Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Higher Education Leadership

  • College

    College of Education

  • Degree


  • Location



Advance within higher education leadership

Mercer University’s Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Educational Leadership cultivates researchers, scholars, and practitioners by developing the skills, values, and motivation for growth in leadership positions. The Higher Education Leadership track is designed for college and university leaders and practitioners who wish to develop research-based leadership skills and aims to enhance and improve the effectiveness of public and private post-secondary leaders and researchers.

Graduates and current students hold significant positions in for-profit and non-profit institutions, colleges, and universities. The curriculum integrates principles of administration, management, organizational psychology, information technology, program evaluation, and quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. Individuals who successfully complete this program are equipped with the knowledge and skills to hold a variety of mid-to-upper level jobs in higher education institutions and agencies, including roles such as:

  • Presidents
  • Provosts
  • Deans
  • Directors
  • Other leadership positions in admissions, financial aid, housing and residence life, and student services

Expand your knowledge

Through program curriculum, students will gain knowledge in:

  • Understanding the importance of education in society and of the significance of leaders and the effects they have on society
  • Skills required for successful careers in leadership in schools, colleges and universities, corporations, and other educational agencies
  • Seeking continuous development throughout their careers by becoming self-initiating professionals who build upon knowledge of inquiry and motivation to renew their skills

Designed for busy and working adults

Mercer’s Ph.D. in Educational Leadership is offered in a convenient, blended weekend format and new cohorts begin once per year in May. Classes are a combination of synchronous and asynchronous online learning with three Saturday in-person sessions per semester. Saturday seminars meet on Mercer’s Atlanta campus from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with a midday break. In addition to the regular class sessions, students have the opportunity for individual advising and consultation with faculty via a variety of formats. Classes are taken sequentially over 11 semesters in 16-week terms.

Learn more about our Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Higher Education Leadership

Ready to take the next step?

Schedule your personalized admissions appointment or contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at 678.547.6062 or for more information.

To be successful in higher education, you need to understand the research process and its implications. Mercer's curriculum emphasis on research, strategic management, assessment, and public policy has been especially helpful in my development as a leader.

Dr. Matthew McLendon
Ph.D. in Educational Leadership '17
Associate Vice President and Executive Director of Enrollment Management, The University of Alabama

Matthew McLendon

Mercer's Ph.D. in Educational Leadership made a tremendous difference in my life and career, and I believe that the leadership and academic quality at Mercer is not comparable to any place else. The attention to detail and commitment to my success that I received from my doctoral chair and committee members was exceptional.

Dr. Ansley Booker
Ph.D. in Educational Leadership '19
Director of Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives at Mercer University

Zoomed in view of a building's tower on Mercer University's campus.

Meet Our Faculty

Mercer’s Tift College of Education is supported by faculty and staff who devote themselves to preparing students to become transforming educators within their communities and throughout the world.