Doctor of Philosophy in International Educational Leadership

Offered by the Department of Educational Leadership in collaboration with the Office of International Programs at the University of Montana

The growth of study abroad and international education programs in the past ten years has driven an increase in the demand for professionals with advanced training in international education leadership, theory, and advocacy all over the world. A Master's degree is becoming the required academic level for mid-level and even some entry level positions in the field.  With the aforementioned growth in the field, research, and particularly research through advanced degrees, is imperative to inform the field.

In offering this program, the Department of Educational Leadership endeavors to provide the future leadership of governmental, educational, and nonprofit organizations with necessary tools for developing, implementing, and managing internationalization efforts related with Cross-Cultural Exchange and Training, Global Education, and International Education Development.  The Ph.D. in International Educational Leadership focuses on education both as an instrument of international development and as a means of promoting cross-cultural understanding.

The Ph.D. in International Educational Leadership requires 91 credits to graduate. The primary area for all students in the Ph.D. program is International Educational Leadership.  Thirty credits are required in this area.  New courses have been added to fulfill major requirements.  The supporting area for this degree is Higher Educational Leadership.  This is one of the same supporting areas currently available in the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program.  There are twenty credits required in the supporting area.  Nine credits of foundations in education are also required.

The research core for the Ph.D. in International Educational Leadership consists of five courses, Introduction to Statistics, Advanced Educational Statistics, Educational Research, Qualitative Research, and Quantitative Research.  Once all coursework has been completed, students must pass a comprehensive examination (1 credit) before being raised to doctoral candidacy.  Once raised to candidacy, a dissertation proposal can be defended.  Graduates are required to take a minimum of twelve credits of Dissertation (EDLD699).  The dissertation must be defended prior to the student’s graduation ceremony.  

To graduate with a Ph.D. in International Educational Leadership, students will need to meet a world language requirement.  The world language requirement is met when a student's undergraduate or master’s degree transcript indicates the completion of one world language semester courses (equivalent to a 3-credit semester course at UM). The requirement may be met after admission by earning a passing grade in one three-credit college-level world language course at UM, by earning transferable credits in a foreign language course at another institution, or by demonstrating proficiency. For citizens of non-English speaking countries this requisite can be fulfilled by meeting their English language proficiency admission requirement.

Course Information

EDLD 670: Best Practices in International Programs Leadership
EDLD 672: International Program Development in Higher Education
EDLD 673: Leadership Across Cultures
EDLD 675: Internship in International Education Leadership
EDLD 677: Globalization in Education
EDLD 678: Cultural Proficiency
EDLD 679: Linguistic Diversity
EDLD 680: Politics of International Education
EDLD 681: Comparative International Education
EDLD 682: Cross-Cultural Competence
EDLD 683: International Student Perspective

EDLD 699: Professional Seminar / Dissertation Variable
EDLD 594: Comprehensive Exam

Comprehensive Exams

Near the end of your course requirements, be sure to be in contact with your advisor to schedule your comprehensive exams.

Reach out to your advisor for more details regards the comprehensive exams.

Once you have successfully completed your comprehensive exams, you will establish a dissertation chair, and begin taking dissertation credits for Autumn and Spring semesters.

Dissertation Requirements

The dissertation, which is required for all doctoral students, follows the completion and pass of the comprehensive exams. The student must select a consenting dissertation chair.  Under the direction of the dissertation chair, the dissertation proposal  will be developed.   In consultation with the dissertation chair, the student will form a dissertation committee consisting of a minimum of five members. There are specific Graduate School dissertation requirements.  The student is responsible for following these requirements. The dissertation chair is the primary person to direct the research and the student must work closely with that individual to complete the dissertation process.

Please note: Dissertation credits are worth a variable credit amount. You must be enrolled in a minimum of 3 credits per Autumn and Spring semesters, with a minimum of 12 dissertation credits to graduate at the end of your doctoral program. Please follow UM's instructions on how to register for variable credit hour courses. 

Ph.D. Application Requirements

Please visit the Application Requirements page for more information.

For more information:

Contact the Educational Leadership Department at or 406.243.5586.

If you are currently enrolled in the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership program and are interested in pursuing the Ph.D. in International Educational Leadership, please contact your advisor to review your plan of study.