Higher Education Leadership, Doctorate of Education

Available: On Campus, Online

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 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-eighteen semester hours (two-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, the student may defend the dissertation proposal.

Two Concentrations with Different Modalities

The Higher Education Leadership program offers two modalities of instruction:

  1. In-person instruction for the Administration concentration (Spring admission)
  2. Fully online instruction for the Academic Support Programs concentration (Summer admission)

General program advising for students occurs on a regular basis and students may request individual, in person, or remote advising meetings with the program director as needed.

Program Breakdown

Brief breakdown of the type, or types, of degree available, their length, available enrollment, and estimated cost.
Category Degree Summary
Catalog Entry Doctorate of Education (EdD)
Length 60 Credit Hours
Enrollment Spring: Administration concentration (in-person)
Summer: Academic Support Programs concentration (fully online)
Costs Rates Per Semester
Admission Requirements Application Materials

Application Deadlines

Applications received after the deadline are considered on a space-available basis. Admission decisions for each semester are finalized approximately six weeks after the deadline, and all applicants are then notified of their admission status with an email from the department of Educational Leadership

  • Spring (Administration concentration): October 1
  • Summer (Academic Support Programs concentration): April 15

Please note that application deadlines will occasionally change. Please contact the program director (listed in the contact section) for confirmation on application deadlines.

Contact Info