Educational Studies, Ph.D. (Educational Leadership & Higher Education)
Doctor of Philosophy Degree with a Specialization in Educational Leadership and Higher Education
Admissions and Requirements
Courses You’ll Take
Tuition & Fees
The blended Educational Studies Ph.D. with specialization in Educational Leadership & Higher Education program is designed to prepare students for a scholarly research position as faculty in education leadership and higher education or for positions that require knowledge of educational leadership and/or higher education and extensive research preparation.
Students choose the Educational Studies, Ph.D. (Educational Leadership & Higher Education) program to:
- Gain innovative approaches to today’s education programs.
- Acquire insight in how to lead, enforce and research education policy and procedures at the college level.
- Develop a diverse learning community that engages in intense, graduate study of contemporary issues from multiple perspectives.
- Learn from internationally renowned faculty who craft rigorous opportunities for advanced study, mentor students and engage in funded research.
The program provides students with constructive experiences that enhance their academic and professional success by:
- Demonstrating a commitment to the study of problems of practice and contributing to policy development and analysis.
- Providing mentored opportunities for teaching in higher education.
- Working with faculty who offer opportunities to participate in international research initiatives, overseas conferences and comparative travel-study.
- Assisting individuals to tailor a program of study to their scholarly and professional interests.
- Preparing students to conduct and share educational research.
- Encouraging and promoting academic writing for different audiences and stakeholders.
Students complete coursework in areas related to higher education including:
- Leadership, planning and finance
- History and philosophy
- Policy, law and politics
- Higher education environments
- Teaching, learning and student affairs
- Community colleges
Note: A minimum of 45 semester hours must be completed at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln after admission to this program. Six credit hours of coursework must be in-residence, on-campus, as approved by the student’s adviser. These are typically completed as one-week in-residence sessions during the summer. These courses focus on special topics of major interest and allow for extensive interaction with experts in the field.
Career Outlook: Educational administrators oversee student services, academics and curriculum in schools and colleges. Typically, postsecondary education administrators need a master’s degree because employers prefer to hire candidates that have experience with the job duties listed above. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for Postsecondary Education Administrators is growing at 10%, which is faster than average. The Bureau also reports that the demand for Postsecondary Teachers is expected to grow 15% by 2026, which is much faster than average.
Career paths of alums include:
- Student Affairs Professionals
- Admissions Counselors
- Residence Life Coordinators
- Academic Advisors
- Faculty Members
- Leaders in Community College, College and Universities
- Vice Chancellors
More about the Educational Studies (Educational Leadership & Higher Education Specialization) program:
The University of Nebraska—Lincoln offers two nationally recognized Doctoral degrees in Educational Leadership and Higher Education, the Ph.D. and the Ed.D. The programs are offered to individuals interested in any level (P-20) of education.
The program is described as an online program; however, all students are encouraged or required to travel to campus. The Ph.D. requires students to complete a minimum of 6 credit hours of on-campus research residency seminars. Normally, all doctoral students will be on campus to present the dissertation proposal and for the final defense of the dissertation study.
Courses are offered on the regular semester and summer session schedule of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Research residency seminars are offered during the summer in a hybrid fashion (time-intensive on-campus experiences followed by additional online content) to facilitate the on-campus residency requirement. Courses are announced in the UNL online schedule and students register for courses using the University web-based enrollment and billing system.
New applicants should be aware that not all advisors can accept new students every year. We recommend that you contact the individual faculty members to learn about their scholarly interests and advising capacity in the course of preparing your application for admission.
Admissions and Requirements
To be accepted to this program, you must have:
A Master's degree
Must be from an accredited university
3 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale
Taken the GRE
Taken the TOEFL or IELTS
(Only required if English is not your native language)
A written personal statement
3 letters of recommendation
Official transcripts from all previous schools
Three samples of writing or research
Personal vita or resume
To apply to this program:
- Complete and submit the online application for Graduate Studies
- Pay $50 application fees
- Complete and submit separate application to the Department of Educational Administration
- Apply and be admitted to the department
Courses You’ll Take
|Course Number||Course Name||Credits|
|EDAD 993||Introduction to Doctoral Studies in Educational Administration||0|
Workshop seminar topics are determined with the student’s adviser. This is a required, non-credit course.
|EDAD 925||Law and Higher Education||3|
Examination of legal principles applicable to postsecondary education institutions. Overview of the legal system, postsecondary education institutions as legal entities, authority for governance and administration, faculty rights and responsibilities, student rights and responsibilities, institutional and personal liability, and other selected issues.
|EDAD 830||Administrative Theory||3|
Introduction to classic and contemporary administrative theory as applied to educational organizations. The theoretical nature of the course content is relevant to those with an interest in a broad variety of educational institutions. General organizational theory, organizational models, historical schools of administrative theory, authority, power, motivation, and leadership. Frequently students are involved in studying problems of practice as a means of testing theory.
|EDAD 837||Education Law||1 - 4|
Evolution, principles, and practice of education law in relation to local, state, and national units of organization. Education law of Nebraska.
|EDAD 833||Educational Finance||3|
Critical analysis of the political and economic elements impacting K-12 school finance. Content and activities address both building and district level concerns with an emphasis on principles, programs, and trends in school finance.
|EDAD 800||Foundation of Research & Methods of Inquiry in Educational Administration||3|
A written report is required. Investigation and analysis of current problems in education administration and supervision.
|EDAD 966||Seminar in Educational Administration||1 - 3|
Prereq: PermissionEducation administration problems with an analysis of research and literature pertaining to these problems.
|EDAD 922||Finance in Postsecondary Education||3|
Federal and state government funding, institutional planning, technological and community influences, human resources finance, budgeting, and sources of financial support as they relate to postsecondary education institutions and agencies.
|Course Number||Course Name||Credits|
|EDAD 926||The American Professoriate: An Administrative Perspective||3|
Contemporary faculty issues in postsecondary education institutions from the perspective of college administrators. Current status of faculty, assigning faculty workloads and monitoring performance levels, evaluating faculty performance, structuring development activities, and special topics.
|EDAD 921||Administrative Issues in Postsecondary Education||3|
Introduction to contemporary issues in the administration of postsecondary education with a focus on the scholarly literature, a comparative analysis of administration in types of institutions, leadership and planning, institutional and environmental issues, and selected topics.
|EDAD 910||The Higher Education Environment||3|
Universities are adaptive, living systems interacting with their environment. Equips participants with the skills required to analyze and assess the environment of higher education institutions. Environment concepts, components and structures are studied together with analysis techniques and methodological approaches to future study.
|EDAD 980||Seminar in College Student Development||2 - 3|
EDAD, EDPS 977. (2-3 cr per sem, max 6) Current knowledge, theories, and practices, and related issues in the area of college student development. Special field experiences and research projects are available to students for additional credit.
|EDAD 923||The Community College||3|
Designed particularly for those interested in upper secondary and college levels. Junior college movement; relationship of movement to provisions for an adequate educational program; functions of the junior college; legal status and basis for extension of junior college; problems of organization, administration, and curriculum.
|EDAD 907||Issues in Educational Politics and Policies||3|
Analyze and evaluate policy processes involved in making choices; develop understanding, apply and evaluate knowledge about key political concepts and theories to the analysis of educational policy issues; analyze and evaluate issues as points of political conflict between institutional structures with competing interests; understand people as the actors in roles they occupy in the political system.
|EDAD 912B||Community College Leadership||3|
A course designed to enable the administrators to become knowledgeable of recent trends and issues in school management, finance, or other concerns affecting the administration of the public schools.
|EDAD 935||Workforce, Economic, & Community Development||3|
Workforce, economic, and community development represents a central mission of the community college. Community colleges provide an important means for educating citizens and preparing skilled workers to maintain the civic vitality and economic growth of their communities. EDAD 890 develops the knowledge base and capabilities needed by community college leaders to advance the workforce, economic, and community development mission of the community college. This course explores the workforce, economic and community development role of the community college within the broader context of recent economic, social, and technological changes in communities, society, and the economy and examines the how this role is integrated with, and distinct from, other community college missions. Drawing on both sound theory and best practices, course topics include the strategy, structure, funding, policy, and programs of the community college related to workforce, economic, and community development. Using both conventional and applied/experiential learning activities, students will explore leadership issues related to planning, managing, budgeting, and evaluating the effectiveness of workforce, economic, and community development programs in the community college.
|EDAD 892||Special Topics in Education||3|
(CYAF 892; EDPS 892; EDUC 892; SPED 892; TTEAC 892) Prereq: EDPS 859 or parallel; EDPS 859 or equivalent Aspects of education not covered elsewhere in the curriculum.
|EDAD 934||Teaching and Learning in the Community College||3|
This course is planned for individuals who hold or aspire to leadership positions in community colleges that focus on or support instructional programs and others who seek to learn more about this particular aspect of America’s comprehensive community colleges. The primary purpose of the course is to develop a comprehensive understanding of five aspects of the community college:Its curricular missions (general education, transfer education, career education, remedial/developmental education, community education);Its faculty and student population;Issues concerning program and curriculum development;Human resources aspects related to instructional programs (full- and part-time faculty ratios, hiring qualified adjunct faculty, faculty development programs);Issues concerning the evaluation of programs and the assessment of student outcomes.
Tuition & Fees
Per Credit Hour
3 Credit Hours
Out of State Residents
Per Credit Hour
3 Credit Hours
- Fall SemesterJan 15