Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership

The doctoral program in Higher Education Leadership provides the highest professional degree available to students who aspire to leadership positions at the college or university level. The degree includes a curriculum of a minimum of sixty hours of graduate credit. However, the doctoral degree is awarded on the basis of successful completion of coursework, assessment of professional and research competencies, and completion of a major research project resulting in the presentation and defense of a dissertation.

Graduates of the doctoral degree in Higher Education Leadership are able to apply administrative and student development theory in leading today’s institutions of higher education; set and assess goals for program and student performance;  effectively and ethically use resources in support of institutional missions; plan and provide for academic programs’ curricula; apply student development theory to support student success; support and enhance diverse perspectives on learning and leading; interpret the relationships among federal, state, and local education agencies and the laws applicable to the administration of colleges and universities; design educational research; and interpret and utilize results for improvement.

The Higher Education Leadership program follows a cohort model, which means that individuals are admitted to a specific group, called a cohort, and are required to take their coursework at the same time as the other individuals in the cohort for the duration of their enrollment in the program. This model provides students a support system to utilize as they progress through the doctoral curriculum.  In the event of emergencies that require individuals to drop out of the normal schedule, they may be required to join another cohort with a different schedule.

Application Deadlines

Cohort Classes Begin Application Deadline
Higher Education Leadership Spring (January) October 1

Applicants seeking admission to the doctoral program in Higher Education Leadership must submit the following directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  1. Graduate Admission Application
  2. Application fee
  3. Official transcript from the baccalaureate degree granting institution
  4. Official transcript(s) showing receipt of a master's degree from an accredited institution
  5. Resume (with description of education, work history, leadership experiences, and contact information for at least 3 professional references)
  6. Personal statement. Not to exceed 1,800 words.  Please, address the following:
    a) What are some highlights of your professional career?
    b) What are some experiences that highlight your leadership strengths?
    c) What are your professional goals?
    d) What reasons do you have for pursuing a doctoral degree?
    e)  Please address any performance or academic indicators that may be of concern to the admissions committee.

Note: Applicants selected after the initial screening will be invited for an interview and research presentation.

Applicants should hold a master's degree, and the student's graduate GPA should be 3.5 or higher. In addition, three years of full-time professional experience in an accredited college or university, educational agency, or non-profit organization is preferred.

The program requires a minimum of sixty hours of graduate credit, successful passing of a comprehensive examination, and completion of a dissertation.

After the completion of twelve to eighteen semester hours (two or three semesters) of doctoral level coursework in the program, each student will be considered for full admission to candidacy. A doctoral program committee will review his/her academic progress, interpersonal skills, and motivation to determine whether the student should continue with the program. After full admission to the program, the student’s doctoral dissertation committee will be assigned by the Director of Doctoral Studies.

A comprehensive examination will be taken after the completion of forty-two hours of required coursework. Students must be enrolled during the semester the comprehensive examination is taken. After successful completion of the comprehensive examination and proposal course, the student may defend the dissertation proposal.

Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership
EDLD 7331Leadership Theory/Application3
or HEDL 7377 1
EDLD 7333Societal Factors Affecting Ed3
or HEDL 7372 2
EDLD 7337Academic Writing & Research3
EDLD 7361Program Evaluation in Educ3
or HEDL 7361 2
EDLD 7362Methods Of Educ Research3
EDLD 7363Proposal Development3
EDLD 7365Applied Stats I for Ed Leaders3
EDLD 7368Applied Stats II for Ed Leadrs3
EDLD 7370Education Policy And Ethics3
EDLD 7372Qualitative Methodology3
EDLD 7373American Higher Ed System3
or HEDL 7373 1
HIED 7374The College Student3
or HEDL 7374 1
HIED 7375Higher Education Finance3
or HEDL 7375 1
HIED 7376Higher Education Curriculum3
or HEDL 7376 1
HIED 7377Applied Leadershp in Higher Ed3
or HEDL 7377 1
HIED 7378Higher Ed Law & Governance3
or HEDL 7378 1
HIED 7088Special Topics in Higher Ed3
or HEDL 7332 2
EDLD 8033Dissertation 39
or HEDL 8033 2
Dissertation
Total Hours60