Instructional Management & Leadership: Robert Morris University Instructional Management & Leadership | Robert Morris University


The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Instructional Management and Leadership degree program is designed to meet the needs and interests of working professionals such as teachers, administrators, college faculty, and corporate training professionals who wish to become better managers and leaders of the instructional process and/or seek to pursue teaching positions in higher education.

Highlights of this three-year program include:

  • Eighteen credits of coursework with a dual focus in instructional management and leadership
  • Twelve credits of research courses to prepare you for the dissertation, the culminating project of the program
  • A time plan to meet the needs of working professionals

The program has a strong base in educational research while providing practical applications to issues and problems. A strong emphasis is placed on how educational leaders direct and manage research in order to bring resolve to important matters that affect students, teachers and the community.

A major strength of the program is the developmental progression of research courses, which provides the skills needed to complete the course work and dissertation in just three years.

Upon graduating from the program, you will be able to:

  • Understand the complex interrelationships among the diverse stakeholders in the instructional process.
  • Serve as a competent instructional manager and leader in the educational environment.
  • Demonstrate mastery of the research skills of a teacher/scholar through professional presentations, scholarly writing and successful completion of a dissertation.
  • Improve student achievement.
  • Foster the effective use of technology.

The application deadline for 2015 has passed. To be considered for acceptance for Summer 2016, please be advised all credentials must be submitted by the close of business (5 p.m.) on January 21, 2016.

  1. The completed application and a non-refundable $50 application fee. International students also are required to complete a statement of financial support. Please refer to citizenship status on the application form for other required admissions materials.
  2. Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work from an accredited college or university, a recognized international program or the equivalent.  Applicants must have an overall undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 and an overall graduate GPA of at least 3.25.
  3. Three letters of recommendation submitted from professionals providing academic and/or work experience.
  4. Current resume or vitae.
  5. An essay (maximum five pages) on your career aspirations and reasons why you are applying for application into the Ph.D. in Instructional Management and Leadership program.
  6. A writing sample demonstrating writing proficiency. Writing samples for the 2015 cohort will be scheduled in February 2015 (date and time TBA).
  7. A pre-screening interview with the doctoral program director upon receipt of your application, resume and essay which will be scheduled by the doctoral program co-ordinator.
  8. A personal interview with the doctoral admissions committee is also required. Committee interviews will be held on March 4 and 5, 2015.
  9.  All international students will need to meet the following:  IELTS  7.0 and TOEFL 80.  Please refer to your Enrollment Manager for international admission credentials.

The three-year program has a unique format. Each year, students are admitted to the program in the summer semester and move through the program together as a cohort. Students attend classes one evening per week during the fall and spring semesters and attend 2 evenings per week each summer. Each course is enhanced with online instruction. The leadership practicum courses and the dissertation credit courses are offered via a seminar format.

Year 1 
Summer (6 credits) 
Critical Readings in Educational Research (3) 
Applying Instructional Technology (3) 

Fall (6 credits) 
Qualitative Research (3)
Instructional Leadership in Curriculum Planning (3) 

Spring (6 credits) 
Quantitative Research (3) 
Statistics I (3) 

Year 2 
Summer (3 credits) 
Teaching in Higher Education/Technology, Leadership, Curriculum (3)*
Introduction to the Dissertation (3)

Fall (7 credits) 
Dissertation Seminar I (1) 
Program Evaluation (3)*
Law and Ethics in Education (3)

Spring (7 credits) 
Dissertation Seminar II (1) 
Leadership Theory (3)
Leadership Practice (3)

Year 3 
Summer (8 credits) 
Dissertation Seminar III (2) 
International Perspectives (3)*
Managing the Instructional Environment (3)

Fall (8 credits) 
Dissertation Seminar IV (2) 
Writing for Publication (3) 
Managing Finances and Budgets (3)

Spring (6 credits) 
Dissertation Seminar V (6)

*Online/on-ground format; **Totally online

The Ph.D. in Instructional Management and Leadership program focuses on two skills critical to educators today - management and leadership. Often, educators are forced to choose between the two, yet both must work interdependently to accomplish the goals of the educational institution.

As Stephen Covey (1992) suggests, "You manage things, but you lead people." This program provides learning opportunities for teachers to better manage resources in the classroom or their respective disciplines while learning better, more effective ways to manage students. For administrators, the program offers problem-solving strategies in the areas of curriculum, technology and supervision that relate to management, and it offers creative applications of leadership in working with faculty and parents in the educational setting.

Finally, with its emphasis on both instructional management and leadership, the program provides a diverse yet highly specialized background in education, which may help teachers or administrators find positions in higher education.

Research is a comprehensive, integrated component of the program. Each semester includes a research course designed to build upon and support previous work while exploring new concepts that will lead to the completed dissertation.

You'll enroll in dissertation seminar classes upon completion of an initial sequence of four research courses. The dissertation seminars guide you through the formulation of a problem to defending the dissertation proposal by allowing you to apply the skills mastered in previous research courses.

A major strength of the program is the developmental progression of research courses, which provides the skills needed to complete the coursework and dissertation in just three years.

The School of Education and Social Sciences faculty is comprised of caring individuals who accept the responsibility for educating the "whole" student at RMU. Consequently, our faculty members are specialists in their areas of expertise who effectively implement sound instructional practices when teaching and just as importantly, they engage students in a variety of purposeful enrichment activities outside the classroom setting. As all faculty possess related work experience as practitioners in the field, such as principals, superintendents, teachers, researchers, authors, psychologists, counselors, etc., students learn from them first-hand what it takes to succeed.

Through learning opportunities that are continually improved and updated, we provide enhanced opportunities to clear the way for our students’ success. In addition, our academic departments and programs have close ties with professional communities, providing valuable connections for our students.

Our programs support the intellectual, social, and personal development of students. They also prepare individuals through the integration of technology, effective communication skills, and the application of theory into practice. This is completed through the integration of internships and practicums, which provide real-world experiences for all majors. Overall, students will experience a dynamic combination of in-class and exciting engagement opportunities that fully prepare them for the many challenges that social science working professionals manage on a daily basis.



In an effort to help students meet their education expenses, Robert Morris University offers the following tuition payment options. On the posted due date, payments are accepted until 5 p.m. in the Student Support Center. Payments may be made via ePay after the deadline.

Payment Options

Payment Methods

Robert Morris University accepts tuition payments by cash, check, money order or credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover). Tuition payments may be made to the Office of Student Financial Services by mail, phone (412-397-6260), or online via the RMU website at Students should log in to Sentry Secured Services and go to Financial Status in eServices to use the ePay - PayNow option. ePay is available 24 hours a day to process credit card or check payments.




Contact Us

For more information on any of our graduate programs, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at 1-800-762-0097 or email