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Higher Education Administration

Higher Education Administration Doctoral Degree

The Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration at KU prepares doctoral students to apply the most current knowledge about colleges and universities, and their constituencies, to administrative practice. The emphasis of the research component of the Ed.D. program in higher education administration is learning to use research skills to improve everyday practice in a college or university setting.  Ed.D students may choose to focus their dissertation on a problem relevant to improving their organization's education practice. 


The academic coursework is designed to develop the knowledge base necessary for effective college and university administration. Review the curriculum here.

Doctoral Field Experience

The Ed.D. program field experience will help students develop a network of professional mentors, identify a problem of practice, and to do background research for their dissertation. Students should be reflective and intentional as they plan this important component of their doctoral program.

Period of Continuous Study

Each candidate for the Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration must fulfill a period of continuous study requirement during which time the student is engaged in at least 6 hours of academic study.  Students who follow the cohort structure of courses will automatically fulfill the requirement. Doctoral students will need to file the Ed.D. Period of Continuous Study form (PDF) with their advisor’s signature.

Comprehensive Examinations

All Higher Education Administration Ed.D. students are required to take a comprehensive examination, which consists of a written and oral portion. The comprehensive is normally taken after successful completion of required coursework, including  the research competencies. For most students this is at the end of year 2 courework or beginning of year 3.  Both the oral and written portions of the exam must be successfully completed. 


The majority of the program coursework is designed to develop the knowledge base necessary for effective and reflective leaders.  In contrast, the purpose of the Ed.D dissertation - and the preparatory research coursework - is to develop the skills of practitioner scholars: asking good questions, collecting and analyzing appropriate data to answer those questions, and using this information to make sound, data-based recommendation for change.  The Ed.D dissertation may focus on a problem of practice in a field or more locally at an instution and can involve a variety of methods including interviews, various quantitative methods, literature reviews, program evaluation activities, or case studies. 

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