UMass Boston


Thank you for your interest in our programs in the Department of Leadership in Education. The department offers three graduate programs in education that prepare professionals for leadership roles in schools, colleges, universities, and other related institutions. Leadership for change and social justice are common core elements in all three of our programs. The department is committed to preparing thoughtful and responsive leaders who can foster educational transformation through scholarship, practice, and policy.

Higher Education PhD/EdD

Founded in 1993, the Higher Education Program at UMass Boston prepares scholar-practitioners for research and leadership positions in the field of higher education. The mission of the program is to develop scholar-practitioners who can, through their research and leadership practice, bring about changes in colleges and universities that advance equity and social justice. The Higher Education Program focuses on issues of concern to leaders in all types of higher education institutions, including community colleges and four-year institutions, both public and private.

The curriculum covers topics such as organization and leadership, teaching and learning, college student development, diversity, public policy, institutional change, college access, equity, globalization, finance, and community engagement. Students also develop a strong foundation in both quantitative and qualitative research methods, as well as an understanding of the social and historical foundations of higher education. Upon completion of the degree, our students pursue careers as scholar-practitioners, college faculty, chief academic officers, in policy analysis, and as senior-level college or university administrators. The program uses a cohort model and accepts students once a year, in the spring, to begin their studies in the summer.

Urban Education, Leadership, and Policy Studies PhD/EdD

The mission of the Urban Education, Leadership, and Policy Studies Program is to develop dedicated, critical, and reflective leaders seeking to improve urban education through research and practice. While focusing on urban school issues, this program recognizes the interconnectedness of such issues on state, national, regional and global scales. We prepare educational leaders who represent a variety of backgrounds, and support equity and diversity in all its forms, striving to contribute to the public good and a more socially just world. Through the course of their doctoral trajectory and culminating in a dissertation, students investigate issues of their choice that are relevant to their professional lives as leaders committed to educational change. The program uses a cohort model and accepts students once a year, in the spring, to begin their studies in the summer.

Educational Administration MEd/CAGS

The mission of the Educational Administration Program is to develop effective leaders who support the transformation and design of schools and community organizations at all levels while confronting the inequities of educational systems and addressing social justice issues on various levels: personal, institutional, and societal. The program’s goals are to provide practical and theoretical experiences and knowledge by focusing on Eight Leadership Tenets that examine the beliefs and values that impact learning; culturally sustaining practices to promote inclusive and equitable instruction for all; and supporting students in developing a portfolio of evidence reflecting skills and practices in leadership. The program uses a cohort model and accepts students once a year, in the spring, to begin their studies in September. Thirty-six graduate credits are required to complete this program.


Department of Leadership in Education