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Higher Education Administration

Higher Education Administration Doctorate Degree

The Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration at KU prepares doctoral students to apply the most current knowledge about colleges, universities, and their constituencies to administrative practice. Ed.D. students may choose to focus their dissertation on a problem relevant to improving their organization's education 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. 


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. Review the doctoral field experience guidelines (PDF) for more information.

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. The period of continuous study may be fulfilled in a number of ways, but 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. Both the oral and written portions of the exam must be successfully completed. 


In contrast to the academic coursework designed to develop the knowledge base necessary for reflective leaders, the dissertation's purpose is to study one higher education problem in depth. A formal dissertation proposal will be prepared by each student and approved by a dissertation committee of at least three graduate faculty prior to the beginning of the dissertation research. Under the guidance of the dissertation committee, the student is expected to generate or clarify knowledge in a specialized field that contributes to resolving important problems or questions within the field of higher education. A final oral examination on the dissertation is scheduled when the dissertation has been tentatively accepted by the committee. Review the Dissertation Description & Proposal Guide (pdf).

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