World-Improving Research and Creativity

Our alumni currently hold a variety of roles and are employed all over the country, from here in the Washoe County School District to Harvard University. This program is also known for its advanced research activities that make national news regularly.

About Our Program

Thank you for your interest in the Ph.D./Ed.D. program in Educational Leadership!

This program is designed specifically for individuals pursuing an advanced leadership position in a K-12 or higher education setting. It is guided by the general framework found in the Doctoral Program in Education Application Manual. The Ed.D. option is available in this area of emphasis for practicing K-12 professionals.

Thank you for visiting our doctoral program page. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any of our faculty members. We look forward to talking with you.


Jafeth Sanchez, Ph.D.
Program Coordinator

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Admission Deadlines

The College of Education & Human Development has application deadlines for Spring (November 15). Students wishing to apply for a graduate assistantship for Fall semester must apply for the Ph.D. program and the college graduate assistantship by February 1. Applications for Fall will continue to be reviewed up to July 15.

Program Overview

The Ph.D. in Education: Educational Leadership area of emphasis is intended for individuals with a minimum of a master's degree in an education-related field wishing to work in a leadership role. Our goal is to prepare students to excel in their field of interest through a personalized, challenging curriculum that best suits their professional goals.

There are numerous research and field-based opportunities, and students will work with their advisors to determine a program of study. Examples of positions that our alumni hold include:

  • School administrator (principal, assistant principal, site administrator)
  • Central office administrator (superintendent, assessment director, ESL director, staffing coordinator)
  • University academic faculty (assistant/associate professor)
  • University administrative faculty (student government director, program director, students affairs president)

Program Information

  • Admissions

    The Educational Leadership Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs admit students in October for Spring enrollment and in March for Fall enrollment. Materials and criteria for the the Educational Leadership area of emphasis are as follows:

    • Undergraduate or graduate GPA of 3.00 or higher
    • Master's degree
    • Graduate Record Exam score (GRE)
    • Resume or curriculum vitae
    • Statement of Intent that includes a Philosophy of Education
    • Three letters of recommendation
    • One sample of scholarly writing
    • Program application, checklist, and signed disposition form (last 5 pages in the Application Manual)

    To get started on the application process, please contact Dr. MaryAnn Demchak, program coordinator, at Your main program application, checklist, and signed disposition form must be mailed to:

    College of Education Doctoral Program Coordinator
    Mail Stop 278
    University of Nevada, Reno
    Reno, NV 89557-0278

    All other materials must be sent through the University's application portal. Once you create your account, go back to MyNevada to log in and start your application. You must apply to both the College of Education and to the Graduate School. Please reach out to Dr. Barone if you have any questions.

    If you decide to also apply for a graduate assistantship, applications are due February 1. Eligible candidates will be invited to interview.

  • Tuition and Fees
  • Curricular Structure

    A minimum of 93 credits are required to graduate from this Ph.D. program. The curricular structure is made up of the following four categories:


    Doctoral program experiences are designed to ensure that the educational professionals who complete our program have the skills needed to locate research that is relevant to their own present and future professional roles and duties, evaluate the research of others, and design, conduct and disseminate the results of their own research studies. The research and statistics courses in the college are designed to contribute to the mastery of these skills.


    Coursework in this area is determined by the Advisory/Examining Committee in close consultation with the student. The courses in Educational Leadership prepare students for leadership or teaching at the college level or for roles in policy analysis and research.

    COGNATE, 24 credits

    The cognate is made up of courses that provide depth and/or breadth to a student's program as approved by the student's advisory/examining committee. These courses may represent a second area of emphasis, may be interdisciplinary, or may be made of graduate credits from the master's degree that represents a related and coherent area of study.

    DISSERTATION, 24 credits

    The dissertation is the culminating experience for the doctoral degree. It represents an independent research project that makes a contribution to the field of study.

Looking for a Graduate Assistantship?

The College of Education & Human Development has a limited number of Graduate Assistantships for full-time students admitted to masters or doctoral programs.

Graduate Assistantship

Program Faculty

Educational Leadership
Cynthia  Alcantar
Cynthia Alcantar, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
WRB 4067
Educational Leadership
Cristina Lash
Cristina Lash, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
(775) 682-9372
WRB 4055
Educational Leadership
Ethan Ris
Ethan Ris, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership
(775) 682-9374
WRB 4052
Educational Leadership
Jafeth Sanchez
Jafeth Sanchez, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership
(775) 682-9078
WRB 4054
Educational Leadership
Bill Thornton
Bill Thornton, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Educational Leadership, Evaluator
(775) 682-9096
WRB 4059