to the online application:

  • Official transcripts from all previously attended colleges or universities must be submitted directly from the colleges or universities to the University of Dayton Office of Graduate Admission Processing. Hand-carried transcripts, official copies marked "Issued to Student" and unofficial copies are not acceptable.
  • Three letters of recommendation from professors or employers.
  • Official results from the GRE are required. Results must be submitted directly from the Education Testing Service to the University of Dayton Office of Graduate Admissions Processing. Applicants must achieve a score of 149 or higher on the verbal ability and a 4.0 or higher on the analytical writing sections.
  • A two- to three-page essay stating how your personal goals, including your concentration of interest, are congruent with the objectives of the Ph.D. program, as stated in our mission statement. Please title the essay, "Application Essay."
  • Applicants for admission to the doctoral program must have attained a 3.25 grade-point average in a master's degree program.
  • Please submit a current résumé.

Additional Requirements for International Students


Additional requirements apply for international students >> 

For More Information


Please, contact us directly! We look forward to hearing from you.

Let us know how we can help you!

Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership Program
School of Education & Health Sciences
University of Dayton
300 College Park Ave.
Dayton, OH 45469-2963

Phone: (937) 229-4003
Fax: (937) 229-4824

Nancy Crouchley
Assistant to the Director of Doctoral Studies
(937) 229-4003

Charles J. Russo, J.D., Ed.D.
Director of the Ph.D. Program in Educational Leadership
(937) 229-3722

Theodore Kowalski, Ph.D.
PK-12 Concentration Coordinator
(937) 229-2562

Michele Welkener, Ph.D.
Higher Education Concentration Coordinator
(937) 229-3620