Clemson Graduate School

Clemson Graduate School

Educational Leadership (P-12)

General Information

Degrees Offered


Clemson's PhD program in educational leadership is designed primarily for working professionals to provide a strong background in five domains: leadership,research, policy, ethics and diversity.

The PhD prepares students to discover,integrate and apply knowledge as leaders in schools and post-secondary educational institutions and agencies. This is accomplished through close association with, and apprenticeship to, faculty members&nbsp experienced in research, teaching and leadership. Doctoral students in educational leadership work closely with faculty on shared interests focused on leadership issues from the point of admission through their dissertation defense. Alumni of the PhD program serve P-20 schools, community and state agencies, institutions of higher education as ethical leaders providing research-based educational policies and services for increasingly diverse students and societies. Alumni also serve in non-formal leadership roles as faculty in schools and higher education; as formal leaders such as college deans, directors and presidents; or as principals, district office leaders, and superintendents.

About the Program

For additional information, please contact the program coordinator (Frederick Buskey)

Application Requirements

Required Documents

For additional information, please contact the program coordinator (Frederick Buskey)

Financial Aid

To see the proposed Graduate Tuition Rates for this academic year, click here.

The School or Program offers a number of graduate assistantships to students each year based on merit. These are offered in the form of stipends and the additional benefit of tuition remission. Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 9 credit hours per semester to qualify for a graduate assistantship and must work a minimum of 10 hours a week as a teaching or research assistant or perform other tasks assigned by the School or Program.

Course of Study

Program of Study

Clemson's PhD program in educational leadership focuses on developing mid-career professionals' knowledge and research abilities in this applied multi- and inter- disciplinary field. Because the majority of PhD students in this field remain connected to their professional roles, this program is placed to accommodate each student's timeframe while ensuring steady progress to degree completion. Doctoral students collaborate with their advising committees to plan an individualized program within program requirements including courses and non-course milestones culminating with the dissertation. The overall design requires a minimum of 58 graduate-level course credits beyond the Masters degree and completion of an 18-hour dissertation project. The categories of courses include a preliminary core, concentration courses, research courses, cognates, an internship, a post-comps core, and research hours.

The preliminary core consists of a minimum of nine credits completed within the first two years of enrollment which conclude with the preliminary exam, a non-course requirement. The doctoral advisory committee in consultation with the student uses the results of the preliminary examination to establish an individualized program of study, including a minimum of 18 credits of courses in the chosen concentration (P-12 or higher education), research courses, and a minimum of 12 credits through internship and cognates. Two concentrations, P-12 and Higher Education, are offered for candidates pursuiing the PhD in Educational Leadership. The internship experience focuses on a research-based approach to the common dilemmas of knowledge and practice in the applied field of educational leadership. Cognates are courses selected from academic fields supporting each PhD student's research agenda. Upon completion of a program of studies course work, students qualify as doctoral candidates by successfully completing the comprehensive exam. Doctoral candidates then complete nine credits of post-comps core in preparation for their proposal defense and then, move to 18 hours of dissertation studies before defending their dissertation research. The timeframe for completing this program is controlled by PhD students with support from their doctoral advising committees.

Program Coordinator

Additional Contact

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English Language Studies

About ELS

Conditional language admission is offered to graduate candidates who have met all admission requirements except language proficiency. Students may meet language proficiency requirements through completion of ELS Level 112 Intensive Program.

Standardized Exam

The academic program reserves the right to require applicants admitted with conditional letters of admission (CLAs) to post adequate GMAT or GRE scores prior to matriculating into the program.