Educational Leadership and Policy

Leadership in Education

The Department of Educational Leadership and Policy (ELP) is consistently nationally recognized for providing graduate programs of distinction to scholars and practitioners interested in becoming leaders in higher education, PK-12 public schools, and the P-16 policy arena.

We train a diverse body of change-makers who go on to serve as superintendents, principals, policymakers, professors, deans, researchers, and administrators. Students in our program study educational trends and learn the skills necessary to positively influence educational opportunities for diverse communities and learners with a vision for social justice.

Our department can be categorized into two programs which offer master’s and doctoral degree concentrations in specific fields:

Program in Higher Education Leadership (PHEL)

Prepares future leaders in college and universities - scholars, administrators, researchers, and teachers -  who can pass on knowledge of the past and equip students with the ability to work with an ever-changing higher education environment.

Public School Executive Leadership (PSEL)

This program is committed to leadership that facilitates the development of public schools. Our graduates strive to create conditions that produce high academic performance for children of diverse backgrounds from pre-k to 12th grade.

Professor Patricia Somers listens to a graduate student.

Our Graduate Programs

Our master's and doctoral graduate programs prepare students as administrators, thought leaders, and policy influencers in public school and higher education settings. Learn valuable skills in educational leadership through hands-on research and engaging coursework.

Students collaborate in a classroom.

Research Centers

Our faculty work alongside students to examine the policies and leadership practices that inspire educators and learners of all backgrounds. Our research informs and influences educational decisions on the P-16 continuum made on the local, state and national levels.


Photo of Victor Saenz

Chair's Message

I am deeply honored to begin my term as Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Texas at Austin.

portrait of suanne davis rouech

ELP Mourns the Loss of Suanne Davis Roueche

Suanne Davis Roueche served as director of the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) for 15 years. We recognize and appreciate the tremendous impact she had on the development of our department.

Portrait of Michael C. Barnes

Student Spotlight: Michael Barnes

Michael Barnes is so passionate about educational inequality, he wrote his dissertation about it, focusing specifically on its evolution in a South Texas school district.


Date Details
February 12 The Gordon Lippitt Centennial Lectureship - Insights into the Federal Education Policy Landscape in 2018 and Beyond - SZB 324, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
February 22 Distinguished Lecture bu Aurora Chang - The Struggles of Identity, Agency, & Education in the Lives of Undocumented Students: The Burden of Hyperdocumentation - SAC Auditorium, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
February 22 - 24 PHEL Admitted Students Weekend