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. program in Educational Leadership!

This Ph.D. program is designed specifically for individuals pursuing careers as researchers, faculty in colleges or universities, or senior analysts in educational organizations. The coursework is guided by the general framework found in the course catalog. It includes a combination of methodological courses and courses on the theory and practice of educational leadership.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any of our faculty members.

We look forward to talking with you!


Laura Smithers
Program Coordinator

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Admission Deadlines

Applications and all associated documents must be received by the following dates to be considered. Fall Semester: March 31 | Spring Semester: Nov. 15. Students wishing to apply for a graduate assistantship for the Fall semester must apply for the Ph.D. program and the college graduate assistantship by Feb. 1

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. 

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, vice president for student affairs)

Program Information

Program Faculty

Educational Leadership
Alexandra Aylward
Alexandra Aylward , Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership
(775) 682-9078
WRB 4054
Educational Leadership
Ethan Ris
Ethan Ris, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Educational Leadership
(775) 682-9374
WRB 4052
Educational Leadership
Jafeth Sanchez
Jafeth Sanchez, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Educational Leadership; Director, Latino Research
(775) 682-9959
Educational Leadership
Laura Smithers
Laura Smithers, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Higher Education Leadership
(775) 682-9372
WRB 4055