Educational Administration, PhD

Our PhD doctoral program in educational administration will prepare you with the technical and theoretical skills for multiple roles, including college and university research, teaching and leadership; school district leadership; and public agency leadership. Our primary focus is on research and scholarship in educational administration and leadership, and finding new ways to integrate theory into practice. The PhD program is different from the EdD program in that the PhD emphasizes extensive preparation in research and is more focused on issues of theory as compared to an emphasis on application to practice as a leader/administrator for the EdD.

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Why Educational Administration at UB?

The features of our program include:

  • flexible coursework delivery to meet your needs
  • frequent guest speakers, from local school administrators to international experts in school leadership
  • small seminars designed to stimulate conversation and engaged learning

Program Overview

Academic credential granted Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Credits required for completion 76
Time to completion 4 to 5+ years
Course delivery On campus
  • Administrative positions in local school administration and state and federal government
  • Teaching, researching and policymaking positions in higher education across New York State and worldwide
Application deadline

Fall admission only

March 1, then rolling

Program Coursework

Educational Administration (minimum 24 credits)

Your courses will provide a breadth of understanding across the field of educational administration (e.g., instructional, managerial and political areas) and a depth of understanding within a particular area that interests you (e.g., business administration, curriculum and instructional leadership, economics and finance, organizations, personnel, school reform, staff development, urban education).

Recommended (although not required)

ELP 624 Research Paradigms and Problems in Educational Research
ELP 626 Educational Policy Formation and Analysis
ELP 630 Leading and Managing People in Education
ELP 677 Leading Curriculum and Instructional Improvement

Cognates (minimum 18 credits)

You are expected to choose two cognates (with a minimum of 9 credits in each).

  1. A cognate in at least two areas of educational foundations such as sociology of education, philosophy of education, educational psychology, and history of education.
  2. A cognate in a discipline or field outside of educational administration (e.g., any of the educational foundations areas listed in (1), comparative education, counseling, English as a second language, economics, cognitive psychology, law, political science, management, sociology).

Research (minimum 15 credits)

At least one quantitative methods course and at least one qualitative methods course with at least one advanced course in either quantitative or qualitative methods. No more than one introductory course can be taken in any particular research method.

Dissertation (10-12 credits)

Application Requirements

You must hold a master's degree.

Submit your completed online application, which includes:

  • Application fee: A $50 non-refundable application fee, submitted electronically through UB's ePayment system.
  • Test scores: Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) scores from tests taken within the last five years. For the GRE, please use Institution Code 2925 and Department Code 3001.
  • Contact information for at least three individuals who will each be asked to provide an electronic recommendation letter.
  • Unofficial transcripts from all colleges attended. (UB transcripts are automatically submitted for current UB students and alumni.)
  • Sample of academic writing: A sample of your academic writing at least 10 pages long.
  • Statement of interest: Statement of your career goals and objectives.

Former/Maiden Name: Please provide us with your former/maiden name if you have one. When requesting transcripts, please ask the sending institution to indicate your current name and former/maiden name.

Admission Decision: The admission decision will be communicated to you as soon as review is complete. The decision is based on a number of factors and is the result of a thorough and deliberate process. All decisions are final and cannot be appealed.

International Applicant Additional Requirements
  • Official original proof of your degree
  • A copy of your passport biographical page
  • Official test scores for either the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or PTE (Pearson Test of English) Academic. Test scores must be dated within two years of submitting your application.
    • TOEFL minimum score is a 250 for a computer based test, 600 for a paper based test and 79 for the Internet based test
    • IELTS minimum score is 6.5 overall
    • PTE minimum score is 55 overall
  • Financial documentation — International graduate applicants must document their ability to pay for all costs incurred while studying in the U.S.
  • An official bank statement

All financial forms and supporting documentation with required signatures must be uploaded with your application, and must be dated within one year of your intended enrollment date.

Are you in China and unable to take the IELTS, PTE or TOEFL?

If you currently in China and unable to take the IELTS, PTE or TOEFL tests because they are cancelled due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the University at Buffalo will accept the Duolingo English Test (DET) for proof of English proficiency. This test can be taken online, in your own home. More information can be found on the Graduate School’s website.

Learn More

University Computing Standards

You are required to have daily access to a reliable broadband connection and a computer that meets university computing standards. You are also expected to have basic computer competency before beginning your coursework.