Educational Policy and Leadership
Ph.D. Program

Marquette University's educational policy and leadership (EDPL) doctoral graduate program is designed to develop educational scholar-practitioners, researchers, and leaders who possess the commitment, perspective, and skills to implement strategies for great equity in a variety of educational settings.

We are committed to the development of professionals as agents of critical inquiry and social justice. This is done through a systematic focus on the social, cultural, philosophical and historical contexts of education.

EDPL Ph.D. program highlights

A Marquette doctoral student must complete a 57-credit program of study prepared in consultation with his or her adviser and outlined on an approved Doctoral Program Planning Form. The program must include an earned master’s degree of 30 credit hours, an additional 45 credit hours of course work, and 12 credit hours of dissertation course work. Course work and credit information can be found on the Marquette University Bulletin website. 

Doctoral students in Marquette's EDPL in this program can choose from three elective areas of focus including:

  • K-12/higher education leadership 
  • K-12/higher education teaching and learning
  • K-12/higher education policy analysis

Each area of focus includes a unique set of electives, which can be found in the Graduate School Bulletin

This program also offers a specialization in the superintendency. The curriculum is based on the current Wisconsin administrative content standards, including current research and new conceptions of organizations, leadership, relationships between school districts and their communities, and institutional change.


What to expect out of the EDPL Ph.D. program

Students dive deep in the foundational knowledge of education, exploring how the organization of schools, institutions of higher education and society shape educational processes.

Students gain theoretical knowledge in specific disciplinary/topical concentrations, enabling them to further examine educational practice in a chose context.

Finally, students acquire expertise in research methods with equip them to advance and enact education knowledge. The program supports EDPL Ph.D. graduates to work actively to create a more just society.

Requirements and course work can be found on the Graduate School bulletin.

Apply to the educational policy and leadership Ph.D. program

Application requirements and other important information to apply for the EDPL Ph.D. graduate program at Marquette University are detailed below. We also encourage and welcome prospective students to visit us in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and take a tour of the College of Education facilities on the Marquette University campus. 


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To be eligible for admission to the Graduate School at Marquette University, applicants must meet the following requirements:

Applicants should have graduated with, or be about to graduate with, a master’s degree or other professional degree such as J.D. or M.D. from an accredited institution. The exceptional student applying to the doctoral program without a master’s degree, if accepted, must complete an appropriate master’s degree as part of his or her doctoral program requirements.

Application Requirements

Read all application instructions prior to beginning an application.

  • A completed online application form and fee.
  • Transcripts:
  • Three letters of recommendation addressing the applicant's ability to do graduate-level work.
  • A personal statement of purpose that includes professional and academic goals.
    • Our program aspires to train and develop people from diverse communities to be difference makers. Please discuss how this program orientation matches your interests.
    • What are your professional aspirations? Why are you interested in pursuing a PhD? How will a PhD help you meet your future goals?
    • Which Marquette Faculty members match with your research interests and why?
    • How have your educational and/or professional experiences prepared you for a Ph.D. program?
  • A resume that includes professional and educational experiences.
  • A sample of scholarly writing, such as a master’s thesis or a published article.
  • GRE scores (general test only)
  • For International Applicants only: A TOEFL score or other acceptable proof of English proficiency.
  • An interview and/or writing test may be required of applicants following the initial screening.

January 15: Application and application materials must be submitted for consideration to the doctoral program.

Merit-based aid (graduate assistantships/fellowships) is available. Private scholarships may also be available. U.S. citizens and permanent residents may be eligible to apply for need-based federal aid (loans) to help fund their educational expenses as well.