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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.

To learn more about this program, request more information and we will match you with an enrollment counselor who specializes in your area of study.

If you are seeking information on professional licensure, view our licensure information.

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. Discover specifically what you'll learn — and how you can apply it.

View full learning and career outcomes report for this program at

People with Doctoral degrees in Education from Capella earn an average of $21,000 more per year than people who only hold a Master's degree.

GE Salary Project Update

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: P–12 public school, P–12 private school, alternative school, land-based or online college or university, school district office, and state education department.