Welcome to Educational Policy and Leadership Studies

The Department of Educational Policy and Leadership Studies (EPLS) is made up of three distinct graduate degree programs. All are designed to prepare education leaders, teachers, professors, and researchers in the fields of Higher Education and Student Affairs, Educational Leadership, and Schools, Culture, and Society.

EPLS programs enroll approximately 150 graduate students from around the country and around the world. Our faculty members are recognized nationally for their scholarly productivity. For example, both the Schools, Culture, and Society and Higher Education and Student Affairs programs were ranked among the top 10 nationally, in terms of faculty productivity, by Academic Analytics. In its 2015 report on the nation's best graduate programs, U.S.News & World Report ranked the Higher Education and Student Affairs program 15th best nationally among for public universities.

EPLS faculty and graduate students regularly publish their work together in leading academic journals. Students often remark on our uniquely supportive learning environment.

Enjoy your virtual visit and don't hesitate to contact our program coordinators with your questions. Go Hawks!

Debora L. Liddell
Associate Professor and Chair


Educational Leadership

The Educational Leadership program offers degrees and licensure for pre K-12 school leadership. Three graduate degrees are available: Master of Arts, Specialist, and Doctor of Philosophy in educational leadership. We also provide licensure for pre-K-12 principals, superintendents, and special education administrators. We welcome students from other disciplines who are interested in pursuing administrative licensure or would like to enroll in our courses as electives.


Higher Education and Student Affairs

The academic programs in Higher Education and Student Affairs encompass the extensive and complex set of phenomena as seen and represented in postsecondary and continuing education in the United States. Degrees in Higher Education and Student Affairs are offered at all levels (M.A. and Ph.D.), with emphasis on both research and practice. Preparation for either teaching or administration is available. The teaching, research, and service activities of the faculty and the work of graduate students in Higher Education and Student Affairs degree programs illustrate that education beyond high school continues in a variety of ways for people of all ages and in diverse contexts.


Schools, Culture, and Society

Schools, Culture, and Society is an interdisciplinary program designed to enable students to better understand the influence of social, historical, and philosophical forces on the formal educational enterprise. Major areas of specialization are comparative/international education, history of education, philosophy of education, and sociology of education. Both Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy programs are offered.