Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Ed.D. in Higher Education

The Ed.D. degree is a 60 credit hour post-master’s degree program designed for doctoral students who are planning careers in senior-level college or university administration. 

The Ed.D. program requires a set of core courses that focus upon most of the major areas of expertise in which effective college and university administrators are required to be knowledgeable.

As a 60 credit post-master’s doctoral degree, credit for prior masters coursework is not awarded.

Degree Requirements

Major Requirements (27 cr.)
Required Courses (18 cr.)

  • C620 Pro Seminar in Higher Education (3 cr.)
  • C654 Higher Education in the United States (3 cr.)
  • C664 Higher Education Organization and Administration (3 cr.)
  • C788 Seminar in Research in Higher Education* (Inquiry Linkage) (3 cr.)
    • *C788 should be taken near the end of program of study.
  • Choose at least two courses from the following:
    • C655 Higher Education and Public Policy (3 cr.)
    • C661 Foundations of Institutional Research (3 cr.)
    • C670 Problems in Financing Higher Education (3 cr.)
    • C705 Legal Aspects of Higher Education (3 cr.)

Other courses (9 cr.)

  • C655 Higher Education and Public Policy (3 cr.)
  • C656 American Community Colleges (3 cr.)
  • C661 Foundations of Institutional Research (3 cr.)
  • C670 Problems in Financing Higher Education (3 cr.)
  • C678 Capstone in Institutional Research (3 cr.)
  • C680 Philanthropy in Higher Education (3 cr.)
  • C695 Academic Problems in Higher Education (3 cr.)
  • C705 Legal Aspects of Higher Education (3 cr.)
  • C750 Topical Seminar: variable titles (3 cr.)
  • U544 Introduction to Student Affairs Work in Higher Education (3 cr.)
  • U546 Diverse Students on the College Campus (3 cr.)
  • U548 Student Development Theory and Research (3 cr.)
  • U549 Environmental Theory and Assessment in Higher Education (3 cr.)

The following arranged courses may also count toward the major requirement:

  • C675 Supervised College Teaching (1-3 cr.)
  • C690 Independent Study in Higher Education (1-3 cr.)
  • C760 Internship in Administration (1-6 cr.)

Other courses may be included in the major with the approval of the Advisory Committee.

Inquiry Requirement (9 cr.)
Required Courses (6 cr.)

  • Y535 Evaluation Models and Techniques (3 cr.)
  • Choose one of the following courses:
    • Y521 Methodological Approaches to Educational Inquiry* (3 cr.)
    • Y520 Strategies for Educational Inquiry (3 cr.)

*Although either Y520 or Y521 can meet this requirement, Y521 is highly recommended because it is intended for doctoral students.

Other Courses (3 cr.)

  • Y525 Survey Research Methodology (3 cr.)
  • Y527 Educational Assessment and Psychological Measurement (3 cr.)
  • Y604 Multivariate Analysis in Educational Research (3 cr.)

Except for Y521/Y520, approved inquiry core courses may be substituted with the approval of the Advisory Committee. Core Inquiry Courses for the School of Education shall include all Y-prefixed courses offered in the School of Education EXCEPT Y500, Y502, Y510, Y590, Y660, Y690, Y795, and Y799.

Minor Requirement (9 cr.)
The minor must have integrity in its own right and must complement the major. The minor field must demonstrate wholeness within itself and contribute to the student's overall doctoral program. Minors are normally formulated within a single program area. However, an interdisciplinary or individualized minor is also possible. Interdisciplinary or individualized minors require a written description of the minor's underlying theme along with a rationale for each course's contribution to that theme through the Minor Justification form. This form should be submitted and approved by the Graduate Studies Office prior to enrolling in the minor courses.

Elective Requirement (6 cr.)
With Advisory Committee approval a student may use courses from the School of Education or other academic areas consistent with the student's particular professional objectives.

Y502 Intermediate Statistics Applied to Education (3 cr.) is required as a pre-requisite for the Ed.D., but may be taken post-admission and counted among electives, if it has not been completed prior to admittance to the Ed.D program.  Y502 does not count toward the Inquiry Core Requirement.

Dissertation Requirement (9 cr.)

  • C795 Dissertation Proposal Preparation* (3 cr.)
  • C799 Doctoral Thesis in Higher Education (6 cr.)

*C795 should be taken near the end of program of study, after passing the qualifying exam.

Students are required to design, conduct, and orally defend an original piece of research. Refer to the Graduate Bulletin checklist of doctoral program milestones and other program resources for further details.

Additional Requirements

  1. At the end of the first year (or after 18 credit hours of course work for those not enrolled full time), doctoral students must participate in the First-Year Review process. Instructions for this review can be found on the HESA web site. The advisor will assess performance to date and future program plans. The focus of the review is assessing a student’s ability to: 1) clearly articulate thoughts and ideas in an organized manner (written and oral), 2) analyze and synthesize research in order to formulate an opinion or argument, and 3) successfully complete program requirements, including the dissertation.
  2. Students should finalize a program of study no later than the end of their second year if they are full-time students, or after completing 36 credit hours of coursework.
  3. Prior to beginning a doctoral dissertation and at or near the time of completion of all course work, all doctoral students in the School of Education must pass a qualifying examination in their major area of study. Following review by the faculty, the student must defend the written examination in a meeting with the Advisory Committee. In effect, this examination process is intended to determine if a student is qualified to begin work on a doctoral dissertation.
    1. Students must have an appointed Advisory Committee
      1. Two (2) faculty members from student’s major, one being the student’s faculty advisor
      2. One (1) faculty member representing student’s minor
    2. Student’s program of study must be approved by the Office of Graduate Studies.
    3. Students must have Advisory Committee approval to proceed with the qualifying exam.
    4. Students must be in good standing and have no more than 6 credit hours of incompletes (in their current semester) to take the qualifying exam. Any incompletes must be removed prior to nomination to candidacy.
  4. The Ed.D. residency requirement can be satisfied by taking either two consecutive semesters of nine credits or three consecutive six-credit hour terms at the Bloomington-Indianapolis core campus. Dissertation credit hours (C799) or credit hours in Advanced Research (G901) may not be used to fulfill residency requirements.
  5. Refer to the Graduate Bulletin checklist of doctoral program milestones and other program resources for further details.

Academic Bulletins

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Additional program information can be found at the Office of Graduate Studies.