Doctorate in Higher Education Administration

The ever-evolving field of higher education requires exceptional leaders for administrative, academic, and research positions in two- and four-year higher education institutions, national and international associations, government agencies, and other post-secondary educational settings.

Located in Washington, DC, the Higher Education Administration Doctoral program leverages its location to foster a community of scholar-practitioners, professional and research opportunities, and a commitment to diverse educational experiences. Designed for working professionals, the research-focused executive Higher Education Administration program prepares senior leadership and executive management decision-makers for administrative, academic, and research positions in diverse educational settings, agencies, and associations alike. Unique to the Higher Education program at GW, you will have the opportunity to focus your dissertation on a problem of practice you've encountered within your higher education career. By integrating theory and research seamlessly with your practice, you will be equipped with the skills necessary for professional academic and administrative career development.

Graduates will gain valuable networking opportunities and connections for college student personnel administrators throughout Washington DC.

For more information on the program's unique features, career pathways, and curriculum, please view and download Ed.D. Higher Education.


Why a GW Doctorate in Higher Education Administration?

    Location: GW’s location in Washington, DC- the epicenter of policy, practice, and research - provides students with the distinct advantage of being a neighbor to national organizations including: The Department of Education, American Council on Education, ACPA and NASPA, American Educational Research Association, and a variation of colleges/universities in size and affiliation.
    Convenient Schedule: The Program offers flexible weekend classes to accommodate busy professionals who work both locally and nationally.

A minimum of 53 credits, including 24 credits in core courses, 9 credits of research, and 2 credits of electives.

Core Courses

EDUC 6510Administration of Higher Education
EDUC 6520Foundations of College Student Development
EDUC 6555Higher Education Policy
EDUC 6565 Financing Higher Education
EDUC 6610 Programs and Policies in International Education
EDUC 8505Seminar: Higher Education Administration
EDUC 8525College and University Curriculum
EDUC 8530Leadership in Higher Education


2 credits selected in consultation with advisor

Research Courses

EDUC 8120Group Comparison Designs and Analyses
EDUC 8122Qualitative Research Methods

3 credits from the following:
EDUC 8100Experimental Courses
EDUC 8130Survey Research Methods
EDUC 8131Case Study Research Methods
EDUC 8140Ethnographic Research Methods
EDUC 8142Phenomenological Research Methods
EDUC 8144Discourse Analysis
EDUC 8170Educational Measurement
EDUC 8171Predictive Designs and Analyses
EDUC 8172 Multivariate Analysis
EDUC 8173 Structural Equation Modeling
EDUC 8174 Hierarchical Linear Modeling
EDUC 8175 Item Response Theory
EDUC 8177 Assessment Engineering


EDUC 8280Critical Review of Educational Leadership Literature
EDUC 8998Pre-Dissertation Seminar (taken for 3 credits)
EDUC 8999Dissertation Research (minimum 12 credits needed to complete requirement)

Approved dissertation proposal required
Successful completion of comprehensive exam required

Visiting Assistant Professor
(202) 994-6853
(202) 994-6161
Associate Professor
(202) 994-5123
Associate Professor
(202) 994-3205
Visiting Professor
(202) 994-7218
Assistant Professor
(202) 994-1453
Assistant Professor
(202) 994-2770
Career Outlook


The careers our graduates pursue are diverse and fuse leading edge research and policy with practice.

  • Sally Sagen Lorentson brings over ten years of experience in student affairs to her position as the director of orientation and family programs and services at George Mason University
  • Lindsay Mathers Addington is the Assistant Director of International Initiatives at the National Association for College Admission Counseling
  • Shaunna Payne Gold serves as the associate director of assessment programs and student development in the Office of Multi-ethnic Student Education at the University of Maryland
  • Scott Filter is currently the Associate Vice President of Public Policy for Bridgepoint Education
  • Marianne Huger Thomson serves as the Associate Dean for Orientation, Transition and Retention at American University
  • Tracae McClure served as a research intern with United Negro College Fund, the nation's largest minority serving organization
  • Our graduates are transforming the conversation and quality of experience at colleges and universities nation wide. Join our conversation



    Program Entry: Fall
    Prerequisites:Master's Degree
    Campus:Foggy Bottom

    Application Requirements

    • Online Application
    • Resume
    • Statement of Purpose
    • 2 Letters of Recommendation (academic and/or professional)
    • Transcripts (unofficial)
    • Standardized Test Scores (GRE or MAT)
    • Application Fee

    *Additional application requirements may exist for international applicants

    For more information on any of these requirements, please visit our Admissions page.

    Transformation Begins Here

    Learn more about the Doctorate in Higher Education Administration program located on campus (202-994-7066).

    In the News

    Dr. Bernhard Streitwieser and GSEHD alumnus Dr. Bradley Beecher (Ed.D., Higher Education Administration) published a feature article, Information Sharing in the Age of Hyper-competition: Opening an International Branch Campus, in Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning. In addition, Dr. Streitwieser has accepted an invitation to become one of 12 steering committee members of the newly formed University Alliance for Refugees and At-risk Migrants (UARRM) of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research.

    GW hosted the District of Columbia College Personnel Association (DCCPA) Conference over the weekend, and many students, faculty, and alumni represented GSEHD at the event. GSEHD doctoral student Chris Moody (Higher Education Administration) gave the opening Keynote Address. In addition, GSEHD presenters included: Hadiya Alexander, Anne Graham, Shyama Kuver, Dr. Rick Jakeman, Tyler Jung, Sara Landers, Rebecca Lynch, Erin Mayo, Dr. Tim Miller, Richard Owens, Jeffrey Ramos, Connor Salanger, Taylor Smith, Dr. Andrew Sonn, Nancy Stalowski, and Dr. Susan Swayze. For more information about sessions and presenters, please see the Conference Agenda and the Program Abstracts.

    GSEHD alumnus Dr. Peter Konwerski (Ed.D., higher education administration) is stepping down from his position as GW Vice Provost and Dean of Student Affairs. He will remain at GW through the spring 2018.

    GSEHD alumna Sister Mary Glennon, Ed.D. (doctorate in higher education administration), was honored by Misericordia University through the establishment of a merit-based, full-tuition scholarship program. Sister Mary Glennon is Misericordia University's longest serving academic dean, and the university recently created a program of six competitive scholarships annually in her name to qualified incoming first-year students.

    GSEHD's Center on Education Policy put out a new report entitled Little Evidence and Big Consequences: Understanding Special Education Voucher Programs. Matthew Braun, CEP research associate and GSEHD doctoral student in education policy and administration, was the report's primary author. CEP’s new report details the growth and characteristics of state special education voucher programs while emphasizing that the evidence base on their impact, effectiveness, and quality is small, dated, and heavily biased. The report identifies major questions and concerns about these programs that have yet to be fully addressed by researchers or policymakers.