Higher Education PhD and EdD Degrees
The doctoral degrees in Higher Education are designed to prepare individuals who are capable of analyzing current challenges in higher education, and to manage and lead in a variety of post-secondary settings. The program is built on a solid core of general coursework and offers two distinct concentrations from which to choose: Diversity and Higher Learning and Leadership and Organizational Change.
PhD in Higher Education
Diversity and Higher Learning
Do you have a special interest in teaching and learning in post-secondary settings,
in adult-education teaching and curricular development positions, in corporate or
diversity training, or in proprietary education? The Diversity and Higher Learning
concentration is intended for students who are already involved with staff development
in colleges and universities; or who are trainers in business, government, not-for-profit
agencies and for-profit companies; consultants who provide training; teachers in proprietary
institutions; administrators and faculty in two-year and four-year higher education
institutions; and those who work with adults in religious, community, or athletic
programs a four-course sequence that focuses on individual and organizational learning,
training and development in a diverse and global society. It is important to note
that this concentration places a great deal of emphasis on developing critical understanding
of the impact that race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation,
and other social identities have on collective and individual learning in organizations.
Students who currently work in or intend to pursue careers in multicultural affairs,
curriculum development, university instruction, university administration, consulting,
or training will find this concentration to be a good fit. This concentration offers
four sub-specializations in which to focus study: College Access and Retention, Diversity and Organizational
Transformation, Public Policy and Social Change, and Teaching and Learning.
Leadership and Organizational Change
Are you an administrative professional with five or more years experience in supervisory roles in higher education (or ten or more years of work experience in a different field) and would like to take your professional life to another level? If so, this may be the program for you. This is one of the nation's few degree concentrations in leadership and organizational change (LOCP). Designed for those who enjoy working in a college or university setting, this concentration holds classes during evenings and on Saturday to allow you to continue your work experience during the week while completing your degree.
EdD in Higher Education
The goal of the Morgridge College of Education's Doctor of Education (EdD) in Higher Education is to prepare transformative intellectuals for careers in postsecondary education related to leadership, administration, and research, as well as careers in public and private agencies of higher education in a multicultural and changing world. This requires hands-on preparation that closely links theory, applied research, and promising practices with field experiences. We seek to develop highly competent, socially responsible, ethical, and caring professionals. To that end, we focus on what it means to become scholarly practitioners, researchers, and effective leaders.
The EdD in Higher Education prepares experienced professionals to assume great responsibility, pursue long-term career goals, be practitioner-scholars in higher education. This degree has been especially designed for individuals working in or seeking to understand postsecondary education in a changing multicultural and global society.
Professionals who are interested in enhancing their careers will discover this program challenges them to foster and strengthen an array of skills essential for success. The curriculum is designed to enable participants to instill intellectual interests that link professional knowledge and research with the world of practice in postsecondary education, non-profit or non-governmental organizations, foundations, think tanks, research institutes, and the private sector.
Students in the EdD program will explore literature and research related to postsecondary education in an effort to become more reflective in their current or future professional endeavors. Through extensive coursework and applied research, students will become advanced practitioners and effective educational leaders. Additionally, students will investigate important and crucial problems to improve thought and practice in postsecondary education, whether on a college or university campus or in a non-profit setting.
What is the difference between the EdD and the PhD?
At DU, the curriculum in the EdD is designed for practitioner-scholars and the PhD is designed for scholar-practitioners. Usually, people who earn an EdD intend to pursue careers as administrators, policy-makers, and other forms of leadership in the higher education arena. Many people who pursue PhDs enter careers where the primary focus is on research – faculty and research organization jobs.
If I completed a Masters in HED at DU, do I have to repeat courses for the EdD?
You need to complete a minimum of 65 NEW credit hours for the EdD and you may take different courses to substitute for the credit hours of the courses you have already taken. For example, if you took Public Policy as an MA student at DU, you do not need to retake Public Policy, but you will need to take a different three credit class to substitute for Public Policy to make up for those three credit hours. If it has been more than five years since you took a course, it is likely the information has changed and you would benefit from taking the course again. If you have taken classes post-masters, you may transfer up to 15 credits to your degree at DU. You will work with your assigned faculty advisor to create a plan of study that best suits your needs as a student in the EdD program.
Does the EdD dissertation look different than the PhD dissertation?
Yes and no. The content of the dissertation will be different for an EdD than for a PhD but the structure will be the same. The overall intention and focus of the EdD dissertation will be related to an area of your practice. You will select a problem or issue you see in your work and design an intervention or solution for that problem through original research. You will still complete a comprehensive exam, a dissertation proposal, original research, and write up your findings and recommendations in a dissertation format agreed upon by you and your dissertation advisor and committee.
How flexible will faculty be in working with me on my research interests, even if my interests differ from the faculty member?
Faculty will work with you to develop a dissertation topic that meets your goals and with which they can guide you through the dissertation research and writing process. One thing to keep in mind is that you will become the expert on the content of your research topic and your faculty advisor will serve as a guide for the process of designing, conducting, and writing up the research. You select your own dissertation chair, so you can select a faculty member with whom you would like to work based on content interest areas, methodology, or both.
Are there practical/practicum work requirements for the EdD?
No. Requirements for admission to the program include three years’ relevant work experience, beyond the bachelor’s degree, which students will draw from in their EdD courses. We anticipate that most students working on their EdD will be part-time students with full-time jobs in relevant higher education areas – colleges or universities, non-profit organizations, or policy and governmental organizations. While some students may choose to pursue the EdD on a full-time basis and may be eligible for various assistantship and fellowship opportunities, there is no practicum requirement for the program.
How many EdDs do you anticipate in the program? Will we be taking classes with PhD students?
In the first year, we anticipate having 8-10 EdD students. EdD students will take classes with PhD and MA students in the HED program. Several classes are designated for doctoral (PhD and EdD) students only. Coursework will be flexible enough, allowing you to focus your research and writing in on areas of interest for you, as well as, working toward developing a scholarly foundation and expertise in a particular area of interest in higher education.
How does the DU tuition waiver apply?
Employees of DU who wish to pursue an EdD may use the DU tuition waiver. Please see the DU HR website for current policies related to taking classes, including the number of credits per year available to DU employees and their dependents.
How are faculty advisers chosen?
Students are matched with a faculty advisor upon admission to the program. You will work with your faculty advisor to establish a plan of study. Your dissertation advisor may be different from your faculty advisor. You will have the opportunity to ask someone to serve as your dissertation advisor before you begin the process of writing your comprehensive exam proprosal.
Can I start the EdD program if I just finished my MA?
If you have at least three years’ post-baccalaureate professional experience in higher education or a related area, you may apply to the EdD program. The experience may be before, during, or after your MA program. Two years of a graduate assistantship (or other half-time employment) may count as one year professional work experience.
What is the value of adding the EdD to the HED program?
The mission of the HED program at DU includes a strong commitment of “theory to practice” and “practice to theory”, making the EdD program an excellent fit for the mission of the program. By creating opportunities at the doctoral level for concentrated focus on theory to practice, DU is leading the region in offering an EdD for higher education practitioner-scholars. The EdD complements the current program offerings and increases our ability to serve the needs of a wide variety of students, scholars, and practitioners.
What kinds of careers may be available to those who pursue an EdD?
People with an EdD in HED may pursue many careers in Higher Education, including but not limited to college and university administration and leadership, policymakers, non-profit organization leadership, and other related leadership positions.
What is the perception of the EdD in the field of higher education?
There is sometimes a misperception that an EdD is less prestigious or credible than a PhD in the field of higher education. The EdD and PhD have different meanings on different campuses, and some campuses only have an EdD available in the field of education. The most important thing to consider when pursuing a doctorate of education is the best fit for you and your personal and professional needs. Pursuing a doctorate of education will provide an opportunity for you to further develop your skills as a scholar and practitioner and your ability to use scholarship to inform your practice as a leader in higher education.