UMKC Catalog


Educational Leadership, Policy and Foundations
Discipline Contact
Megan Kean, (816) 235-2716,

Click here to see Educational Leadership, Policy and Foundations faculty who are members of the doctoral faculty.

Educational Leadership, Policy and Foundations is a discipline in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program administered by the School of Graduate Studies.

Note: The discipline-specific requirements listed here are in addition to the requirements listed in Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Application Procedure and Minimum Criteria for Admission and Minimum Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Academic Regulations and Degree Requirements.

Discipline-Specific Admission Requirements

Applicants who designate educational leadership, policy and foundations as their primary discipline will be expected to have a grade-point average of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale, covering all college work taken prior to the bachelor's degree, or a GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, covering all post-baccalaureate work completed to date.

Applications are normally only reviewed once a year, for admission beginning the next summer or fall term. To be considered, applications must be submitted to the Admissions Office by February 15. 

The applicant must provide the following supplementary documentation: 

  1. Written recommendations from appropriate professors and practitioners in the field (selected by the applicant).
  2. An autobiographical sketch. (This should be a brief resume of academic and professional goals and the applicant's personal, academic and career history as it relates to those goals. It should also include reasons for choosing urban leadership and policy studies in education as a field of study.)
  3. Evidence of graduate-level writing ability provided by writing samples, prior scholarly writing or the successful completion of an essay examination.

Applicants are required to provide official GRE test scores. GRE scores will be used by doctoral faculty in the discipline as one of several criteria used to evaluate the strength of the application. No other assessment results will be substituted for the GRE. When evaluating applications, faculty members will take into account evidence in the applications of such factors as demonstrated leadership skills, commitment to education, communication and academic skills, a clear and important research agenda, cultural background, etc. There is no minimum aggregate GRE score required for applications to be considered for urban leadership and policy studies in education. Applicants must meet the GRE requirements for their other discipline(s).

In addition, an applicant, the applicant's adviser or any member of the division may request that the applicant meet with and be interviewed by the division faculty.


Alternate Admission Criteria

International applicants will be considered for admission to the Ph.D. program on the basis of background, experience and educational attainments in their home countries. Exceptions to the general criteria for admission to Interdisciplinary Ph.D. study may be made for students whose potential for success in the doctoral program may not be reflected in the general criteria.


Qualifying Requirements for Full Admission

In some cases, the division may ask that 12 hours of work at UMKC, including an education foundations course, be taken prior to full admission.

Students admitted under alternate criteria will be notified upon acceptance of any coursework deficiencies they must satisfy or other preparation they must undertake prior to full admission.


Suggested Compatible Co-disciplines

Curriculum and instruction , public affairs and administration, history, economics, political science, and the social science consortium.


Core Program Requirements

Students with educational leadership, policy and foundations as a co-discipline will be required to take a minimum of 15 credit hours of core courses. The core curricula will vary, depending on whether students' research is primarily in educational leadership or the social-philosophical foundations of education and on the types of educational setting upon which they wish to focus. Specific courses will be selected with the advice and consent of the student's faculty adviser and supervisory committee. The supervisory committee may elect to accept coursework in an educational-specialist program or other post-master's degree program as counting toward the 15-credit-hour requirement.

Students seeking administrative certification for public school positions should check with their advisers to be sure they include all courses currently required in the states in which they wish to become certified.

The amount of required coursework, beyond the minimum 15-credit-hour core requirement, taken by students with urban leadership and policy studies in education as their primary discipline, will depend upon their previous preparation in the discipline, their previous research competencies, their personal career goals and their research interests.

All students with urban leadership and policy studies in education as either the primary discipline or the co-discipline are required to take and complete EDUC-UL 5685, the seminar on problems and issues in education and urban leadership.


Other Discipline-Specific Special Requirements

The student, at a minimum, will be required to take and complete 12 hours of coursework that provides extensive preparation in research methodologies relevant to her or his professional goals and intended dissertation project. The student will select specific courses with the advice and consent of her or his faculty adviser and supervisory committee. Typical courses which would satisfy this requirement include (but are not limited to): EDUC-R&P 5505, EDUC-R&P 5508, EDUC-R&P 5605, EDUC-R&P 5608, EDUC-R&P 5610, HISTORY 5591, HISTORY 5687, SOCIOL 5510, SOCIOL 5511, SOCIOL 5512, EDUC-UL 5601 and EDUC-UL 5603.


Requirements for Comprehensive Examinations

Students with educational leadership, policy and foundations as the primary discipline must pass a comprehensive examination including both the primary discipline and the co-discipline areas.