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 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


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 8172 Multivariate Analysis
EDUC 8173 Structural Equation Modeling
EDUC 8174 Hierarchical Linear Modeling
EDUC 8175 Item Response Theory
EDUC 8177 Assessment Engineering


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


Dortch, Deniece Assistant Professor, Higher Education Administration
Jakeman, Rick Associate Dean for Masters' Studies and Student Life; Associate 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)
  • GRE is optional
  • 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.
  • Application Fee

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

Applications are currently being accepted for the Fall 2022 start term.  The deadline is May 31st.  If you have questions about submitting your application, please contact our Admission Office at or at 202.994.9283.

Transformation Begins Here

Learn more about the Doctorate in Higher Education Administration program located on campus (202) 994-9283.