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

    GSEHD doctoral student Anna McGoff (Higher Education Administration) published an article on entitled Control the Controllables: Dealing With Challenges All Graduate Students Face.

    GSEHD doctoral candidate Carrie Gillispie (Special Education and Disability Studies) was quoted in WTOP's Lights on, sound down: Md. high school makes musical for youth with autism. Ms. Gillispie was a consultant on the Connelly School of the Holy Child's sensory-friendly rendition of the musical Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, tailored for children with autism. She was also quoted about the show in's Special Performance in Potomac for Those with Special Needs.

    GSEHD alumnus Dr. Kirk Nooks (Ed.D., Higher Education Administration) has been named the President of Gordon State College in Barnesville, GA, where he will assume his new position on June 1, 2018. Dr. Nooks is currently President at Metropolitan Community College-Longview in Lee’s Summit, MO.
    “I’m pleased to welcome Dr. Nooks back to the University System of Georgia as President of Gordon State College,” Chancellor Steve Wrigley said. “His past experiences in higher education will be an asset in helping to increase Gordon State’s enrollment and provide a strong foundation for the college.”

    GSEHD alumnus Dr. David W. Wright (Ed.D. Higher Education Administration) was recently named the next headmaster of Subiaco Academy in Arkansas effective July 1, 2018. Dr. Wright is currently the assistant vice president of Enrollment and Educational Services at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania.

    GSEHD alumnus Dr. Kirk Nooks (Ed.D., Higher Education Administration) has been named the sole finalist for the position of President of Gordon State College in Barnesville, GA according to's Finalist named for Gordon State College presidency. Dr. Nooks is currently President at Metropolitan Community College-Longview in Longview, MO.