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


Linda Lyons
1114 West Call Street
1209 Stone Building
Tallahasssee, FL 32306
(850) 644-6777

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

Higher Education Core (21 hours)

EDH 5051        Higher Education in America (3) [1]

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)


Higher Education Foundations (12 hours)

EDH 6067        International Perspectives in Higher Education (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 5935         Introduction to Statistics for Education Research (3)

EDF 6475         Qualitative Methods of Education (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] Students who completed a graduate degree within five years or less of beginning doctoral study may take an advanced option available in place of EDH 5051 Higher Education in America such as History of Higher Education, History of Education, Women in Higher Education, or Black and Latino Education: History and Policy.

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



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