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Ed.D. Higher Education Leadership Program Details

Doctor of Education

Today's colleges and universities need leaders who are confident, competent, and inspiring, yet humble enough to learn, change their minds, and seek better questions. The Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership program will develop your capacity to manage the tactical day-to-day aspects of a college or university, as well as be a transformational leader committed to innovation and positive change.


Online with Intensives

You'll complete coursework online, with 1 week of on-campus intensives each year.

Location: St. Paul

Start Dates: Courses start every 8 weeks. Contact your enrollment counselor for details.

Total Credits


Finish in as Few as

3 years (plus dissertation)


  • Historical, Cultural, and Philosophical Issues Impacting Educational Leadership (EDUC801)

    Exploration of the historical, cultural, and philosophical trends contributing to the higher education landscape. Current and emerging roles of educational leaders within this landscape are analyzed and practices of self-differentiation and reflection essential to the process of personal formation and ability to inspire and lead are applied.

    3 credits

  • Organizational Leadership in Higher Education (EDUC807)

    Analysis of theories related to higher education leadership, organization, and culture, and associated application to decision making, organizational change and conflict management. Connection of organizational theories and cultural concepts with effective approaches to leadership that includes integration of faith and values into developing personal leadership capabilities.

    3 credits

  • Curriculum Design and Instructional Management in Higher Education (EDUC812)

    Fundamentals of curriculum design, effective curriculum planning and implementation are analyzed along with trends, issues, forces, and ideas affecting curriculum in higher education. Cognitive and behavioral issues and theories of learning are synthesized as they impact student development theory and personal and professional formation. Various models for working with academic departments are analyzed. Effective techniques for working with culturally and academically diverse student populations are examined and practiced.

    3 credits

  • Comparative Analysis of Issues in Higher Education (EDUC818)

    Examination of the forces that affect higher education globally. Analysis of the global issues relevant to various aspects of higher education. Description of the historical roots of higher education globally. Application of a critical lens to debates in higher education. Evaluation of higher education across cultural and national contexts.

    3 credits

  • Doctoral Research I (EDUC820)

    Introduction to the philosophical foundations of empirical research with an emphasis on qualitative research design and methodology. Assessment of the overall role of research in educational administration. Critique and analysis of qualitative research in the literature. Application of sound research principles in the design of a basic qualitative study.

    3 credits

  • Leading in a Complex and Pluralistic Society (EDUC827)

    Analysis of effective strategies for engaging diversity in the context of higher education. Exploration of the impact of cultural intelligence on leadership in complex and pluralistic systems. Development of personal formation strategies for effectively working and leading in diverse settings. Planning for increased inclusion of diverse members within an organization and increased institutional capacity thrive amidst the changing demographics of higher education.

    3 credits

  • Leadership of Academic & Support Systems in Higher Education (EDUC832)

    Exploration of functions within academic and support departments in colleges and universities. Including academics, accreditation, human resources, enrollment, student development, student support, security, marketing, alumni services, and development. Integration of personal values and belief system with identified best practices in educational leadership.

    3 credits

  • Institutional Assessment in Higher Education (EDUC837)

    Understanding of the basic elements of assessment in Higher Education. Development of an effective assessment plan for a Higher Education academic or student life program. Creation of assessment reports that include actionable items for improvement based on data. Evaluation of program assessment reports. Synthesis of data from nationally normed assessment instruments. Engaging in ethical issues related to assessment in higher education.

    3 credits

  • Strategic Leadership in Higher Education (EDUC842)

    Comprehension of strategic and adaptive leadership practices and application to organizational challenges. Analysis of personal strategic leadership strengths and limitations. Identification of how leadership can improve diversity, inclusion, and equity in institutional settings. Analysis of behaviors and traits for strategic innovation. Identification of how faith/values impact leadership philosophy.

    3 credits

  • Doctoral Research II (EDUC845)

    Development of empirical research with an emphasis on quantitative research. Examination of basic principles and philosophy of post-positivist worldview. Exploration of research design, analysis, ethics and interpretation of quantitative method. Critique and analysis of quantitative research in the literature is a primary learning activity.

    3 credits

  • Doctoral Research III (EDUC850)

    Exploration and examination of both qualitative and quantitative research, including sampling, measurement, data collection, and analysis. Training in the use of both qualitative and quantitative data analysis software. Integration of faith and/or ethical values in research. Application of research design and theories to the dissertation prospectus. GE: The course will be graded on an A/F basis.

    3 credits

  • Re-imagining Higher Education (EDUC858)

    Consider the future of higher education and the leadership needed. Issues and trends in the current and emerging field higher education, including equity and access, finances and affordability, and competing models and non-traditional offerings, are revisited and intersected with personal growth and leadership formation.

    3 credits

  • Legal Issues in Higher Education (EDUC862)

    Students focus on the legal foundation, framework, and issues relevant to higher education institutions. Students critique and interpret the legal and regulatory basis for relationships among educational institutions and external stakeholders. Students analyze the processes of dealing with the legal issues and risks faced by academic institutions and leaders.

    3 credits

  • Budgeting and Fiscal Management in Higher Education (EDUC867)

    Students learn about the economic engines of higher education, budgeting concepts, factors that drive revenue and expenses in higher education, and practices that ensure accountability, accuracy, and transparency. Students also gain skills in budgeting processes and advocacy, and calculating costs of academic programs.

    3 credits

  • Doctoral Research IV (EDUC870)

    Application of research design principles including selection of participants, instruments/protocols, data collection approaches, data analyses, field tests. Analysis of limitations/delimitations and ethical issues in research. Evaluation and development of data collection tools and protocols. Analysis of data using appropriate methods and tools.

    3 credits

  • Comprehensive Examination and Portfolio Review (EDUC881)

    Comprehensive examination and the portfolio review after completion of the student's final leadership course.

    1 credits

  • Individualized Project in Higher Education (EDUC885)

    Students design and complete a practical application project that integrates concepts and insights from courses, research, and personal experiences.

    3-4 credits

  • Dissertation Phase One (EDUC890)

    Development of the major research for one's academic doctoral degree. The four previous research courses provide the foundation for students to develop their dissertation proposals. Guidance is provided by the students' dissertation advisors.

    6 credits

  • Dissertation Phase Two (EDUC891)

    A continuation of EDUC890. Following the Dissertation Procedures Guide, students work with their dissertation advisor and committee toward dissertation completion.

    5 credits

  • Dissertation Phase Three (EDUC892)

    A continuation of EDUC891. Upon a successful final dissertation defense, a course grade is posted. Students not meeting requirements will be shifted to extension status.

    1 credits