Graduate School of Education - George Mason University
Graduate School of Education - George Mason University

Our Graduate School of Education is the alma mater for one third of teachers and administrators in Northern Virginia’s world-class school systems. Each year, more than 3,000 graduate students enroll in our innovative academic programs, which include advanced study for teachers and school leaders, instructional design and technology, and a renowned PhD in Education program that is among the largest in the country.

School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism - George Mason University

The School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism (SRHT) offers exciting, career-ready majors in dynamic fields such as athletic training, tourism and events management, health and physical education, kinesiology, sport management, and recreation management. SRHT features renowned faculty, cutting-edge research, six laboratories and centers, and a diverse student body of more than 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year. Each major requires one or more internship or clinical experiences, ensuring that students graduate not just with a transcript but with a resume that demonstrates their professional aptitude and skills.

The PhD in Education Leadership concentration focuses on how leadership, policy, and research influence and directly impact education at the local, state, national, and international levels.

The Education Leadership doctorate specialization allows for flexible academic planning and research according to participants' interests, career goals, and learning format. PhD participants have five years to complete all course work and an additional five years to complete the dissertation.

Education Leadership doctorate candidates complete a minimum of 75 credits. PhD students are required to complete three portfolios at different stages in their program. Each student must demonstrate competence in oral and written English, computer literacy mastery of knowledge and skills in the area of professional expertise, and the ability to apply general and specific knowledge and skills to significant educational problems.

Reduction of Credit (9 credits)

Students must have a master's degree before being admitted to the PhD in education. As such, admitted students will receive a reduction of 9 credits bringing the minimum coursework requirement total (including dissertation proposal and research) to 66 credits.

Core Requirements

All students pursuing the PhD in education take the following core courses, and dissertation:

General Culture (3 credits)

  • EDUC 800: Ways of Knowing (3 credit hours) ( OR EFHP860. EFHP 860 is for Kinesiology concentration students only. Other students should select EDUC 800. Course should be taken 1st semester.)

Research Methods (15 credits)

Specialization Required Courses (24 credits)

One of the following:

  • Other course as determined by the doctoral committee

Dissertation Proposal and Research (12 credits)

Research Electives

Choose at least 3 additional credits from the following


Students complete an educational portfolio as part of the requirement of the PhD in Education and Human Development Program. The portfolio is an organized, selective collection of documents designed to facilitate a student's academic and professional development, and to provide a basis for evaluation degree progress. The portfolio represents the scope and depth of a student's goals, plans, and accomplishments in coursework, independent study, research, internships, and other advanced learning activities. The portfolio thus provides both a vehicle for self-reflection and a comprehensive record of a doctoral student's experiences and ongoing progress toward academic and professional goals.

Contact the PhD in Education and Human Development Program for additional information.