This unique, low residency program for a PhD in Education and Leadership is for experienced educators and health professionals who are committed to building a more equitable world through research and leadership.

The PhD in Education and Leadership program is an inter-professional graduate program built on a commitment to radical inclusion and interprofessional education and is structured for the 21st century working professional.

Admissions Information

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With a strong emphasis on evidence-based practice, this program explores themes and issues about the meaning of leadership and learning, and strategies to lead in a time of dynamic global change. The curriculum encourages students to explore the role of technology in forming and supporting leaders, and creating new distributed communities where leaders can gather and learn from each other across temporal and geographic environments.

Low Residency PhD

The PhD in Education and Leadership offers students a technology-based, low residency PhD program — students are only required to be on campus for one week each January to attend a formative applied, evidence-based research symposium, which provides a rich opportunity for students, faculty, and the broader leadership community to collaborate and showcase current research. The program intuitively supports applied research for the dissertation, from each student’s discipline of choice, and draws on the inter-professional expertise of students as well as the faculty and leaders from the community at large. 

The PhDEL program is designed for experienced educators and administrators from institutions of education, healthcare, and these two policy arenas, who are interested in becoming leaders in the field, given the substantial demand in the ever-changing healthcare and education disciplines. The program has a contemporary approach (as outlined in the research conducted by the Council of Graduate Schools in 2010), offering students a collaborative and applied design to research, which has demonstrated success among adult learners.

(Council of Graduate Schools (2010).  PhD Completion and Attrition: Policies and Practices to Promote Student Success – Six Board Institutional and Programmatic Categories, 4th CGS Completion Project).



Is a PhD in Education and Leadership right for you?

The PhDEL program offers:

  • An inter-professional approach to research that fosters respect across professional domains;
  • A learning community that is inclusive, inviting, and collaborative;
  • Individualized faculty mentoring and advising;
  • Student financial support; and
  • Streamlined academic and administrative processes.

The PhDEL program is best suited for:

  • Individuals with master's or doctoral degrees in the fields of education, health sciences, allied health professions, or health professions educators or practitioners who desire to enter the community of scholar professionals and creatively learn the skills to lead change within their field.
  • Learners who have exhibited requisite knowledge and skills within their areas of expertise.
  • Scholar educators who seek to contribute to scientific knowledge and who value lifelong learning, while implementing new theories into daily practice.
  • Scholar professionals and scholar educators who wish to advance in their fields.
  • Scholar practitioners who approach their professions with sensitivity to ethical issues and to developmental, cultural, and individual differences within the workplace.

This scholarship-based program will produce leaders in their respective fields who are academically prepared to make future innovative contributions to the body of knowledge and pedagogy to influence practice. Students will be preparing to publish their dissertation work by meeting the requirements for original scholarship relevant to leadership and education within their professional disciplines.


Andy Saultz

The interim dean of Pacific's College of Education is the co-author of a report advocating for changes to the Education & Secondary Education Act and will be part of a joint briefing on the report on Capitol Hill on September 27.

Graduates sit under the oaks on the Forest Grove Campus during August Commencement 2023.

Students earned bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in audiology, dental hygiene, psychology, health sciences, occupational therapy, physician assistant studies, and education and leadership.

Andy Saultz, PhD, interim dean of the College of Education, has received a $50,000 research grant award from the Spencer Foundation for the project “Innovations in Measuring, Analyzing, and Discussing Race and Racial Inequality in Education Research and Journalism.” Pacific will collaborate with the Northwest Evaluation Association on the project.