Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Master's: 39

Required Courses:

Core Courses
HIED 8101Advanced Seminar on Higher Education Administration3
HIED 8102Higher Education Economics and Finance3
HIED 8103Equity in Higher Education Policy and Practice3
HIED 8104Seminar on Theory in Higher Education and Leadership3
Electives 16
Advanced Research Methods Courses
EDUC 5262Introduction to Qualitative Research 23
EDUC 5325Introduction to Statistics and Research 23
EPSY 8627Introduction to Research Design and Methods3
In addition, select one course from the following:3
EPSY 5529
Tests and Measurements
EPSY 8625
Intermediate Educational Statistics
EPSY 8826
Multivariate Research Methods
HIED 8262
Advanced Practice-Based Qualitative Research in Higher Education
Research Courses
EDUC 9998Dissertation Proposal Design3
EDUC 9999Doctor of Education Dissertation3
HIED 8093Advanced Higher Education Research Seminar 33
Total Credit Hours39

Culminating Events:
Comprehensive Exam:
At the end of the academic term in which students are enrolled in HIED 8093 Advanced Higher Education Research Seminar and prior to completion of the dissertation proposal, students complete a comprehensive exam in order to advance to candidacy for the doctoral degree. The comprehensive exam consists of written responses to three questions developed by the instructor of the Research Seminar who, in most cases, will serve as the student’s primary dissertation advisor and chair. Through the comprehensive exam, students must demonstrate the ability to:

  • situate and define a chosen topic or field within the concepts and history of the field;
  • compare, contrast, and justify various research methods appropriate to investigation of a practice-based research problem; and
  • critically synthesize the extant scholarly and practice-focused literature that informs administrative practice related to the topic.

Successful completion of the comprehensive exam advances students to doctoral candidate status and aids in preparation of the dissertation proposal.

Dissertation Proposal:
In the term immediately following completion of the HIED 8093 Advanced Higher Education Research Seminar and successful completion of the comprehensive exam, students enroll in EDUC 9998 Dissertation Proposal Design. Students enroll in a section of EDUC 9998 with the same cohort of students and instructor with whom they were enrolled in HIED 8093. Like HIED 8093 Advanced Higher Education Research Seminar, EDUC 9998 Dissertation Proposal Design serves as a structured, intensive, cohort-based monthly workshop in which students design and defend a dissertation proposal that outlines a rigorous plan for empirical study of an issue relevant to the student’s professional responsibilities or aspirations. The proposal must incorporate a thorough and critical review of literature relevant to the topic, a discussion of theoretical approaches to understanding and studying the topic, a conceptual or theoretical framework that will guide the study, and a robust methodological plan that includes assurances of completing IRB review and any interview or other protocols necessary to submit for IRB review. Dissertation proposal defense occurs at any point during or at the end of the academic term and students receive feedback from the faculty advisor, other committee members, and their cohort peers during their defense. Students will be encouraged to defend the proposal no later than the end of the term in which they are enrolled in EDUC 9998.

The Ed.D. dissertation is distinct from the Ph.D. dissertation in that the intent of the Ed.D. dissertation is not to build theory but to make a substantive contribution to practice-focused scholarship in a particular domain of higher education. Ed.D. dissertations are typically less lengthy than Ph.D. dissertations and cover a smaller scope of theorizing and data collection. They are, however, held to the same standards as Ph.D. dissertations with respect to methodological validity, data analysis, and writing quality and clarity. Toward this end, Ed.D. students:

  • prepare a dissertation study report that is a standard academic manuscript, which includes an introduction, literature review, conceptual/theoretical framework, methodology, results, discussion, and references; and
  • produce a Practice Guide that is three to five pages in length. The Practice Guide distills the lessons of the student's research into succinct recommendations or best practices for practitioners in her/his field.