Educational Leadership and Policy

Program Overview

The Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) offers the Educational Leadership and Policy graduate program, representing the application of cognate scholarship to domains of practice. This program leads to the Master of Arts (MA), Master of Education (MEd), Doctor of Education (EdD), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees.

MA program: fosters the study of problems in the administration and leadership of educational programs. It will best serve students who have a commitment to scholarship and research as a means of deepening their understanding of administrative action in schools or in other educational and service institutions. While experience in teaching and administration is not an essential prerequisite for admission, such experience provides a desirable background. The MA is available through both full-time and part-time studies.

MEd program: designed primarily for students who are interested in learning the nature and practice of leadership and policy, especially with respect to social diversity and change. The MEd degree may be pursued either full-time or part-time.

EdD program: intended to develop highly competent leaders for administrative positions in school systems, colleges, universities, and other educational institutions. The program is specifically designed to help working professional educators develop the intellectual and research skills to refine their practice as leaders in school systems and in higher education.

PhD program: fosters the study of problems in the administration and leadership of educational programs. It best serves students who are committed to scholarship and research as a means for deepening their understanding of administrative action in schools or in other educational and service institutions. While experience in teaching and administration is not an essential prerequisite for admission, such experience provides a desirable background. Both full-time and flexible-time PhD options are offered. To be admitted to the flexible-time option, applicants should be active professionals who demonstrate connections between their professional work and their proposed course program, and/or between their professional work and their proposed research.


Quick Facts

Domestic International
Application payment deadline EdD, MA, MEd, PhD:

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EdD, MA, MEd, PhD:

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Supporting documents deadline EdD, MA, MEd, PhD:

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EdD, MA, MEd, PhD:

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Minimum admission average MA:

B+ in final year of bachelor’s

EdD:

B+ average in Master’s

MEd:

Mid-B in final year of bachelor’s

PhD:

A-minus average in Master’s

MA:

B+ in final year of bachelor’s

EdD:

B+ average in Master’s

MEd:

Mid-B in final year of bachelor’s

PhD:

A-minus average in Master’s

Direct entry option from bachelor's to PhD? PhD:

No

PhD:

No

Is a supervisor identified before or after admission? EdD, MA, PhD:

After

EdD, MA, PhD:

After

If a supervisor is identified after admission (as per question above), is admission conditional upon securing a supervisor? EdD, MA, PhD:

No

EdD, MA, PhD:

No

Is a supervisor assigned by the graduate unit or secured by the applicant? EdD, MA, PhD:

Graduate unit

EdD, MA, PhD:

Graduate unit

Program length (full-time only) EdD:

4 years

MA:

6 sessions

MEd:

4 to 6 sessions (two options)

PhD:

4 years

EdD:

4 years

MA:

6 sessions

MEd:

4 to 6 sessions (two options)

PhD:

4 years


​Master of Arts​

Program Description

The MA program in Educational Leadership and Policy fosters the study of problems in leadership and policy with respect to educational programs, with an emphasis on elementary and secondary schools. It will best serve students who have a commitment to scholarship and research as a means of deepening their understanding of leadership action in schools or in other educational and service institutions.

The MA is available through both full-time and part-time studies. While experience in teaching and administration is not an essential prerequisite for admission, such experience provides a desirable background. The department welcomes applicants with diverse but relevant backgrounds.

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education’s additional admission requirements stated below.

  • An appropriate bachelor’s degree from a recognized university in a relevant discipline or professional program, with a grade equivalent to a University of Toronto B+ or better in the final year.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete 4.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • LHA 1003H Designing Master's Research Proposals (0.5 FCE).

    • LHA 1004H Research Literacy in Educational Leadership and Policy (RM) (0.5 FCE).

    • LHA 1040H Introduction to Educational Leadership and Policy: Policy, Leadership, Change, and Diversity (0.5 FCE).

    • At least 2.0 FCEs must be in Educational Leadership and Policy, normally at the 1000 level or 5000 Special Topics level. Additional courses may be required of some students.

  • Thesis, to be developed under the guidance of a faculty member.

Program Length

6 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S/F/W/S);
10 sessions part-time

Time Limit

3 years full-time;
6 years part-time

Master of Education​

Program Description

The MEd program in Educational Leadership and Policy is designed primarily for students who are interested in learning the nature and practice of leadership and policy, especially with respect to social diversity and change in elementary and secondary schools. The MEd degree can be pursued on a part-time or full-time basis. While experience in teaching and administration is not an essential prerequisite for admission, such experience provides a desirable background. The department welcomes applicants with diverse but relevant backgrounds.

There are two MEd options available:

  1. Coursework Only Option and

  2. Coursework Plus Major Research Paper Option.

Students initially apply to and register in the Coursework Only Option. For registration in the Coursework Plus Major Research Paper Option, department permission is required.

The Coursework Only Option is available in two delivery models:

  1. Regular MEd stream: students are accepted every year and can register on a full-time or part-time basis.

  2. Online/Hybrid (part-time) Cohort-based stream: available in select years. Students move through the program as a cohort and register part-time. Applicants who are interested in the Online/Hybrid Cohort must specify their interest in this cohort in their Statement of Intent. However, due to limited space, admission to the MEd degree program does not guarantee membership in this cohort.

 

MEd Program (Coursework Only Option [Regular Delivery])

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education’s additional admission requirements stated below.

  • An appropriate bachelor’s degree from a recognized university in a relevant discipline with a grade equivalent to a University of Toronto mid-B or better in the final year.

  • Two letters of reference. Whenever possible, one should be written by an educational professional for whom the applicant has worked. The second should be by a referee who can attest to the applicant's academic ability.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete 5.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • LHA 1004H Research Literacy in Educational ​Leadership and Policy (0.5 FCE), to be taken at the beginning of the program.

    • LHA 1040H Introduction to Educational Leadership and Policy: Policy, Leadership, Change, and Diversity (0.5 FCE), to be taken at the beginning of the program.

    • 4.0 other FCEs, of which at least 2.0 FCEs must be from the Educational Leadership and Policy program. Students may choose to focus on one of the four research areas: Policy, Leadership, Change, or Social Diversity.

​​Program Length

4 ​sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S/F);
10 sessions part-time

Time Limit

3 years full-time;
6 years part-time

 

MEd Program (Coursework Only Option [Online/Hybrid Delivery, Part-Time Only])

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education’s additional admission requirements stated below.

  • An appropriate bachelor’s degree from a recognized university in a relevant discipline with a grade equivalent to a University of Toronto mid-B or better in the final year.

  • Two letters of reference. Whenever possible, one should be written by an educational professional for whom the applicant has worked. The second should be by a referee who can attest to the applicant's academic ability.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete 5.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • LHA 1004H Research Literacy in Educational Leadership and Policy (0.5 FCE), to be taken at the beginning of the program.

    • LHA 1040H Introduction to Educational Leadership and Policy: Policy, Leadership, Change, and Diversity (0.5 FCE), to be taken at the beginning of the program.

    • 4.0 other FCEs, of which at least 2.0 FCEs must be from the Educational Leadership and Policy program. Students may choose to focus on one of the four research areas: Policy, Leadership, Change, or Social Diversity.

Program Length

10 sessions part-time

Time Limit

6 years part-time

 

MEd Program (Coursework Plus Major Research Paper Option)

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education’s additional admission requirements stated below.

  • An appropriate bachelor’s degree from a recognized university in a relevant discipline with a grade equivalent to a University of Toronto mid-B or better in the final year.

  • Two letters of reference. Whenever possible, one should be written by an educational professional for whom the applicant has worked. The second should be by a referee who can attest to the applicant's academic ability.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete 4.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • LHA 1003H Designing Master's Research Proposals (0.5 FCE). Part-time students are recommended to take this course towards the end of their program; full-time students are recommended to take it in Year 1.

    • LHA 1040H Introduction to Educational Leadership and Policy: Policy, Leadership, Change, and Diversity (0.5 FCE), to be taken at the beginning of the program.

    • 3.0 other FCEs, of which at least 1.5 FCEs must be from the Educational Leadership and Policy program. Students may choose to focus on one of the four program strands: Policy, Leadership, Change, or Social Diversity. LHA 1004H Research Literacy in Educational ​Leadership and Policy (RM) is strongly recommended.

  • Major Research Paper (MRP): LHA 2001Y0 Major Research Paper to be carried out under the guidance of a faculty member.

Program Length

​5 ses​sions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S/F/W);
10 sessions part-time

Time Limit

3 years full-time;
6 years part-time

Doctor of Education​

Program Description

The EdD program in Educational Leadership and Policy is intended to shape highly competent leadership positions in school systems and other educational institutions. The program is specifically designed for working professional educators who want to develop the intellectual and research skills that will help them refine their practice as leaders in educational systems.

The EdD program is offered full-time in a cohort format. The department welcomes applicants with diverse but relevant backgrounds.

Students cannot transfer between the EdD and PhD programs.

 

EdD Program

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Master's degree in the area of Educational Leadership and Policy or an equivalent degree with high academic standing from a recognized university.

  • In addition to the Statement of Intent, a supplementary writing sample is required, which will help the admissions committee to assess an applicant's readiness to succeed in rigorous coursework and to conduct systematic research for the EdD. Applicants typically submit a master's-level Major Research Paper or thesis as their writing sample. Applicants who do not have a Major Research Paper or thesis must provide a writing sample that showcases their ability to write clearly and analytically about educational issues. Examples include a master’s-level course paper, a policy document, and a professional publication.

  • The applicant must be in a leadership position in education, or must have held a leadership position, or must demonstrate potential for leadership.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete 4.0 core full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • LHA 3003H Designing Research Proposals in Educational Leadership and Policy (Credit/No Credit; 0.5 FCE).

    • LHA 3004H Research and Literacy for the EdD Program (0.5 FCE).

    • LHA 3005H Introduction to Research Methods for the EdD-RM (0.5 FCE).

    • LHA 3006H Data Analysis for the Education Doctorate-RM (0.5 FCE) or another research methods course.

    • LHA 3007H Literature Reviews for the EdD Program (0.5 FCE).

    • LHA 3040H People and Power in Organizations (0.5 FCE).

    • LHA 3041H Doctoral Seminar on Policy Issues in Education (0.5 FCE).

    • Additional 0.5 FCE at the 3000 level or 6000 Special Topics level.

  • Comprehensive examination. Successful oral defence of a written portfolio that emphasizes reflective practice.

  • Thesis (dissertation in practice) proposal hearing.

  • Thesis (dissertation in practice): The thesis (dissertation in practice) is the culminating component of the Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership and Policy that shall include an identification and investigation of a problem of practice, the application of theory and research to the problem of practice, and a design for action to address the problem of practice. Specifically, the thesis (dissertation in practice) consists of original research in the form of a written proposal or plan for innovative and impactful educational policy, guideline, advocacy, development project, or activism within or beyond a traditional educational setting, aimed at improving practice at local, regional, national, or international levels.

  • Students cannot transfer between the EdD and PhD programs.

  • Students are full-time and must maintain continuous registration full-time and pay full-time fees until all degree requirements, including the thesis (dissertation in practice), are completed.

Program Length

4 years

Time Limit

6 years

 

Field: International Educational Leadership and Policy

The field in International Education Leadership and Policy within the Educational Leadership and Policy EdD program offers a robust, world-class program of study structured for professionals working within international settings in positions of leadership and policymaking who want to create impact in their field and mobilize new solutions to real-world problems.

The EdD program is offered full-time in a cohort format and will be delivered in a hybrid modality with short on-campus Institutes. The majority of courses will be offered online. The department welcomes applicants with diverse but relevant backgrounds.

Students cannot transfer between the EdD and PhD programs.

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Master's degree in the area of Educational Leadership and Policy or an equivalent degree with high academic standing from a recognized university.

  • In addition to the Statement of Intent, in which applicants will demonstrate experience and interest in studying international issues in education policy and leadership, a supplementary writing sample is required, which will help the admissions committee to assess an applicant's readiness to succeed in rigorous coursework and to conduct systematic research for the EdD. Applicants typically submit a master's-level Major Research Paper or thesis as their writing sample. Applicants who do not have a Major Research Paper or thesis must provide a writing sample that showcases their ability to write clearly and analytically about educational issues. Examples include a master’s-level course paper, a policy document, and a professional publication.

  • The applicant must be in a leadership position in education in an international setting, or must have held a leadership position, or must demonstrate the relevance of the program to their position or professional development in international education policy.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete 4.0 core full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • LHA 3003H Designing Research Proposals in Educational Leadership and Policy (0.5 FCE; Credit/No Credit)

    • LHA 3005H Introduction to Research Methods for the EdD-RM (0.5 FCE)

    • LHA 3006H Data Analysis for the Education Doctorate-RM (0.5 FCE)

    • LHA 3007H Literature Reviews for the EdD Program (0.5 FCE)

    • LHA 3040H People and Power in Organizations (0.5 FCE)

    • LHA 3041H Doctoral Seminar on Policy Issues in Education (0.5 FCE)

    • 0.5 elective FCE chosen from 1000, 3000, or 6000-level courses as available online or

      • individual reading course (LHA 3052H) or

      • practicum course (CIE 1002H) (0.5 FCE)

    • LHA 3008H Professional Seminar and Dissertation Workshop in International Educational Leadership and Policy (0.5 FCE)

    • Courses will be offered in specialized sections for the International Educational Leadership and Policy field cohort with course syllabi adapted to reflect the international educational policy focus.

    • Attendance in an on-campus Institute will be required to allow face-to-face delivery of one course in each of Years 1, 2, and 3. The Institute will foster cohort engagement and exchange; orientation to the OISE professors, the University of Toronto, and the program.

    • All other courses will be offered online using synchronous and asynchronous modalities.

  • Comprehensive examination. Successful oral defence of a portfolio that emphasizes reflective practice will be held using video-conferencing.

  • Thesis (dissertation in practice) proposal hearing.

  • Thesis (dissertation in practice): The thesis (dissertation in practice) is the culminating component of the Doctor of Education degree in International Educational Leadership and Policy that shall include an identification and investigation of a problem of practice, the application of theory and research to the problem of practice, and a design for action to address the problem of practice. Specifically, the thesis (dissertation in practice) consists of original research in the form of a written proposal or plan for innovative and impactful educational policy, guideline, advocacy, development project, or activism within or beyond a traditional educational setting, aimed at improving practice at local, regional, national, or international levels.

  • Students are full-time and must maintain continuous registration full-time and pay full-time fees until all degree requirements, including the thesis (dissertation in practice), are completed.

Program Length

4 years

Time Limit

6 years

Doctor of Philosophy

The PhD program in Educational Leadership and Policy fosters the study of problems in the administration and leadership of educational programs. It best serves students who are committed to scholarship and research as a means for deepening their understanding of leadership in schools or in other educational and service institutions.

The program offers both full-time and flexible-time options. While experience in teaching and leadership is not an essential prerequisite for admission, such experience provides a desirable background. The department welcomes applicants with diverse but relevant backgrounds.

 

PhD Program

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • An appropriate master's degree, from a recognized university in a relevant discipline or professional program, with a minimum standing equivalent to a University of Toronto A–.

  • In addition to the Statement of Intent, a supplementary writing sample is required, which will help the admissions committee to assess an applicant's readiness to succeed in rigorous coursework and to conduct systematic research for the PhD. Applicants typically submit a master's-level Major Research Paper or thesis as their writing sample. Applicants who do not have a Major Research Paper or thesis must provide a writing sample that showcases their ability to write clearly and analytically about educational issues. The admissions committee will look for evidence that applicants understand how to, or have the potential to, craft an academic document, display an ability to define a research problem, devise an appropriate focus for an inquiry, assemble and analyze evidence, and develop conclusions in a rigorous manner. Examples include a master’s-level course paper, a policy document, and a professional publication.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete a minimum of 3.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • LHA 3040H People and Power in Organizations (0.5 FCE).

    • 1.0 FCE in research methods, to be chosen in consultation with the faculty advisor (excluding LHA 1003H and LHA 1004H, which may not be counted towards this requirement). Students who have already attained an acceptable level of competence in research methodology may be authorized to choose a course in a different area of study.

    • At least 0.5 FCE at the 3000 level or the 6000 Special Topics level from the Educational Leadership and Policy program.

  • Comprehensive examination. Successful oral defence of a written portfolio that emphasizes reflective practice.

  • Thesis proposal hearing.

  • Thesis.

  • Students must register continuously and pay the full-time fee until all degree requirements have been fulfilled.

  • Students cannot transfer between the full-time and flexible-time PhD options.

  • Students cannot transfer between the EdD and PhD programs.

Program Length

4 years

Time Limit

6 years

 

PhD Program (Flexible-Time)

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • An appropriate master's degree, from a recognized university in a relevant discipline or professional program, with a minimum standing equivalent to a University of Toronto A–.

  • In addition to the Statement of Intent, a supplementary writing sample is required, which will help the admissions committee to assess an applicant's readiness to succeed in rigorous coursework and to conduct systematic research for the PhD. Applicants typically submit a master's-level Major Research Paper or thesis as their writing sample. Applicants who do not have a Major Research Paper or thesis must provide a writing sample that showcases their ability to write clearly and analytically about educational issues. The admissions committee will look for evidence that applicants understand how to, or have the potential to, craft an academic document, display an ability to define a research problem, devise an appropriate focus for an inquiry, assemble and analyze evidence, and develop conclusions in a rigorous manner. Examples include a master’s-level course paper, a policy document, and a professional publication.

  • Applicants should be active professionals who demonstrate connections between their professional work and their proposed course program, and/or between their professional work and their proposed research. Capacity to secure blocks of time to enable concentrated study is required.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete a minimum of 3.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • LHA 3040H People and Power in Organizations (0.5 FCE).

    • 1.0 FCE in research methods, to be chosen in consultation with the faculty advisor (excluding LHA 1003H and LHA 1004H, which may not be counted towards this requirement). Students who have already attained an acceptable level of competence in research methodology may be authorized to choose a course in a different area of study.

    • At least 0.5 FCE at the 3000 level or the 6000 Special Topics level from the Educational Leadership and Policy program.

  • Comprehensive examination. Successful oral defence of a written portfolio that emphasizes reflective practice.

  • Thesis proposal hearing.

  • Thesis.

  • Students must register continuously until all degree requirements have been fulfilled. They register full-time during the first four years and may continue as part-time thereafter, with their department's approval.

  • Students cannot transfer between the full-time and flexible-time PhD options.

  • Students cannot transfer between the EdD and PhD programs.

Program Length

6 years

Time Limit

6 years