PSAA and EAHR Collaborative Degrees Program (CDP)

The PSAA and EAHR Collaborative Degrees Program (CDP) is a coordinated educational effort of the Bush School and the College of Education and Human Development. The CDP is designed for those individuals who intend to build an academic career focused on conducting research in the multidisciplinary field of education policy. Specifically, this unique academic program will prepare individuals for careers in research universities and teaching colleges as well as for careers in consultancies or educational agencies of all types (private, non-profit, local, state, federal or international). Students will work alongside a collection of highly-regarded public policy and education faculty with expertise in areas including economics of education, educational law, educational leadership, organization theory, human resource development, organizational effectiveness, organizational development and change, politics of education, school accountability, school finance, social foundations of schooling, and school improvement strategies. As part of this specialized program of study, students will attain knowledge, skills, and abilities to conduct high quality research, present papers at scholarly conferences, and submit research articles for publication. Ultimately, students who successfully complete all program requirements will receive both a Master of Public Service and Administration (MPSA) degree from the Bush School of Government and Public Service and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Administration (PhD) from the Department of Educational Administration and Human Resource Development, in the College of Education and Human Development.

Academic Themes and Curriculum Specifications

The CDP consists of a minimum of 111 credit hours for coursework beyond those earned for a Bachelor’s degree. The following coursework requirements are for students entering the collaborative program in the fall semester of 2017 or thereafter.

I. Public Policy Foundational Core (24 credits)

Core courses within the MPSA Degree from the Bush School of Government and Public Service will serve as the curricular foundation of the CDP. Concomitantly, these courses will provide students with knowledge, skills, and analytical tools needed to perform effectively and ethically in a time when public servants consistently face new challenges. In addition, students will have ample opportunities to develop leadership skills and engage in public service activities both inside and outside the classroom through interactions with high-level public leaders, real-world consulting projects, student organizations, and the Bush School's Public Service Leadership Program. The following eight (8) courses are designed to aid the development of principled leaders who will practice their organizational improvement skills in the public and nonprofit sectors.

PSAA 601: Foundations in Public Service
PSAA 611: Public Policy Formation
PSAA 621: Economic Analysis
PSAA 643: Foundations of the Nonprofit Sector
BUSH 631: Quantitative Methods in Public Mgmt I
BUSH 635: Quantitative Methods in Public Mgmt II
BUSH Track Courses I and II: either

  • PSAA 622 - Public Finance and PSAA 615 - Policy Analysis, or
  • PSAA 634 - Public Management and PSAA 623- Public Budgeting, or
  • PSAA 644 - Nonprofit Management and PSAA 632 - Fiscal Management of Nonprofits

II. Educational Administration Foundational Core (15 credits)

The courses in the educational administration foundational core are designed to provide students with a knowledge of the basic foundations of education in the United States. The core consists of:

EDAD 639: Foundations of Educational Administration
EDAD 651: Education Finance and Economics
EDAD 652: Politics of Education
EDAD 653: Organizational Theory in Educational Leadership
EDAD 687: Proseminar: Culturally Responsive Leadership

Prior to completion of ELPA foundational core, each student is expected to select a doctoral advisor from the educational administration faculty. This faculty member will agree to support student academic research interests, preliminary exam preparation, and development of a research strategy for completing dissertation research.

III. Public Policy Elective Courses and Capstone Research (15 credits)

Three Bush School elective courses (nine credits), chosen with the consent of the student’s academic advisor, will enhance each student’s experience. During their second year, students also will participate in two semesters (six credits) of capstone research courses. These courses allow students to tackle a problem or project in the real world, often working in conjunction with a government agency or nonprofit organization. Designed to test the knowledge and abilities students have developed through their previous classes and experiences, capstones necessitate strong teamwork, careful research, writing ability, and often a large amount of ingenuity in identifying ways to approach an issue or find a solution.

IV. Educational Administration Elective Courses (12 credits)

The multidisciplinary nature of concepts and strategies utilized in educational administration studies, and the potentially broad range of student research interests, imply a need for flexibility in student programs of studies. The Ph.D. program in educational administration, therefore, enables students to tailor their electives in consultation with their dissertation advisor. As such, twelve (12) credits of elective courses are to be taken from available “non-core” course offerings in the Educational Administration & Human Resource Development (EAHR) Department.

IV. Educational Administration Research Methods Core (Minimum 21 credits)

Students are required to develop familiarity with epistemological and analytical underpinnings of qualitative and quantitative research approaches and applications. As a result, students will take twenty-one (21) credits of research courses beyond BUSH 631 and BUSH 635 to acquire both a broad understanding of inquiry required for educational administration studies and a set of specific skills relevant for academic and policy research. Specifically, students are required to take one (1) doctoral level course in epistemology (i.e., examining the nature of knowledge including its presuppositions, foundations, contextual validity, and limitations). In addition, students also must take a minimum of two (2) doctoral level courses in qualitative methods and three (3) additional research methods courses. With advisor approval, students in the collaborative degrees program are allowed to take research methods courses outside of both departments that are appropriate to their academic interests from throughout University departments.

V. Doctoral Cognate (Minimum 12 credits)

The doctoral cognate allows students to acquire mastery knowledge from additional disciplines that supplement their doctoral studies. The cognate must consist of a coherent combination of twelve (12) credits from a field or fields outside the Bush School and the EAHR Department.

VII. Dissertation Research Hours (Minimum 12 credits)

A dissertation is an extended and detailed piece of original research containing a rigorous examination of existing research literature and research methodologies. It is a structured piece of writing – in either the traditional or three article format – that develops a clear, concise, and logical argument that somehow improves or extends existing research. Prior to the oral defense, the completed dissertation is read and evaluated by the dissertation advisor and members of the student’s committee. Also, as part of each student’s professional development, students are encouraged to pursue academic opportunities to teach courses, take seminars on external funding, and participate on research projects.

Suggested Course Sequence

Bush School and EDAD Collaborative Degrees Program, Suggested Course Sequence
Fall Semester Spring Semester Summer Semester
Year 1 PSAA 601
PSAA 621
BUSH 631
PSAA 643
PSAA 611
BUSH 635
BUSH Track Course 1
BUSH Elective I
Professional Internship
Year 2 Capstone I
BUSH Track Course 2
BUSH Elective 2
EDAD 639
Capstone II
BUSH Elective 3
EDAD 652
Methods Core 1
EDAD Elective 1
Year 3 EDAD 651
EDAD 653
Methods Core 2
Cognate Course 1
EDAD Elective 2
Methods Core 3
Cognate Course 2
Year 4 Methods Core 4
Methods Core 5
EDAD Elective 3
Cognate Course 3
Methods Core 6
Methods Core 7
EDAD Elective 4
Cognate Course 4
Dissertation Proposal Development
Year 5 Dissertation Dissertation

VIII. Preliminary Examinations for Educational Administration doctoral students

Each doctoral student must successfully complete a written and oral preliminary exam prior to admission to candidacy for the doctoral degree. The student must have a current GPA of at least 3.0 when scheduling this exam. Doctoral students may take the exam when they are within six hours of completing the required coursework. Both the oral and written portions of the exam must be taken within a three-week period. Preliminary exams can only be scheduled during fall and spring semesters – they cannot be scheduled during the summer.

IX. Admissions Criteria

In order to participate in the CDP, applicants must be admitted to both the MPSA program and subsequently, to the PhD program in Educational Administration in the Department of Educational Administration and Human Resource Development. Bush School students in the MPSA program may apply to the EDAD PhD degree program in the spring of their first year. Students will be notified if they are accepted in the summer between their first and second years in the MPSA program, but will defer enrollment in the EDAD PhD degree program. CDP students who have completed the Public Policy Foundational Core and the Public Policy Elective Courses and Capstone Research requirements (a total of 39 hours) and who have demonstrated the ability to complete doctoral level work by completing a total of 9 hours in either the Educational Administration Foundational Core or the Educational Administration Research Methods Core, will be granted their MPSA degree prior to enrollment in the Ph.D. program. CDP students will enter the EDAD’s Ph.D. program in the summer of their second year, after they complete the degree requirements for the MPSA program.

The CDP is designed to accommodate a relatively small number of students who intend to build an academic career focused on conducting research in the multidisciplinary field of education. Attempts will be made to limit net admissions to no more than 10 students per year.