Education Policy and Higher Education


The mission of the University of Cincinnati Educational Leadership Program is to prepare excellent educational leaders who seek, generate, test, and share new knowledge for the transformation and improvement of the profession.  We seek to embody the principles of social justice, caring, diversity, and collaboration in authentic and tangible ways in all aspects of our practice.

The Education Policy & Higher Education (EPHE) concentration within the Educational Studies (EDST) PhD programis a platform for students seeking advanced degrees to work within both education and policy settings within the PK-20 spectrum.  While each student’s course of study is highly individualized, most typically fall into one or more of the following areas:

  • Higher education leadership and policy
  • K-12 policy and administration
  • Education policy and governance

Our mission is to develop graduates who have a thorough grounding in current policy and research relevant to PK-20 education. One of the many benefits of pursuing doctoral study at the University of Cincinnati is conducting applied research in an urban environment, while also taking advantage of the many opportunities at one the nation’s leading public research universities.

Career Opportunities

Expertise will be developed through coursework, mentored experiences, and original research. Through a combination of required courses and electives, doctoral students, together with their advisor, design a program of study uniquely fitted to their individual interests, expertise, and professional goals.

Students can tailor their course of study that best serves their professional aspirations. Examples of career areas include:

  • Faculty and researchers in K-12 education, higher education, and/or policy-oriented programs
  • Scholar-practitioners in higher education administration
  • Statewide coordinating boards and agencies
  • K-12 school district administrators
  • University systems
  • Foundations and associations

Program Requirements

The Ph.D. requires a minimum of 90 semester credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. The program is comprised of a core set of courses common across all EDST program concentrations and EPHE requirements:

  • Educational Studies Core (24 credits total)
    • Basic and advanced research methods (15 credits)
    • Professional induction and applied research apprenticeship (9 credits)
  • Education Policy & Higher Education (24-27 hours total)
    • Policy core (9 credits)
    • Electives (15-18 credits)
  • Dissertation (12-15 credits total)

Core Faculty

Headshot of Amy N. Farley

Amy N. Farley

Assistant Professor, School of Education

610L Teachers-Dyer Complex


Headshot of Everrett A. Smith

Everrett A. Smith

Assistant Professor, Higher Education, School of Education

610P Teachers-Dyer Complex


Headshot of Antar Tichavakunda

Antar Tichavakunda

Asst Professor, School of Education

Teachers College


Affiliated Faculty

Headshot of Sarah Stitzlein

Sarah Stitzlein

Professor, School of Education

610F Teachers College