Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, P-12 School Leadership

  • College

    College of Education

  • Degree


  • Location



Become a scholar, researcher, and leader in P-12 school leadership

Mercer University’s Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Educational Leadership, P-12 School Leadership prepares candidates to become leaders in P-12 schools and other educational organizations by helping them grow professionally. The P-12 School Leadership track is designed for school, district, state, or national leaders and blends theory and practice to cultivate transforming leaders.

Upon completion of this program and a passing score on the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) Content Assessment for Educational Leadership, eligible candidates with Tier II Leadership certification will be recommended for a Level 7 certificate in Educational Leadership. This program does not lead to initial Educational Leadership certification.

Earn your Tier II certification at the same time

Ph.D. students on the P-12 School Leadership track may choose an option to earn their Tier II certification while enrolled in the Ph.D. program. Any candidate enrolling in a Tier II program who did not pass the Georgia Ethics for Educational Leadership Assessment prior to enrolling in a Tier I program must pass the assessment prior to beginning Tier II program coursework.

Expand your knowledge

Through program curriculum, candidates 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 meetings 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, P-12 School 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.

Mercer's College of Education influenced me to be the kind of leader who inspires and motivates teams to lead innovative change. I am living my personal mission statement of re-imagining learning for students to flourish in a changing world. I am preparing my students for lives they have not even imagined yet.

Dr. Cami Rae Hamlin
Ed.S. in Educational Leadership | Ph.D. in Educational Leadership
Principal, Springdale Elementary School

Dr. Hamlin

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.

Professional licensure

All of Mercer’s programs that lead to licensure are designed to meet the educational requirements of regulatory authorities in the State of Georgia. If you intend to seek licensure or certification outside of Georgia, please review Mercer’s professional licensure disclosure for more information.