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CEHD and U of M Word Marks


206 Burton Hall
178 Pillsbury Drive SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Fax: 612-624-3377

Undergraduate Studies:

Graduate Studies:


Ph.D. in OLPD: Executive Ph.D. Cohort


NOTE: The Fall 2015 Executive Ph.D. cohort is currently full. A new cohort is offered every three years and we anticipate the next cohort to start Fall 2018.

Fall semester start only.

Admission requirements

Click to apply


This doctoral program focuses on leadership of educational systems and is specially designed to meet the needs of mid-career educational leaders. The curriculum establishes foundational understandings of educational systems, leadership dynamics and the realities of power and politics in schools, as well as the role of research in educational innovation and improvement. Students will learn to examine multiple dimensions of PK-12 educational systems, including their cultural and historical contexts, policies and mandates that shape practice, and strategies to build consensus among diverse stakeholders. Students completing program requirements earn a Ph.D. degree in Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD).


Students take 48 credits of coursework examining system leadership focusing on:

Students also take courses in quantitative, qualitative, and mixed/complementary research methods. For the culminating Ph.D. dissertation, students identify a researchable problem, process or topic of interest, carry out original research, and disseminate findings to relevant audiences.

Advantages of this Cohort Program

Admissions Criteria

All components of an individual’s application credentials are considered in a holistic admissions process. The admissions committee looks for evidence of demonstrated leadership and doctoral level academic capability. Students can transfer adviser approved credits from previous graduate programs. The admissions committee may request a phone or Skype interview with an applicant.

How to Apply

See information on admission requirements and how to apply.

NOTE: The Fall 2015 Executive PhD cohort is currently full. A new cohort is offered every three years and we anticipate the next cohort to start Fall 2018.


Dr. Katie Pekel
Coordinator, Education Policy and Leadership Programs

Revised March 9, 2016