Doctorate in Higher Education Administration


The Higher Education Administration program prepares 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. The Doctoral degree provides a high-quality, fast-paced scholarly experience in which students can integrate theory and research seamlessly with practice.

Program graduates rise rapidly within administrative and scholarly ranks based on their knowledge, skills, experiences, and research expertise. Graduates are:

  • Knowledgeable of critical issues in the field of higher education
  • Able to conduct independent primary research
  • Equipped with the skills necessary for academic and administrative career development

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?

  • Capitalize Your Experience: HEA program provides countless opportunities and connections for college student personnel administrators. 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
  • Transforming the higher education experience: Whether you are interested in the demographic variables that are predictors of student borrowing, an historical analysis of the contributions of the black power movement to higher education, changes in Greek life policy and practice or foundations of college student development, GSEHD leverages its location to foster a community of scholar-practitioners, professional and research opportunities, and a commitment to diverse educational experiences.
  • Flexibility for Professionals: The Program offers flexible weekend and evening classes to accommodate busy professionals. Collaborating with leaders in the field, graduates develop strong analytical skills to translate data into policy, practice and leadership.

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

Core Courses

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


2 credits selected in consultation with advisor

Research Courses

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

3 credits from the following:
EDUC 8100 Experimental Courses
EDUC 8130 Survey Research Methods
EDUC 8131 Case Study Research Methods
EDUC 8140 Ethnographic Research Methods
EDUC 8142 Phenomenological Research Methods
EDUC 8144 Discourse Analysis
EDUC 8170 Educational Measurement
EDUC 8171 Predictive Designs and Analyses


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

Approved dissertation proposal required
Successful completion of comprehensive exam required

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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

    In the News

    GSEHD alumnus Chris E. Domes (Ed.D., Higher Education Administration), current president of Silver Lake College in Wisconsin, has been named the sixth president of Neumann University in Aston, Pennsylvania. He will take office on July 1, 2017.

    Dr. Bernhard Streitwieser co-published an article titled A Risk Management Approach for the Internationalization of Higher Education in the Journal of the Knowledge Economy with GSEHD alumnus Bradley Beecher (Ed.D., Higher Education Administration).

    Dr. Meggan Madden, Dr. Laura Engel and HEA doctoral student, Candace Morgan, presented on U.S. Higher Education from a Comparative Perspective to a group of 20 English language professors spending nine weeks at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) to take seminars in English teaching methodologies and learn about the broader U.S. education system.

    GSEHD student Audrey Peek (Ed.D. candidate in higher education administration) also recently started working as a researcher at the American Institutes for Research as well, where she specializes in postsecondary education policy and administration. She focuses on how students pay for and succeed in college. Her current work includes exploring alternative financial aid options, measuring student loan repayment, and evaluating student outcomes in competency-based education programs. Ms.

    GSEHD alumna Elizabeth Primas (Ed.D., higher education administration) was highlighted in's Award-winning Educator to Lead New NNPA Education Campaign Supported by The Gates Foundation. Dr.