Learn more about the Doctor of Education in Higher Education.

About the Program

The EdD in Higher Education is a rigorous program of study that helps students develop the skills needed to diagnose and resolve organizational challenges and to craft and evaluate programs and policies impacting student success. The program features a core set of courses that reflect the essential values of the Temple University graduate program in higher education and the foundational knowledge, skills and abilities required for effective postsecondary administrative practice. This program combines the theoretical and methodological foundations of academic research with an applied focus that helps students develop the professional and interpersonal wisdom necessary to successfully manage change within complex organizational structures.

The Higher Education EdD degree prepares its graduates to be not just effective administrators but skillful and visionary leaders. The essential expected learning outcomes of the EdD in Higher Education include:

  • Demonstrate advanced understanding of the foundations of higher education, including knowledge of the history, politics, economics and philosophy of higher education, theories of student development and organizations, and the institutional and social factors that contribute to student success in higher education.
  • Demonstrate a disciplined and analytic approach to professional practice in the organization and administration of academic and student affairs, including the use of assessment, evaluation and research in decision-making; the ability to engage in strategic planning and goal setting; the ability to lead with cultural sensitivity and ethical judgment; the ability to understand organizational behavior and dynamics; and the ability to communicate clearly and effectively about complex administrative issues to a wide array of audiences and stakeholders.
  • Demonstrate knowledge related to the functional core of the university, including teaching, research and service; management skills, such as problem solving, planning, budgeting, fundraising, and assessment and evaluation; and human relations skills, such as managing conflict, communicating effectively, valuing diversity, and promoting organizational and individual development.
  • Gain a conceptual understanding of higher education organizations when viewed from multiple perspectives, including organizations as academic enterprises, loosely coupled bureaucratic systems, and complex multifarious cultures, and be able to adopt those perspectives as analytic lenses for understanding and addressing administrative issues.
  • Demonstrate the ability to select and apply appropriate research and program evaluation designs and methods, including understanding principles of research study design; synthesizing relevant literature from across fields to inform practice and research; articulating and applying theory or conceptual frameworks to support analysis and evaluation; having familiarity with an array of qualitative and quantitative methods and competence in data analysis strategies appropriate for contributing knowledge to advance effective higher education practice; and being competent in academic writing conventions.
  • Enact habits of reflective and equity-conscious administrative practitioners, including conducting critical inquiry into issues of inequity or disparities in student access and success; engaging as learning agents on behalf of the institution; and collecting, interpreting and communicating evidence to substantiate administrative issues.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 7 years

Campus Location: Main

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: Students may matriculate either full- or part-time. Most courses are offered in the evening to accommodate working professionals. The length of time to complete the doctoral degree program varies depending on the number of courses taken each term.

Affiliation(s): The program is a member of the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA).

Job Prospects: Graduates typically become senior administrators at public or private 2- and 4-year institutions of higher education in academic or student affairs; administrators in state or federal agencies; scholar-practitioners in college access programs; faculty in institutions of higher education; or administrators in various academic disciplines.

Non-Matriculated Student Policy: Students may take up to, but not more than, 9 credits of graduate study in the program before being admitted to the program. The credits transfer into the program, if the student is admitted. Students completing non-matriculated courses before being admitted to the program are NOT guaranteed admission.

Financing Opportunities: Financial support opportunities may include assistantships, fellowships, scholarships, tuition remission, graduate student employment, and other financial aid such as grants, loans and federal work study.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: February 1

Applications are accepted for the Fall term only. Applicants should submit all required admissions documents by the application deadline to receive priority consideration for admission and financial support.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 2

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained to provide insight regarding the applicant's academic competence. References from college/university faculty are recommended.

Master's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: A master’s degree in a related field, with some exceptions, is required for admission to the program. Students who have completed a master’s degree with at least 30 credits will be designated as admitted with master’s degree.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: A bachelor's degree is required. A minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is expected.

International applicants should also submit an official document that validates completion and conferral of a degree, diploma and/or certificate. While not required, international applicants are encouraged to submit transcript(s) to the World Education Services (WES) for evaluation.

Statement of Goals: Using autobiographical style, explain your interest in pursuing a doctoral degree in education. The statement should address the following questions:

  • How have your personal, academic and professional experiences shaped your research interests, and how might a doctoral program in Education help you explore those interests?
  • What academic/professional goals would the program help you to achieve following graduation?
  • How does the doctoral program at Temple fit your individual interests, needs and future goals – and which faculty member’s research best matches your own interests?

Standardized Test Scores:
Applicants who earned their baccalaureate degree from an institution where the language of instruction was other than English, with the exception of those who subsequently earned a master’s degree at a U.S. institution, must report scores for a standardized test of English that meet these minimums:

  • TOEFL iBT: 79
  • IELTS Academic: 6.5
  • PTE Academic: 53

Resume: Current resume required.

Interview: At the request of the Admissions Committee, an interview may be required.

Writing Sample: The academic writing sample should be a paper written for a class within the last five years. If a recent paper is not available, the applicant should compose an op-ed piece on an educational issue of their choosing. The op-ed should be 400 to 1,200 words in length and of the kind that might appear in The New York Times or Philadelphia Inquirer.

Other Requirements:

  1. Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts from all accredited institutions attended and/or from which credit was earned must be submitted.
  2. Professional experience in higher education or work experience related to the applicant’s goals is strongly recommended.

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
or EDUC 8404 Quantitative Analysis, Part I
EPSY 8627Introduction to Research Design and Methods3
In addition, select one course from the following: 33
Class Discourse
Ethnographic Research Methods
Quantitative Analysis, Part II
Tests and Measurements
Intermediate Educational Statistics
Advanced Data Analysis
Multivariate Research Methods
Advanced Practice-Based Qualitative Research in Higher Education
Research Practicum
Research Course
HIED 8093Advanced Higher Education Research Seminar 43
Culminating Courses 56
Dissertation Proposal Design
Doctor of Education Dissertation
Total Credit Hours39

Students select a two-course cognate based on their dissertation interests. They should consult with their advisor on the selection of these electives.


Students must take the “introductory” versions of the qualitative (EDUC 5262) and quantitative (EDUC 5325) courses before enrolling in more advanced courses for either methodology. A student may be exempted from the introductory courses if program faculty believe the student's prior coursework warrants an exemption. Approval from the student's advisor is required.


With documented approval from the student's advisor, an alternate course may be selected as an advanced research method course.


HIED 8093 must be taken during or after the last term of academic coursework.


Of the 6 credits overall, a minimum of 2 credits of EDUC 9999 must be taken.

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 Institutional Review Board (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. Students receive feedback from the faculty advisor, other committee members, and their cohort peers during their defense. Students are encouraged to defend the proposal no later than the end of the term in which they are enrolled in EDUC 9998.

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


Program Web Address:

Department Information:

Higher Education Program

College of Education and Human Development

1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6091


Submission Address for Application Materials:

Department Contacts:


Office of Enrollment Management


Graduate Advising:

College of Education and Human Development

Program Coordinator:

Dr. Jennifer M. Johnson

Policy, Organizational and Leadership Studies Department Chair:

Dr. Christopher W. McGinley

Professor of Practice in Educational Leadership