This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2022-2023 VCU Bulletin. This edition includes all programs and courses approved by the publication deadline; however we may receive notification of additional program approvals after the launch. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

Program goal

The educational leadership, policy and justice concentration is designed to cultivate educational scholars and leaders who will advance scholarship, policy and practice related to equity and social justice. Drawing on an interdisciplinary study of leadership and policy, the program promotes an understanding of the many societal and organizational impediments to equal educational opportunity. This concentration is directed not only toward identifying and analyzing those injustices, but also toward imagining, researching and creating more equitable, inclusive schools, organizations and societies through leadership and policy. The dissertation is a rigorous culminating tool for research, advocacy and change within educational organizations and endeavors. Graduates will be prepared to lead for equity in K-12 organizations, higher education, research and policy think tanks or local, state and federal policymaking institutions.

Student learning outcomes

Education core outcomes

  1. Knowledge of foundations of educational research and design: Students will demonstrate an appropriate level of knowledge of theoretical and social issues of scholarly inquiry, policy and ethics of educational research and will demonstrate an appropriate level of knowledge and skills essential to designing, conducting and interpreting qualitative and quantitative design research.
  2. Application of leadership, research and/or professional skills: Graduates will engage in and practice leadership, research and/or professional skills in a professional placement in a school, agency or corporate setting (e.g., school, agency, corporation).
  3. Research design and implementation: Graduates will design and conduct original educational research, including developing novel educational research questions, demonstrating proficiency in selecting the most appropriate study designs, demonstrating proficiency in data collection, analysis and synthesis within the identified theoretical/ conceptual framework of study.  
  4. Oral and written communication skills: Students will demonstrate effective oral communication skills, framing questions appropriately and implementing active listening skills, developing effective presentations with respect to content, organization and appropriate use of language. Students will demonstrate proficiency in academic writing, including writing for publications and presentations.

Education leadership, policy and justice concentration-specific outcome

  1. Students will develop an in-depth understanding of issues, scholarship and practice related to leadership, educational policy and justice.
  2. Students will appropriately link theory and existing research as they imagine, design and conduct original and rigorous applied research related to leadership, educational policy and justice.
  3. Students will interrogate and engage in self-reflection about their own positionality to advance scholarship and leadership practices that challenge social injustice, which includes but is not limited to systems of racism, settler colonialism, sexism, heterosexism, cis-sexism, able-ism, racist nativism, etc.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.