Florida State University

College of Education

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Ed.D. in Higher Education

  • Ed D.
Program Emphasis: 
  • Administrative Leadership
  • Student Learning & Development


Jimmy Pastrano
1114 West Call Street
1209 Stone Building
Tallahasssee, FL 32306

Program Statement

Established in 1957, the Florida State University Higher Education Program boasts a long tradition of excellence in preparing students for successful careers in higher education and in disseminating research on higher education policy issues at the national, state, and institutional level. Our mission is to draw upon and apply knowledge from the broad areas of organizational theory, student development, public policy, as well as teaching and learning to improve the quality of practice in college and universities.

The mission of the higher education program is to prepare leaders who contribute solutions to the challenges facing higher education and society. The program provides a student centered learning community; promotes a culture of critical inquiry; emphasizes the discovery, integration, and application of knowledge about higher education; fosters a caring, collaborative, and inclusive environment; and encourages educational transformation and change.

Pedagogical philosophy
We value and attempt to create a learning community in which students develop a framework of knowledge that enables them to think critically, articulate values, and put their knowledge and skills to use.

We value and seek to develop collaborative relationships in which faculty, students, staff, and practicing professionals identify and share in the realization of mutually valuable learning outcomes.

We value and try to create an open community based upon democratic ideals in which freedom of expression is protected, civility is affirmed, and appreciation and understanding of individual differences are honored and respected. In this light, we value a caring community in which the well-being of each person is important, and a life-net supports every member.

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the doctoral degree, graduates will have adopted a code of professional ethics and enhance their critical thinking to work through complex and emerging problems in higher education, both theoretical and practical. They will also be able to demonstrate knowledge and application of approaches used in administration, leadership, and research.

The Ed.D. student will demonstrate knowledge of policy and practice through the conduct of systematic inquiry in a defined arena of higher education, the development of an evaluation strategy based upon a clear understanding of current practice and professional standards, and the application of cultural and contextual variables to the unique institutional setting in which the inquiry is to occur.

The Ed.D. student will demonstrate knowledge of policy and practice through the conduct of systematic inquiry in a defined arena of higher education. Students will learn to develop evaluation strategies based upon a clear understanding of current practice and professional standards. The student will learn to apply economic, governmental, historical, institutional, and sociocultural contexts to the setting in which their inquiry and practice is to occur.   

The Ed.D. requires:

Minimum of 57 semester hours of coursework beyond the master’s degree, including:

       21 hours of core courses
      18 hours of research courses
      12 hours of higher education foundations courses
      6 hours of higher education or related electives courses

      + 24 dissertation hours

3.00 minimum GPA

Minimum of 24 hours of dissertation credit
Successful completion of Higher Education Program Scholarly Engagement benchmarks

Ed.D. Program of Study[1]

Based on the 2018-2019 Doctoral Student in Higher Education Handbook. Degree requirements are subject to change.

Higher Education Core (21 hours)

EDH 5051       Higher Education in America (3) [2]

EDH 5405       Legal Aspects of College and University Administration (3)

EDH 5506       College and University Business Administration (3)

EDH 5639       Strategic Management in Higher Education (3)

EDH 6505       Finance of Higher Education (3)

EDH 6635       Organization and Governance (3)

EDH 6936       Seminar in Student Development Theories (3)

EDH #TBD     Pro Seminar (0)


Higher Education Foundations (12 hours)

EDH 6067       International Perspectives in Higher Education or EDF 5089 Black and Latino Education: History and Policy (3)

EDH 6081       Leading Change in Higher Education (3)

EDH 6085       Social Justice in Higher Education (3)

EDH 6401       Public Policy in Higher Education (3)


Research Core (18 hours)

EDF 6486        Applied Research Methods in Ed Leadership and Policy (3)

EDF 5400        Basic Descriptive and Inferential Statistics (4)

EDF 6475        Qualitative Methods of Education Research (3)

EDF 5461        Introduction to Program Evaluation (3)

EDH 5068       Outcomes of Undergraduate Education (3)

EDA 6930       Literature Review (or EDH 6935 Prospectus Development) (3)


Higher Education or Related Electives (6 hours)


Dissertation (24 hours)

EDH 8964       Preliminary Examination (0) (Spring, Summer)

EDH 6980       Dissertation Hours (24)

EDH 9985       Dissertation Defense (0)


[1] Scheduled semester may vary. Check department listings.

[2] Students who completed a graduate degree in student affairs/higher education within five years or less of beginning doctoral study should substitute EDF 5519: History of Higher Education for EDH 5051: Higher Education in America; Basic Understandings.

Meets ACPA Commission for Professional Preparation Standards: 
Meets CAS Standards: 

Number of Program Faculty

Full Time: 
Total Program Credit Hours: 
Average Time to Degree: 
3-4 years

Visitation Program

  • February 9, 2020 to February 11, 2020


Entrance Exam: 
  • GRE
Assistantship Required: 
Assistantship Placement Assistance: 
  • Full time
  • Part time
Program Delivery: 
  • In-person
Course Schedule: 
  • Evening
Comprehensive Exam Required: