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Create Real Change in the Classroom and beyond with a DEd in Administration and Leadership Studies

If you’re a school administrator and aspire to be a school superintendent or college administrator, IUP’s Doctor of Education in Administration and Leadership Studies will prepare you for a career as an education leader. Combining a rich mixture of theory and application, this program focuses on leadership theory, research, team-building, conflict resolution, adult development, and case studies. 

Please note that we are no longer accepting applications for our Administration and Leadership Studies DEd program. Instead, we’re now offering a Superintendent Letter of Eligibility, Post-Master’s Certificate program. This 18-credit certificate program is specifically designed to accommodate the schedules of working professionals.

Why Earn a DEd in Administration and Leadership Studies from IUP?

As a graduate student in IUP’s DEd in Administration and Leadership Studies program, you’ll develop a strong sense of camaraderie with your small, close-knit cohort. You’ll work closely with your peers, who are also selected for their critical thinking, writing, and speaking skills, as well as other leadership traits. 

IUP’s goal is to educate quality leaders who can implement visionary programs in educational organizations—and you’ll be in an atmosphere of high expectations for your impact. Your graduate study will focus on real-world applications before you graduate: you’ll prepare manuscripts for publication, organize professional leadership seminars and implement programs in your current education position.

Designed to accommodate the schedules of school administrators, college faculty, and college administrators, IUP’s Doctor of Education in Administration and Leadership Studies is created specifically to fit around your current career in education.

What You’ll Learn

Graduates with a DEd in Administration and Leadership Studies will gain an extensive theoretical and practical understanding of education leadership. As a graduate, you’ll be equipped to:

  • Analyze and diagnose on-the-job problems using skills learned in administration and leadership courses.
  • Analyze leadership characteristics of yourself and your colleagues and be able to help others develop leadership potential.
  • Create plans and procedures for working with groups to solve specific problems.
  • Develop and implement policies designed to improve the overall operation of your place of employment.
  • Establish professional and personal relationships among peers and faculty to aid in professional development throughout your career.
  • Sharpen skills to create innovative change designed to improve specific working conditions within your place of employment.
  • Implement leadership strategies at your place of work.
  • Resolve conflicts within an organization using conflict resolution techniques.
  • Use research methods such as surveys, interviews, data analysis, and questionnaire design to assist in solving on-the-job problems.

Public School Administrators (PK–12) will become eligible for the superintendent’s letter of eligibility upon successful completion of the coursework and internship in addition to passing the School Superintendent current PDE-required Praxis Exam and meeting all PDE requirements, including experience requirements.

Imagine Your Future

Graduates of IUP’s DEd in Administration and Leadership Studies program are well prepared to pursue a range of career paths, including roles such as:

  • Assistant Superintendent of Schools
  • Higher Education Administrator
  • Superintendent of Schools

Industries Looking for You

Graduates of the DEd in Administration and Leadership Studies program are working in many Pennsylvania educational settings, including:

  • Apollo-Ridge School District
  • ARIN Intermediate Unit 28
  • Central Cambria School District
  • Greater Johnstown School District
  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • Pittsburgh Public Schools

$100,000 to $200,000

Salaries for superintendent of schools positions in Pennsylvania can vary greatly, depending on the candidate's level of education and years of service, as well as the size and type of the school system they would lead. You can expect this salary range annually for this type of role.

Classes and Requirements

The Doctor of Education in Administration and Leadership Studies program offers a rich mixture of theory and application. You’ll develop a spirit of camaraderie with your cohort as you develop leadership attributes through extensive reading, analysis of case studies, self-assessment profiles, and application of leadership skills in a field setting.

We want to attract leaders into this program who can think critically, write well, and speak effectively. In addition, candidates must be able to analyze complex problems, make rational decisions, and articulate their own personal philosophy.

We believe that leadership skills can be taught. We believe in creating an atmosphere of high expectations, requiring students to prepare for publication and organize professional leadership seminars. We believe that our program will empower you to become the best leader you can be and effect positive change within your organization.

Full Academic Catalog Listing

The course catalog is the official reference for all our degree and course offerings. Check it out for a full listing of the classes available and requirements for this degree.

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Admission Requirements

The following materials are required for admission:

  • All applicants must have a master's degree.
  • Neither the GRE or MAT is required.
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • Application fee of $50.
  • Goal statement (approximately one to three pages in length).
  • Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts.
  • GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Participation in an interview.

For more information about admission requirements at IUP, please visit Graduate Admissions.

School Administrators

Candidates who satisfactorily complete the required coursework and internship may then apply for the Superintendent's Letter of Eligibility. Candidates must also meet the current Pennsylvania Department of Education requirements that are specified on the PDE website. These requirements include but are not limited to "evidence of six years of satisfactory school experience, of which three must be in a supervisory or an administrative capacity."

Candidates who satisfactorily complete this program and are not eligible for the Superintendent's Letter of Eligibility can still receive a doctoral degree in Administration and Leadership Studies.

  • This cohort is comprised of elementary, middle, and high school principals as well as central administrators.
  • All applicants should have their administrative certification.
    • After completion of all program requirements, students in this cohort can obtain the Pennsylvania Superintendent's Letter of Eligibility.

How do I obtain the Superintendent's Letter of Eligibility?

  1. Toward the end of your program, you should prepare for your Praxis exam. You must pass the School Superintendent Assessment: Test Code 6021. Former candidates have stressed the importance of buying the ETS Study Guide for the School Superintendent Assessment.
  2. You must complete all course and internship requirements in the ALS program.
    1. Once you have completed the first two steps, you can apply online to the Pennsylvania Department of Education: (TIMS) Teacher Information Management System.
    2. Please contact the Educator Preparation Office, 104 Stouffer Hall, (724) 357-2485, for current fees, which are payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and IUP.
    3. IUP is the certifying officer (104 Stouffer Hall).

College Administrators

Candidates who satisfactorily complete the program will receive a doctoral degree in Administration and Leadership Studies.

  • This cohort is comprised of college faculty, individuals seeking careers in higher education, social service agents and administrators, and college personnel.
  • All classes are presented in a seminar format that combines theory and application.
Amber Stephenson

Amber Stephenson D’13, Administration and Leadership

I feel quite lucky to have developed strong relationships with the faculty of the ALS program who ensured that I had the tools I needed to be successful as a scholar, academically speaking, and also as leader in the field.

Graduate Assistantships

The Graduate Assistantship Program provides mutual professional development opportunities for graduate students and faculty mentors, and is a critical opportunity for you to develop your skills with close guidance.

Graduate assistantships are awarded based on academic achievement but may also consider financial need. Graduate assistants must be available to work with a faculty mentor on research or departmental projects in return for a modest stipend and tuition waiver.

Note: Being a graduate assistant is a major professional responsibility and requires a time commitment and an ability to complete work within timelines.

Teaching Associate Program

Advanced doctoral students are eligible to apply for the Teaching Associate program, which enables them to be hired as instructors for up to six credits of teaching and/or supervision of undergraduates with assignments in the PSE Department. These appointments—awarded based on academic merit and appropriate teaching qualifications—are for one academic year and are usually made in the spring for the following academic year. TAs are typically doctoral students who have finished all core coursework and are working on their dissertation.

Bring Your Courses to Life with an Internship

As an Administration and Leadership Studies student, you’ll be required to complete six credits of ALS 898 Internship in Administration and Leadership Studies, taking three credits in the fall and three credits in the spring.

ALS students who currently hold a superintendent’s letter of eligibility will seek an internship designed to strengthen administration and leadership skills and forward career goals.