Doctor of Education in the Field of 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.

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.

Required Courses (24 credits)

EDUC 8505 Seminar: Higher Education Administration
EDUC 8510 Administration and Organization of Higher Education
EDUC 8515 Comparative and International Higher Education
EDUC 8520 Theories for Research on College Students
EDUC 8525 College and University Curriculum
EDUC 8530 Leadership in Higher Education
EDUC 8555 Higher Education Policy
EDUC 8566 Higher Education Finance

Electives (2 credits)

2 credits selected in consultation with advisor

Research Courses (9 credits)

EDUC 8120 Group Comparison Designs and Analyses
EDUC 8122 Qualitative Research Methods
3 credits of Level B Research Methods coursework in consultation with advisor.

Dissertation (18 credits)

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

Comprehensive Examination

Successful completion of a comprehensive examination is required.

Total = 53 Credits



Dortch, Deniece Assistant Professor, Higher Education Administration
Kim, Mikyong Minsun Associate Professor, Higher Education Administration
Wright, Dwayne Kwaysee Assistant Professor, Higher Education Administration; Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives


Career Outlook

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

  • Sally Sagen Lorentson ('06) brings over 16 years of experience in student affairs to her position as the Associate Dean for University Life at George Mason University
  • Lindsay Mathers Addington ('04, '07) is the Director of Global Engagement at the National Association for College Admission Counseling
  • Shaunna Payne Gold ('06) serves as the Assistant Provost of Diversity and Inclusion at Towson University
  • Scott Filter ('03, '05) is currently a Management and Program Analyst at the US Department of Education
  • Marianne Huger Thomson ('03, '07) serves as the Associate Vice Provost of the Student Experience and Dean of Students at Syracuse University
  • Tracae McClure (’17) held a research internship with United Negro College Fund, the nation's largest minority serving organization, while in the program. She now serves as a Survey Statistician at the US Census Bureau

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)
  • Candidates are required to submit a writing sample of their choice.  The writing sample should reflect the candidate's potential for academic writing suitable for doctoral studies. There are no required page lengths, topics, or focus areas.

*Additional application requirements may exist for international applicants
For more information on any of these requirements, please visit our Admissions FAQ page.


Applications are now being accepted for Fall 2023. We encourage you to apply as early as possible.

Priority Deadline Nov 1
Round 1 Deadline Dec 15
Round 2 Deadline Jan 16
Round 3 Deadline March 1
Round 4 Deadline May 1


For more information, contact the GSEHD Admissions Team at or 202-994-9283.

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Learn more about the Doctorate in Higher Education Administration program. Complete the form linked below or contact the GSEHD Admissions Team at 202-994-9283.

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