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Higher Education: Ed.D. - Doctor of Education

The program prepares graduates for careers as leaders and researchers by building a broad and systematic understanding of higher education, a definitive knowledge of selected aspects of educational theory and practice, and research application.

At a Glance

Program Results

Ed.D. - Doctor of Education

Higher Education

Program Type

  • Part Time


  • In-Person

Estimated Length

2-3 full years for coursework, plus capstone research

Application Deadline

February 1



About This Program

  • Ed.D. in higher education students complete a program of study consisting of at least 60 hours of coursework (excluding capstone credits), including a required higher education core (12 credits), a minor in research methods (18 credits), a content minor organized around a theme or set of questions of the student’s choice (12 credits), and elective courses in higher education (12 credits).
  • Students choose their content minor with the advice and consent of their advisors. Courses for the content minor may be taken outside of the program and the School of Education and Human Development.
  • Students entering the doctoral program with a master’s degree may apply up to 24 hours of credit to their doctoral program, provided that the program coordinator judges that the courses are sufficiently comparable to substitute for courses offered in the doctoral program.
  • While students study on a part-time basis, high-level professional training and intellectual development require a concentrated experience that is possible only through sustained involvement in the academic and other activities of the program and University. Participation in program area research and service projects, informal work with individual faculty members, and sustained interaction with other students all add substantially to the coursework. In short, to round out an advanced degree program, a student is expected to participate in and contribute to a rich academic community.

Program Overview

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements that apply specifically to this program are listed below:

Applicants are welcome but are not required to come to the School of Education and Human Development for an interview.

Visit our Graduate Admission page for the full admission process.

Graduate Admission

Application for admission is made to the School of Education and Human Development Office of Admission & Enrollment. For more information about the graduate admission process, please visit our Graduate Admission page.


To learn more about specific courses taken as part of the completion of this degree, visit the graduate record website. These webpages represent the official repository for academic program requirements. 

Total Hours required 72
Course credit hours required 60

Core (12 credits) 
EDLF 8665 Contemporary Issues in Higher Education
EDLF 8654 Organization and Governance in Higher Education
EDLF 8640 Inequality in Higher Education
EDLF 8662 Politics and Education 

Higher Education Electives (12 credits minimum) 
Coursework should be distributed between the following categories (minimum 1 course per category) :

  1. Student Experience/Student Development
  2. History, Philosophy, and Contexts
  3. Governance and Policy

Research Courses (18 credits required) 

Content Minor (a minimum of 12 credits)
Students may take their content minor courses outside the program and the School of Education and Human Development, or they may choose courses from other School of Education and Human Development programs. The minor is meant to supply the student with substantive knowledge of and a theoretical grounding in an area that might be the topic of the capstone. Courses to be taken for minor credit must be negotiated with and approved by the student’s advisor.

Capstone (12 credits minimum required)

Higher Education Course Descriptions

Information on courses that are part of the Ed.D. in higher education curriculum can be found on the UVA Graduate Record website.

Additional Program Details

In 2024, the UVA School of Education & Human Development is ranked #8 for best graduate schools of education in the country by U.S. News and World Report.

The school is ranked #18 in higher education for graduate schools of education.

Higher Education News

Program Faculty

Juan C Garibay

Juan C. Garibay

  • Associate Professor
Karen Inkelas

Karen Kurotsuchi Inkelas

  • Professor of Education
Alan Leffers

Alan Leffers

  • Assistant Professor
Brian Pusser

Brian Pusser

  • Associate Professor
Gerald D Starsia

Gerald D. Starsia

  • Associate Professor (Retired)
Christian L Steinmetz

Christian L. Steinmetz

  • Assistant Professor

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