The EdD program in higher education is designed for individuals interested primarily in the application of theory to practice. It is particularly appropriate for persons who aspire to administrative leadership careers in one or more of the following areas.
- Senior leadership positions in four-year colleges and universities, such as dean of students, vice president for student affairs, dean of administration, vice president for administration, vice president for development, assistant to the president, dean of continuing education and dean of a college of education.
- Senior leadership positions in two-year community colleges, junior colleges and vocational/technical institutes, such as department chair, dean of learning resource centers, chief academic affairs officer, vice president of student services, dean of business services, and president.
- Higher education middle management administrative positions in student affairs, administrative affairs, business affairs and development in all types of institutions of higher education, including such positions as director of institutional research, director of development, and director of continuing education.
- Senior administrative and staff positions in higher education coordinating and/or policy agencies in state, regional and federal government.
- Administrative leadership positions with higher education accrediting agencies, professional associations, consortia and other professional organizations.
Admission to the doctoral program in Higher Education is a two-step process. Each applicant must first apply to and meet the general admission requirements of UNT's Toulouse Graduate School.Then, applications for students who meet initial admission standards are forwarded to the College of Education for review and final decision.
Apply to Toulouse Graduate School
University of North Texas
Toulouse Graduate School
1155 Union Circle #305459 (USPS)
1147 Union Circle, ESSC Room 354 (UPS/FedEx)
Denton, TX 76203
- Submit official transcripts from each college or university you have attended to the Toulouse Graduate School.
- GRE score is optional.
Apply to Higher Education
- March 1 for fall enrollment
- Oct. 1 for spring enrollment
- Completed the Application for Admission to the Doctoral Program in Higher Education
- Three professional recommendations — recommendation form
- Three professional recommendations are required, including at least one from a faculty member with whom you have studied or conducted research.
- A typewritten admissions essay, addressing the following:
- Your reasons for pursuing a doctoral degree in higher education;
- Major area of interest in the field of higher education;
- Expectations regarding the program and career opportunities from the degree;
- Your immediate and long-range goals;
- Your work experience and previous scholarship as it relates to future career goals;
- Educational background as it relates to future career plans; and
- Personal uniqueness and how it contributes to the entering class and the program's reputation.
- A resume/curriculum vitae
- A sample of your best recent written work
- The writing sample can be a published journal article or book chapter, a research term paper, master’s thesis, or a professional report for which you are the sole or primary author.
Application materials can be returned to the Higher Education Program office in person, usps or via email to Shari.Wroe@unt.edu. Recommendations sent via email need to be submitted directly from the recommender.
UNT Higher Education Program
c/o Doctoral Admissions Coordinator
1155 Union Circle #310829
Denton, TX 76203-5017
The applicant is responsible for ensuring that the application file reaches the Program Office in time to be processed by the application deadline. If a complete application file is not processed by the deadline, the applicant will not be considered for admission that semester.
Note: Students who have not been granted admission will be administratively dropped from any Higher Education courses for which they may have registered.
Invitation to Interview
Admission to doctoral study in Higher Education, both the EdD and PhD, is selective and restricted. Admission decisions are made on a holistic basis by the faculty.
After faculty review, applicants may receive an invitation to an individually scheduled interview or conference call. Upon completion of the interview, faculty will make a final decision regarding an applicant's admission to the doctoral program.
The minimum total number of hours required for the EdD is 63 hours (57 if the internship requirement is waived) beyond the master’s degree.
Higher education doctoral core, 18 hours
Provides the student with a broad overview and integrated perspective of higher education as a field of study and academic enterprise.
Cognate area, 15 hours
The student completes a cognate of at least 15 semester credit hours from courses within the program of higher education in consultation with his or her major professor. Courses from outside the program of higher education may be taken as part of the cognate with the permission of the student’s major professor. Students are encouraged to focus on, but are not limited to, the following cognate areas:
- Community college leadership
- Student affairs administration
- Organization and administration
- Teaching and learning in higher education
Internship, 6 hours
An administrative internship of 6 semester hours is required of all doctoral students. Internship may be waived for students who have been employed in a full-time administrative position, or a teaching or research position in an institution, agency or association of higher education, for at least one academic year, or the equivalent as determined by the higher education faculty. Administrative internships consist of at least 120 clock hours of closely supervised administrative work per 3 semester hours of credit and culminate with a written report of the internship experience.
College of Education research core, 6 hours
The College of Education requires that each doctoral student complete
*Students who have not taken a master’s-level research course may need to take EPSY 5210 to meet the prerequisite for EPSY 6010. EPSY 5210 is not counted toward the degree.
Higher Education research requirement, 9 hours
Each EdD candidate must be competent in the modes of inquiry methods common to the major field of study. The higher education program requires EdD students to complete 6 hours of higher education field research courses and 3 hours in quantitative or qualitative research methodology beyond EPSY 6010 and EPSY 6020.
Higher education field research, 6 hours
Higher education field research consists of a series of two courses that must be taken in sequence and in consecutive semesters. This series is designed to help students strengthen their skills by creating research-based solutions for real-life issues in higher education administration. Prerequisites include College of Education research core (EPSY 6010 and EPSY 6020) and 30 hours completed in the higher education program.
Advanced research methodology, 3 hours
EdD students are required to take at least 3 hours of advanced quantitative or qualitative research course work beyond EPSY 6010 and EPSY 6020. Students must work with their major professor to select courses that will equip them for dissertation research.
Dissertation research requirement, minimum of 9 hours
The principal goal of the EdD dissertation is the demonstration of the student’s ability to solve practical issues in higher education by conducting independent research. The research design must be congruent with the modes of inquiry used in conducting research on higher education. EdD students are encouraged to conduct action research that applies theories in creating solutions for real-life issues in higher education. No dissertation enrollment is permitted until the student passes the doctoral qualifying exam. Only 9 semester hours of dissertation credit are applied to the degree program, even though more dissertation hours may be accumulated. Please check university policy on the requirement of continuous enrollment.
Doctoral dissertation committee
Each EdD student must select a dissertation committee prior to taking the doctoral qualifying exam. The dissertation committee consists of a minimum of four graduate faculty members including a major professor. At least two members of the committee must be full-time Higher Education Program faculty. The major professor must be full-time Higher Education Program faculty with full UNT Graduate Faculty status. The third member must be external to the Higher Education Program. The fourth member can be either full-time Higher Education faculty, affiliate Higher Education faculty, or someone external to the program. Students who have a minor are encouraged to select the external member from the minor field. Students should consult with their major professor to form the dissertation committee. Please check the university and college dissertation committee policies for other requirements.
Doctoral qualifying exam
Doctoral qualifying exam Students who have met the residency requirement and completed all course work on the degree plan (exclusive of dissertation) with a grade of B or better will be allowed to take the doctoral qualifying exam.
Students who have:
- met the residency requirement.
- are in the last 6 hours or less of course work (exclusive of dissertation)
- will complete these hours in the current semester.
- have completed all doctoral core courses and the higher education program research core
may take the doctoral qualifying exam in that semester with permission from the major professor. The higher education program doctoral qualifying exam includes written and oral components. Students who fail any part of the exam twice will be automatically dismissed from the program. Students who pass the doctoral qualifying exam are admitted to candidacy.
Estimate tuition and fees by using the Tuition Calculators. For more information about tuition plan options, fees, and tuition, see Student Financial Services.
Scholarships funded by the department, the College of Education and the graduate school are available to help you pursue your graduate education.
Full-time and part-time higher education students in the standard format master's program and the doctoral programs may be considered for graduate assistantships in student affairs and other areas of higher education administration. Learn more about the Graduate Assistant Program
Information about other financial assistance can be found at the graduate school site or the financial aid site.
Applying for financial aid
- Apply for financial aid online at fafsa.gov. The application is required for all types of financial aid, including Pell and other federal grants, state grants and loans. The FAFSA and Renewal FAFSA are available annually.
- You must enroll in 6 hours (over one or two online sessions) in order to be eligible for financial aid.
- Financial aid awards will be disbursed 10 days prior to the first day of class. Awards will not disburse if you are enrolled in only 3 credit hours.
- Contact Student Financial Aid and Scholarships at 940-565-2302 or by visiting online at financialaid.unt.edu