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Doctor of Philosophy
Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Prepare for a career as a professor or researcher of educational leadership and policy while interrogating multiple aspects of schools and other educational institutions. The curriculum emphasizes critical analysis of contemporary problems of practice in collaborative study environments with professors, school leaders, and doctoral students.

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Degree Details

Official Degree Title

PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Full-time or Part-time
Start Date
Application Deadline

What You'll Learn

In this doctorate, you will critically examine the conceptual, organizational, political, social, managerial, interpersonal, and technical dimensions of schools and other educational institutions. Research agendas of the faculty and students center on the nexus between theory and practice and explore critical issues facing educational leaders and policymakers today. 

Alternate-Year Admissions

The Educational Leadership and Policy Studies PhD has an alternate year admissions process where candidates will be admitted every other year on the following timeline:

  • Entrance in Fall 2021 – no cohort
  • Entrance in Fall 2022 –  December 1, 2021 deadline
  • Entrance in Fall 2023 – no cohort

Prospective applicants should apply beginning September 2021 for Fall 2022 matriculation.

Funding for Full-Time PhD Students

NYU Steinhardt offers a competitive funding package for PhD students who study full time. Learn more about our funding opportunities.

Eligible and qualified Educational Leadership and Policy Studies applicants may also be nominated to receive a multi-year fellowship from NYU's Institute of Education Sciences-funded Predoctoral Interdisciplinary Research Training program (IES-PIRT).  NYU's IES-PIRT Program is committed to strengthening the pipeline of skilled researchers prepared to conduct rigorous and relevant education research. We intend to recruit students from groups underrepresented in education sciences, including scholars of color, students from low-income families, immigrant origin students, and individuals with disabilities. Qualified incoming PhD students may apply for a 4-year fellowship that includes a generous stipend, tuition coverage, and other benefits. Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. To be considered for the fellowship, IES-PIRT strongly recommends that applicants signal their interest in the IES-PIRT fellowship in their application and check the expression of interest box in Steinhardt's application portal. When reviewing applications, the IES-PIRT committee is looking for a) a clear record of interest and/or commitment to research on causal questions in education science relevant to the U.S. context, b) demonstrated aptitude for and interest in quantitative methods and data science, as demonstrated by high grades in advanced math, quantitative methods, or statistics coursework in college and/or graduate school, and c) clear evidence of interest in developing research skills and knowledge in areas of education science. Learn more about IES-PIRT or contact for more information.