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Leadership in Educational Administration Specialization Doctor of Philosophy in Education

School of Education


Prepare to lead change in K-12 educational organizations through your own doctoral research. This PhD in Leadership in Educational Administration is one of the very few online programs to be state-approved, a requirement for principal or superintendent licensure in a number of states. Capella is an accredited university, and this specialization is nationally recognized by the Educational Leadership Constituents Council (ELCC). It is one of several programs that make up Capella's Professional Education Unit which is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

By choosing an emphasis in School Leadership or District Leadership, you'll focus your studies on strengthening the research, leadership, management, and problem-solving skills needed to be an ethical and innovative principal or superintendent in today's K-12 environment. Capella's flexible online learning approach provides a degree structured to fit your needs, and upon successful completion you'll have the knowledge and skills needed to lead at the school or district level, and will be prepared to pursue licensure as a K-12 principal or superintendent.

School Leadership Emphasis 

The School Leadership emphasis is intended for professionals who want to build their knowledge and skills as school principals who provide vision, guidance, and oversight within a school. The curriculum focuses on the principal's role in articulating, developing, and implementing a school vision that aligns with and supports district priorities. You'll assess issues associated with procuring and managing school funds; evaluate research-based approaches for supervising and evaluating teachers and managing the school learning environment, school operations, and resources; examine the role of technology in supporting instructional programs and school operations; and apply best practices for communicating and collaborating with school stakeholders.

District Leadership Emphasis 

The District Leadership emphasis is intended for professionals who want to build their knowledge and skills as superintendents who provide vision, guidance, and oversight across a district. You'll evaluate the cultural, social, economic, political, and legal contexts of district leadership; assess the strategic planning and processes associated with managing district operations and resources; explore ways to leverage data to make informed district decisions; and apply best practices for communicating and collaborating with district stakeholders.

The Building Blocks of Your PhD 

In the PhD in Leadership in Educational Administration program, you will begin work on your dissertation immediately. Our curriculum begins with programs of research to help you determine your topic and incorporates credit-bearing dissertation research seminars with assistance blended into coursework. Expert faculty, research methodologists, and advisors provide the right assistance at the right time, when you need it. Each facet of your education builds on the others to take you seamlessly through your program and to your goal of a PhD.

Degree Outcomes

With your PhD in Leadership in Educational Administration from Capella, you'll learn to facilitate the development of a shared vision of learning, promote the success of all persons, and lead the development of a culture of learning. Additionally, you'll be able to manage effective learning environments, effectively collaborate with multiple stakeholders, and lead the field of education in an ethical manner.

Career Outcomes

Common jobs with an online PhD in Leadership in Educational Administration include school leadership, principal, assistant principal, superintendent, assistant superintendent, curriculum director, assessment and compliance coordinator or faculty member. Potential workplaces include: K–12 public school, K–12 private school, alternative school, land-based or online college or university, school district office, and state education department.

Detailed Program Information

Get all the details about cost, courses, requirements, and more.

Classes Start January 8th

Ready to get started? We’re ready for you. Chat with an enrollment counselor or apply now to take the first step on the journey toward your future. 

Admission Requirements »  | $50 Application Fee

Cost & Learning Format

Online education isn’t one size fits all. We know you’re busy—you need a learning experience tailored to your life, not the other way around. Capella has learning and tuition formats to suit you, however you learn. 

Our original learning format offers extra structure for those who want it.  We'll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines. 

  • Based on the quarter system; 1-3 courses per 10-week quarter
  • 1 semester credit = 1.5 quarter credits
  • Weekly assignments and courseroom discussions
  • Pay for what you take, price varies by courseload or term
$707 per credit, 92 total quarter credits, 8 max transfer credits

Get the Details

Speak with an enrollment counselor to get a personalized cost estimate for what you can expect to pay.

Ways to Save

At Capella, we believe your education is an investment in your future. It’s also an investment within your grasp. Your goals are achievable—there are more ways to save than you might think. 

Transfer Credits

We can accept many transfer credits from regionally accredited schools. 


Grants are federal education funds that never need to be paid back. 

Federal Work Study

This program provides part-time jobs to reduce your loan debt amounts. Talk to an enrollment counselor to learn more.

Sample Courses

Some of the courses you will take:

Course Number Course Title
ED7820 Principles of Educational Administration
ED7541 Teacher Supervision and Evaluation
ED7822 The Funding of Educational Institutions
ED7014 Leading Diverse Schools

Faculty & Support

You’re never going it alone at Capella. Our dedicated faculty and support teams are waiting to guide, help, and advise you through every step of your educational journey.

Enrollment Counselors

These folks are superstars. We hear it from our students (and grads). They’re here to help find a program fit and set you up for success.  


Our distinguished faculty members hold top credentials in their fields. They’re here to teach the knowledge and skills you’ll need, now.

Writing Support

These skilled communicators offer free tutoring services and multiple resources to sharpen your writing skills.

Doctoral Advising

A doctoral degree takes special effort. It's why we offer expert support at every step to keep you moving forward toward your goal.

Ready for the Next Step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.