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Strategic Leadership in Education, Ph.D.

Lead the Charge in Education

Do you feel called to address complex educational challenges and ensure a bright future for our youth?


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Leaders in PreK-12 and higher education face myriad organizational, political, fiscal, and instructional challenges, and yet the opportunity to have a positive impact on the lives and futures of young people is unparalleled for well-prepared educational leaders.

The education leaders of tomorrow must be able to clearly identify appropriate solutions and strategies to address complex educational issues through leadership, research, and collaboration. Education and related non-profit organizations must directly confront complex challenges that impact students, families, and communities. 

Through the Belmont College of Education’s Strategic Leadership in Education Ph.D. program, you can acquire the skills needed to change the trajectory of education through research and innovative practices. This research-based, leadership-focused Ph.D. program is designed to equip senior level practitioner-scholars from diverse backgrounds for advanced leadership and management roles in PreK-12 schools and districts, adult and higher education institutions, education-oriented foundations, nonprofit and faith-based organizations, and government.


A Multi-Disciplinary Approach

Belmont’s Strategic Leadership in Education (SLE) Ph.D. program is intentionally designed as a multi-disciplinary approach, with core courses grounded in educational leadership theory and literature, and the opportunity to select one of three concentrations in Educational Leadership, Management and Entrepreneurship, or Faith and Justice Leadership. Unlike most programs in the nation, Belmont's SLE Ph.D. will equip graduates for success as both senior leaders in education-oriented organizations and as scholars in the field of Educational Leadership.

The doctoral degree program consists of 60 affordable credit hours and can be completed part-time within four years. It will include 51 credit hours of course credit, which may include up to 12 credit hours of approved previous graduate credit, and nine hours of credit awarded for the completion of the dissertation.

The Strategic Leadership in Education Ph.D. program is organized to accommodate working professionals. Classes will include hybrid courses that combine predominantly online class meetings with one required three-day, on-campus session and other completely online (synchronous) courses. Ph.D. students should expect one three-day intensive session each term (summer, fall and spring) in-person on the Belmont campus in Nashville.