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Ed.D. in 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 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. Basic principles and philosophy of naturalistic (field) inquiry methods are introduced. Research design, analysis, and interpretation of qualitative methods are explored. Critique and analysis of qualitative research in the literature is a primary learning activity.

    3 credits

  • Leading in a Complex and Pluralistic Society (EDUC827)

    Exploration of the dynamics of engaging differences, including cultural, ethnic, religious, gender, ability, and age differences. Focus on providing effective leadership in pluralistic systems, including creating a hospitable organizational environment and maintaining relationships with diverse partners and stakeholders.Analysis of one's assumptions, beliefs, behaviors, and capacities with regard to differences.

    3 credits

  • Administration of Essential Educational Programs (EDUC830)

    Analysis of school policies and procedures to ensure that essential programs are in place. Awareness of how personal belief systems affect decision-making. Examination of school relationships, communication, culture and environment, teachers and student engagement, school supervision, safety, instructional supervision, and personalization.

    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

  • Measurement and Assessment (EDUC835)

    Engagement in contextual learning experiences that apply principles and practices involved in educational institutions assessment processes including their uses, misuses, and limitations. Exploration of concepts and skills involved in employing descriptive statistics. Investigation and discussion of ethical issues in assessment, factors that influence test performance, and issues found in current scholarly research.

    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. Basic principles and philosophy of post-positivist worldview are examined. Research design, analysis, and interpretation of quantitative methods are explored. Critique and analysis of quantitative research in the literature is a primary learning activity. CITI ethics training modules are completed.

    3 credits

  • Doctoral Research III (EDUC850)

    Exploration and examination of qualitative and quantitative research; particularly sampling, measurement, data collection and data analysis. Training in the use of both qualitative and quantitative data analysis software. Development of the dissertation prospectus is the key learning activity.

    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 School Administration (EDUC860)

    Examination of educational laws and policies, the process by which they are created, and their impact on schools. Analysis of leadership and communication around legal issues and policies, with emphasis on accuracy, clarity, and correct implementation. Evaluation of laws and policy, along with their application and outcomes, to recommend change.

    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)

    Development of data collection, data analysis and presenting results in research. Design a data collection tool or protocol, collect data with the tool (field test) and analyze collected data. Complete the dissertation prospectus.

    3 credits

  • Comprehensive Examination and Portfolio Review (EDUC881)

    Comprehensive examination and the portfolio review after completion of the student's final didactic 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)

    Major research project developed over the duration of the program. Standard doctoral-level academic measurement, statistical, analytical, interpretive, documenting, and writing techniques are required. The courses in qualitative research, quantitative research, and measurement and assessment provide philosophy, theory, and skills support for this component. Topics developed with dissertation advisor, who will advise during development dissertation and will chair dissertation committee.

    6 credits

  • Dissertation Phase Two (EDUC891)

    A continuation of EDUC890. Students are automatically registered for this course during the term following EDUC890. Successful defense of the dissertation is required prior to graduation. This course must be completed within seven consecutive years (21 consecutive academic terms) from the beginning of the course.

    6 credits

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