Instructional Management and Leadership Ph.D.

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Program Credits

RMU announces an online Ph.D. program for Instructional Management and Leadership. The next cohort begins July 2025.

  • Convenient: Complete your doctorate in 3 years online
  • Flexible: Synchronous and asynchronous format allows for life-work balance
  • Excellence: Become a leader in your field
  • Relationship Building: Network with colleagues and leaders in your field
  • Innovate: Generate new ways of leading with faculty mentors
  • Unstoppable: Make a difference and create meaningful change

For more information contact Dr. Richard Fuller ( | 412-397-6029).

The Ph.D. in Instructional Management and Leadership is a three-year program designed to meet the needs of teachers, health professionals, military personnel, administrators, and corporate training professionals who wish to become better managers and leaders of the work place setting or who seek to pursue collegiate or other high-level teaching and administrative positions.

For administrators and supervisors, the program offers problem-solving strategies in the areas of curriculum, technology, and supervision that relate to management. It also provides a diverse yet highly specialized background in leadership, which can help professional candidates find positions in higher education and in a corporate setting.

The program is run on a cohort model that builds professional and personal networks between students. Each summer for online doctoral students includes a one-week residency when students meet with faculty and engage in the dissertation process. Doctoral candidates learn to manage and lead in an education and workplace environment, understand the complex interrelationships in the instructional and leadership processes, and master research skills through professional presentations and scholarly writing that concludes with a dissertation.

Without the knowledge that I have gained from the IML program and courses, I don't believe I would have been intellectually prepared or qualified for my new position. The interview process was intense, and I found myself pulling from not only my professional experience, but my educational experience and what I have learned in the program. I thank all of the faculty that I have had the opportunity to learn from over the past years for fostering my intellectual growth.

Monique Davis

Senior Implementation Specialist, Criminal Justice Program

University of Pittsburgh

View Handbook

Contact Information

Dr. Richard Fuller   

Director, Instructional Management and Leadership Ph.D.

412-397-6029 phone

Alex Harmon 

Doctoral Program Coordinator

School of Health Professions

412-397-6807 phone

Course Plan

Year 1, Summer

  • EDML8140 Critical Readings in Educational Research (3)
  • EDML8110 Applying Instructional Technology (3)
  • Team Building and Research Investigations –Special meeting to be called 

Year 1, Fall

  • EDML8170 Instructional Leadership in Curriculum Planning (3)
  • EDML8230 Qualitative Research 1 (3)

Year 1, Spring

  • EDML8240 Quantitative Research 2 (3)
  • EDML8250 Statistics (3)

Year 2, Summer

  • EDML9180 Intro. To Dissertation (3)/Dissertation Advisor
  • EDML8180 Program Evaluation (3)

Year 2, Fall

  • EDML9130  Dissertation Seminar I (1)
  • EDML8280 Teaching in Higher Educ/Tech, Curr., Ldrship (3)
  • EDML8190 Law and Ethics in Education (3)

Year 2, Spring

  • EDML9140 Dissertation Seminar II (1)
  • EDML8120 Leadership Theory (3)
  • EDML8150 Leadership Practice (3)

Year 3, Summer

  • EDML9150 Dissertation Seminar III (2)
  • EDML8130 International Perspectives (3)
  • EDML8220 Managing the Diverse Instructional Environment (3)

Year 3, Fall

  • EDML9160 Dissertation Seminar IV (2)
  • EDML8270 Writing for Publication (3)
  • EDML8200 Managing Finances and Budgets (3)

Year 3, Spring

  • EDML9170 Dissertation Seminar V (6)
Fully Online Program Information

The totally-online 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 and in the corporate setting.  The completely online delivery of the program provides opportunities for students to participate from various locations with an experienced doctoral faculty and within a learning community of doctoral graduates who have accepted new administrative positions, teacher leader position, and college teaching positions.

Admissions Criteria

Criteria for admissions:

  • Complete an application for admission via
  • 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.
  • Two letters of recommendation submitted from professionals providing academic and/or work experience.
  • Current resume or vitae.
  • Write 1-2 pages on your career aspirations and reasons why you are applying for the Ph.D. in Instructional Management and Leadership program.

In addition to the above required application materials, applicants must participate in a pre-screening interview with the doctoral program director. Online students will be interviewed via a Skype call.

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.

Cohort Model

The three-year Ph.D. program in Instructional Management and Leadership degree 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. In the on-ground program, students attend classes one evening per week during the fall and spring semesters and complete a summer session two nights a week for three years. Each course is enhanced with online instruction. The dissertation credit courses are offered via a seminar format one Saturday a month in Years 2 and 3. The online program mirrors the onground program following the same course sequence and using the same faculty.

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.

Doctoral students 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.


Year 1 

Summer (6 credits) 

Critical Readings in Educational Research (3) 

Applying Instructional Technology (3) 

Fall (6 credits) 

Research I - Qualitative Methods (3)

Instructional Leadership in Curriculum Planning (3)

Spring (6 credits) 

Research II - Quantitative Methods (3) 

Statistics I (3)

Year 2

Summer (6 credits) 

Program Evaluation (3) 

Introduction to the Dissertation (3) 

Fall (7 credits) 

Dissertation Seminar I (1) 

Teaching in Higher Education – Technology, Curriculum, Leadership (3)

Law and Ethics in Education (3) 

Spring (7 credits) 

Dissertation Seminar II (1) 

Leadership 1 (3) 

Leadership 2 (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)

Curriculum Components 

The 60-credit curriculum for the Ph.D. in Instructional Management and Leadership degree program is divided into four components: instructional management and leadership, research, dissertation and related courses.

I. Instructional Management and Leadership (18 credits)

  • Managing Finances and Budgets (3) 
  • Managing the Instructional Environment (3) 
  • Teaching in Higher Education/Technology, Leadership, Curriculum (3) 
  • Instructional Leadership in Curriculum Planning (3) 
  • Leadership 1 (3)
  • Leadership 2 (3)

II. Research (15 credits)

  • Critical Readings (3) 
  • Research Methods I Qualitative Methods (3) 
  • Statistical Methods I (3) 
  • Research Methods II Quantitative Methods (3)
  • Program Evaluation (3) 

III. Dissertation (15 credits)

  • Introduction to the Dissertation (3)
  • Dissertation Seminar I (1)
  • Dissertation Seminar II (1)
  • Dissertation Seminar III (2)
  • Dissertation Seminar IV (2)
  • Dissertation Seminar V (6)

IV. Related Coursework (12 credits)

  • Law and Ethics in Education (3) 
  • Applying Instructional Technology (3) 
  • International Perspectives (3) 
  • Writing for Publication (3)

Total Credits - 60

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

Faculty Bios


Carianne Bernadowski Ph.D., holds the rank of University Professor at Robert Morris University. She is the coordinator of the Secondary English Teacher Certification Program and the Reading Specialist Program. She also serves as the Coordinator of the Peirce Center for Structured Reading Teacher Training, which specializes in training teachers to work with children with specific reading disabilities. Dr. Bernadowski teaches graduate and doctoral students in literacy and research methodology. She holds a Ph.D. from The University of Pittsburgh, a M.A. in Reading Education from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A. in Journalism and Communications/Secondary Education from Point Park College. Dr. Bernadowski has written numerous peer reviewed journals and books, serves on various editorial boards and serves as a consultant in early literacy and adolescent intervention and remediation.

Vicki Donne is a University Professor of Education at Robert Morris University. She earned her Doctorate of Education from the University of Pittsburgh in Special Education, Specialization in Education of Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Collateral Area in Reading. Her research interests include reading interventions, assessment, technology, and assistive technology to meet the needs of students with disabilities. She has served as principal investigator or evaluator on numerous state, federal, and foundation grants. She has published articles and book chapters and some titles include: “Online reading practices of students who are deaf/hard of hearing", “High quality assessments for students with disabilities”, and "Assistive technology for writing”.

Richard Fuller is the Director of the Instructional Management and Leadership Ph.D. program, Director of the Center for Innovative Teaching and Professor of Education at Robert Morris University. He earned his Doctorate of Education and Masters of Education at the Penn State University, his undergraduate BA in Business Administration and Psychology from Muskingum University and a BS in Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  He and holds PA teacher certifications in BCIT and Vocational Education. His research and publication interests center around leadership and motivation, creating interaction in distance education pedagogies, and how the use of technology can enhance learning in higher education, K-12 and training and development.

Mary Hansen is a University Professor in the Education Department at Robert Morris University. She earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Research Methodology from  the University of Pittsburgh. She teaches classes in assessment, curriculum and instruction, statistics, research design, and program evaluation. Her research interests lie in the areas of educational measurement and assessment, including design and technical issues related to large-scale test development and classroom assessment practices. She also conducts research related to improving access and opportunity to learn for students with disabilities. 

Gregory Holdan is Professor of Mathematics and Professor of Education at Robert Morris University. After 35 years of secondary teaching in the public schools in the Mt. Lebanon SD, he came to RMU.  He earned his MA in Mathematics and PhD at Penn State University in Curriculum and Instruction. He has a secondary principal’s certificate from Duquesne University and a secondary mathematics supervisor certificate from Penn State.  His research interests include reflection, learning styles and teaching styles, staff development and induction. He has published over 25 articles widely ranging through social media to staff development to criminology.

Mark Meyers is Professor of Education at RMU. Dr. Meyers earned his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, Social Studies Education and Instructional Technology his M.Ed. in Social Studies Education and his B.A. in History from the University of Florida. Dr. Meyers has held several administrative positions including Dean, Associate Dean and Department Chair and sits on several boards and national committees including the committee that drafted the NETS-T standards. He holds teacher certification in Social Studies and publishes in the areas of teacher education, curriculum and learning and technology.

Susan W. Parker is a Professor of Education and the current Department Head of Education.  She received her undergraduate degree in Communication studies and a Master’s degree in Special Education from Penn State and her Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. She received a leadership fellowship from the University of Pittsburgh in conjunction with the Child Development Unit at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.  She holds PA Teacher certification in ECED and Special Ed and has served as an early intervention classroom teacher, home visitor and service coordinator. She created a Faculty Led Education Abroad Program (FLEAP) to Montenegro and Serbia. Her research interests include trauma informed practices and social and emotional learning, and the development of pre-service teachers.

Nathan Taylor is an Associate Professor of Education at Robert Morris University. He earned his Doctorate of Philosophy at the Ohio State University in Teaching and Learning. His research interests include social justice in education. identity formation in education and inclusive classrooms for historically marginalized subjects. He has numerous publications including: "Children's picture books and the homonormative subject," and "Hegemonic Masculinities and Children’s Picture Books."

Michael Quigley is an Associate Professor of Education in the School of Nursing, Education, and Human Studies and an Associate Professor of Organizational Leadership in the School of Informatics, Humanities, and Social Sciences at Robert Morris University (RMU). At RMU, Dr. Quigley served on the President's Inclusion Council and Anti-Racism Task Force and as Coordinator of Culturally Responsive Practices and Peer Collaboration on the Operations Board in the Center for Innovative Teaching. He is the faculty advisor for the Collegiate 100, a collegiate chapter of the 100 Black Men of Western Pa. In addition, Dr. Quigley also serves as Project Director of The Black Male Leadership Development Institute (BMLDI) in partnership with the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh.

John Zeanchock is an Associate Professor of Education and Computer & Information Systems, having earned a B.S. degree in Mathematics Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), an M.Ed. degree in Counselor Education from the same, and an Ed.D. (doctorate of education degree) in Instructional Design and Technology from the University of Pittsburgh (PITT). Prior five years of high school mathematics teaching experience and ten years of corporate experience with programming and project management at Dollar Bank, Westinghouse Electric, and PPG Industries, together with the doctoral work at PITT, have provided the background for continued research and teaching in the areas of  computer software, project management, leadership, educational technology, instructional design, and curriculum development.

Teaching in Higher Education Certificate Program

The Teaching in Higher Education Certificate is a 9-credit, 3-course non-degree program that provides learning opportunities for those interested in teaching in a variety of higher education environments.  The program addresses theoretical and practical knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to be successful when working with college and university adult learners. The certificate content draws from the curriculum and coursework that is included as components of the existing Instructional Management and Leadership Ph.D. doctoral degree program.

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Sample Courses:

These are some of the classes for students in this academic program:

Law & Ethics in Education
Teaching in Higher Ed
Managing Finances & Budgets

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