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Higher Education This is a Track

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College : Education and Human Performance Degree :EDD
Department : Child, Family and Community Sciences Option : Dissertation
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The Higher Education track in the Educational Leadership EdD program is appropriate for students who are committed to advancing their leadership capabilities in college and university settings.
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Students pursuing the Higher Education track in the Educational Leadership EdD program are typically employed in two- or four-year colleges or universities. Their programs of study require them to complete a minimum of 27 credit hours of specified core and specialization courses plus two elective courses. Students must also complete 9 credit hours in research methods and 21 hours of dissertation. The 63 minimum credit hours is required beyond the master's degree, with an emphasis related to the study of higher education as a field of inquiry. Details about the administration of this program can be found in the Higher Education Handbook.
Total Credit Hours Required:
63 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Master's Degree

Required Courses—36 Credit Hours

Core—15 Credit Hours

  • EDH 6046 Diversity in Higher Education (3 credit hours)
  • EDH 6632 American Professoriate and College Presidency (3 credit hours)
  • EDH 7401 Higher Education and Public Policy (3 credit hours)
  • EDH 7040 Research on the College Student (3 credit hours)
  • EDH 7631 Managing Change, Conflict and Stability in Higher Education (3 credit hours)

Specialization—12 Credit Hours

  • EDH 6065 History and Philosophy of Higher Education (3 credit hours)
  • EDH 6635 Organization and Administration of Higher Education (3 credit hours)
  • EDH 6505 Finance in Higher Education (3 credit hours)
  • EDH 7405 Legal Issues in Higher Education (3 credit hours)

Research Methods—9 Credit Hours

  • EDF 6401 Statistics for Educational Data (3 credit hours)
  • EDF 7403 Quantitative Foundations of Educational Research (3 credit hours)
  • EDF 7463 Analysis of Survey and Qualitative Data (3 credit hours)

Elective Courses—6 Credit Hours

Choose two courses from the list below.

  • EDH 6047 Theories of College Student Development (3 credit hours)
  • EDH 6054 Issues in Postsecondary Education (3 credit hours)
  • EDH 7409 Legal Issues in Higher Education II (3 credit hours)
  • EDH 7638 Advance Seminar in Higher Education (3 credit hours)
  • EDH 7366 Assessment Practices in Higher Education (3 credit hours)
  • EDH 6045 First Year College Experience (3 credit hours)
  • EDH 6067 International Higher Education (3 credit hours)
  • EDH 7934 Higher Education Literature, Research and Professional Writing Seminar (3 credit hours)

Dissertation—21 Credit Hours

Doctoral students must present a prospectus for the dissertation to the doctoral adviser, prepare a proposal, present the proposal to the dissertation committee, and defend the final research submission with the dissertation committee. Registration for dissertation hours is not permitted until the student is admitted to candidacy.

  • EDH 7980 Dissertation Research (21 credit hours minimum)


To enter candidacy for the Educational Leadership EdD program, students must have an overall 3.0 GPA on all graduate work included in the planned program and pass all required examinations. In addition, evidence of the following are required to be admitted to candidacy and enroll in dissertation hours before the first day of classes for which the student wishes to enroll in dissertation hours:

  • Completion of all course work, except for dissertation hours.
  • Successful completion of the candidacy examination.
  • Successful defense of the written dissertation prospectus.
  • The dissertation advisory committee is formed, consisting of approved graduate faculty and graduate faculty scholars.
  • Submission of an approved program of study.

Candidacy Examination

Candidacy examinations will be scheduled near the tenth week of the fall and spring semesters, and summer exams will be scheduled for the sixth week of the term. Students must be enrolled in the university during the semester an examination is taken. The exams are:

  1. Higher education (five hours)
  2. Area of specialization (three hours)

Application Requirements

For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements, applicants to this program must provide:

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 (on 4.0 scale) in the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate degree.
  • Master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 (on 4.0 scale) for all graduate work at the time of application.
  • Official, competitive GRE score, taken within the last five years.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Resumé.
  • Goal statement.
  • Evidence of a minimum of one year full-time or two years part-time professional higher education work experience. Evidence may include, but not be limited to, any one of the following: work experience listed on the resume/CV with confirmation email/tel, letter of reference, or copies of annual reviews, etc.. (Please note that graduate assistantships, teaching assistantships, internships and practica do not fulfill this requirement.)
  • An interview might be required.  

Application Deadlines

Higher Education *Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
Domestic Applicants Jan 15Mar 20



The application deadline for Fall has been moved up to March 20th.

International Applicants Jan 15Jan 15



International Transfer Applicants Jan 15Mar 1



*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.


Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.


Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.