Educational Leadership, Policy and Foundations

Discipline Contact
Dr. Eric Camburn, (816) 235-1293,

Educational Leadership, Policy and Foundations is a discipline in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program administered by the School of Graduate Studies.

Note: The discipline-specific requirements listed here are in addition to the requirements listed in Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Application Procedure and Minimum Criteria for Admission and Minimum Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Academic Regulations and Degree Requirements.

Discipline-Specific Admission Requirements

Applicants who designate Educational Leadership, Policy and Foundations as their primary discipline will be expected to have a grade-point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, covering all college work taken prior to the bachelor's degree, or a GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, covering all post-baccalaureate work completed to date.

Applications are only reviewed once a year, for admission beginning the next fall term. To be considered, applications must be submitted to the Admissions Office by February 15. 

The applicant must provide the following supplementary documentation: 

  1. Written recommendations from appropriate professors and practitioners in the field (selected by the applicant).
  2. An autobiographical sketch. (This should be a brief resume of academic and professional goals and the applicant's personal, academic and career history as it relates to those goals. It should also include reasons for choosing educational leadership, policy and foundations as a field of study.)
  3. Evidence of graduate-level writing ability provided by writing samples, prior scholarly writing or the successful completion of an essay examination.

Applicants are required to provide official GRE test scores. GRE scores will be used by doctoral faculty in the discipline as one of several criteria used to evaluate the strength of the application. No other assessment results will be substituted for the GRE. When evaluating applications, faculty members will take into account evidence in the applications of such factors as demonstrated leadership skills, commitment to education, communication and academic skills, a clear and important research agenda, cultural background, etc. There is no minimum aggregate GRE score required for applications to be considered for educational leadership, policy and foundations. Applicants must meet the GRE requirements for their other discipline(s).

In addition, an applicant, the applicant's advisor or any member of the division may request that the applicant meet with and be interviewed by the division faculty.

Alternate Admission Criteria

International applicants will be considered for admission to the Ph.D. program on the basis of background, experience and educational attainments in their home countries. Exceptions to the general criteria for admission to Interdisciplinary Ph.D. study may be made for students whose potential for success in the doctoral program may not be reflected in the general criteria.

Qualifying Requirements for Full Admission

In some cases, the division may ask that 12 hours of work at UMKC, including an education foundations course, be taken prior to full admission.

Students admitted under alternate criteria will be notified upon acceptance of any coursework deficiencies they must satisfy or other preparation they must undertake prior to full admission.

Suggested Compatible Co-disciplines

Curriculum and Instruction, History

Core Program Requirements

Students with Educational Leadership, Policy and Foundations as a primary discipline will be required to complete a minimum of 24 credit hours of coursework (listed below) in addition to 12 Research hours (Qualitative or Quantitative, listed below) and 12 dissertation hours (Educ-UL 5696).

Students with Educational Leadership, Policy and Foundations as a co-discipline will be required to complete a minimum of 15 hours of coursework (5685 plus 12 other hours from the below list) in addition to 12 Research hours (Qualitative or Quantitative, listed below).

Core Coursework
EDUC-UL 5524Philosophical Inquiry And Education3
EDUC-UL 5525Cultural Foundations Of Education3
EDUC-UL 5526Philosophical Foundations Of Education3
EDUC-UL 5527Historical Foundations Of Education3
EDUC-UL 5528Sociological Foundations Of Education3
EDUC-UL 5602Seminar In The History Of American Urban Education3
EDUC-UL 5655Studies In Philosophy Of Education3
EDUC-UL 5685Problems And Issues In Education & Urban Leadership3
Qualitative Research option
EDUC-R&P 5608Introduction To Graduate Research3
EDUC-R&P 5615Qualitative Research Theory & Design Educational Setting. Part 13
EDUC-R&P 5616Qual Data Collection And Analysis In Educational Settings. Part 23
One additional 3-hour research course
Quantitative Research option
EDUC-R&P 5605Quantitative Analysis I: Regression And Analysis Of Variance3
EDUC-R&P 5608Introduction To Graduate Research3
EDUC-R&P 5612Applied Quantitative Research in Education3
One additional 3-hour research course

Requirements for Comprehensive Examinations

Students with Educational Leadership, Policy and Foundations as the primary discipline must pass a Comprehensive Examination including both the primary discipline and the co-discipline areas. Written notice of your plans to take the Comprehensive Exams should be submitted to your primary advisor at least two months before the exams are scheduled. You must complete the Application to take the Comprehensive Exams from the School of Graduate Studies (available at Exams are written and oral and are usually completed during the first week of October or February. The exam format is a take-home examination with 7 days allotted for completion - you will receive exam questions on a Monday and return the answers by the following Monday at 5 pm.

Students with Educational Leadership, Policy and Foundations as a co-discipline will be required to take Comprehensive Exams that include the primary and co-disciplines – the primary discipline guidelines will shape the co-discipline exams. Please consult your advisors to schedule your exams.