Educational Leadership

Ph.D. Educational Leadership

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Educational Leadership promotes the acquisition and development of skills, values, and motivation for growth in leadership positions; thereby improving the entire educational segment of society. The program was designed to provide its candidates with a solid blend of educational theory, research, and practice.

Students will continue to develop into leaders who are knowledgeable in the foundations of educational thought, as well as in the science, craft, and art of leadership. In addition, they will study the specialties appropriate to their career goals and acquire the research and evaluation skills essential to both leadership practice and scholarly inquiry. 

The Ph.D. in Educational Leadership offers two tracks, which provide candidates the choice to specialize in either area of expertise: 


Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared to:

  • Understand the importance of education in society and of the significance of leaders and the effects they have on society
  • Pursue careers in leadership in schools, colleges and universities, corporations, and other educational agencies
  • Grow professionally throughout their careers by becoming self-initiating professionals who build upon knowledge of inquiry and motivation to renew their skills


The Ph.D. in Educational Leadership program is offered in a convenient hybrid weekend delivery format, at Mercer’s Atlanta campus. New cohorts begin once a year during the summer semester (May). The dissertation process is embedded throughout the program and the supportive cohort model allows for ongoing collaboration with classmates and faculty mentors. Coursework is taken sequentially over eleven semesters in classes delivered in 16-week sessions.

Hybrid Weekend Format

  • Classes incorporate online learning with three weekend, face-to-face meetings per semester on the Atlanta campus.
  • Students will attend classes inclusive of doctoral seminars three weekends per semester from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays, and from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. EST Saturdays.
  • Online sessions will be delivered in both synchronous and asynchronous formats.

In addition to the regular class sessions, students have the opportunity for individual advising and consultation via a variety of formats, including face-to-face sessions, telephone calls, Skype, or Blackboard Collaborate.


Every year on the first Saturday in March, Mercer's Atlanta and Macon educational leadership students come together on the Atlanta campus to network and learn from experts in educational leadership. This includes the cohorts from the M.Ed., Ed.S. and Ph.D. programs. The Academy includes breakout sessions to expose candidates to diverse ideas and methods on topics that complement and enhance the learning experience. 

Visit our Leadership Academy page for more information>