Educational Leadership

PhD in Educational Studies, Low-Residency

Improve school and district learning outcomes.

Educational leadership involves creative intelligence, an understanding of the disciplines that influence education, and systems thinking. In this PhD program, you’ll learn to use your new knowledge, as well as strategic planning, to initiate, facilitate, support, and sustain school- and district-wide improvement. You’ll learn and grow as an educational leader with vision and the skills to put that vision into action.

At Lesley, our goal is to inspire the imagination, courage, and persistence to improve teaching, learning, and leading.

Expand your understanding of the change process. You’ll gain new insights into the role of education in a democratic society, and schools as systems. Examine the forces that shape school conditions and the factors that influence how leaders function in schools. Study models of school change and how technology can be used for innovation. You’ll take courses in qualitative and quantitative research methods that will prepare you for writing your doctoral dissertation. 

This doctoral program is appropriate for traditional leaders, such as superintendents and principals, and others, such as instructional coaches or department heads.

Program Structure

Low-residency PhD program

45 Credits
PhD students outside in caps and robes, about to attend their hooding ceremony

After completing 36 credits of your required coursework and receiving doctoral committee approval for your qualifying paper you’ll then advance to year three. In year three, you will take the final 9 credits, which are devoted to helping you write your dissertation proposal and dissertation. The program of study concludes with a public defense of your dissertation, doctoral committee approval, and graduation. 

Gain Skills and Expertise
Our PhD in Educational Leadership program prepares you to:

Average salary for education professionals with a doctoral degree in New England (Source: Burning Glass Labor Insight)
Superintendents and other hiring managers across Massachusetts prefer to hire Lesley graduates. With a combination of theory and practice, our graduates are prepared for leadership positions on day one. (Source: Radius Global Market Research)
Top Schools
Massachusetts ranks as the best state to work in education, with some of the highest performing schools and best salaries in the country, according to US News.
Stephen Gould
Educational Studies
Dr. Stephen Gould
Steve is director of the Educational Leadership PhD program. He has over 30 years of experience as an assistant superintendent, principal, and teacher, and served on the Massachusetts Elementary School Principals Association for over 10 years. His expertise includes leadership development, organizational development, team building, strategic planning, and executive coaching.
Where You'll Work
Graduates of our PhD program are prepared for rewarding careers in a range of settings, including:
PhD in Educational Studies Programs


Total approximate cost for this PhD degree program. Tuition and fees are for the 2019–2020 academic year.
Educational Leadership
  • Tuition
    $1,030/credit x 45
  • Fees
    PhD Matriculation Fees
    Residency Fees
    Registration Fees
    Degree Completion Fee
  • Total
Estimated Cost

Review all graduate tuition and fees, and what they cover.

Tuition and fees are subject to change each year, effective June 1.

Apply Now

Ready to get started? We're here to make the application process as smooth as possible. Just answer a few quick questions, and get your customized application guide.

Your degree is an investment, and we're committed to ensuring its value. That's why we offer the best education programs in Massachusetts, at competitive tuition rates.
We'll help ensure your degree is as affordable as possible. Use our step-by-step guide to apply for federal and university funding. Scholarships, grants, Work-Study, and loans. It’s all right here.

Next steps to apply

Ready to get started? We're here to make the application process as smooth as possible. Just answer a few quick questions, and get your customized application guide.