Graduate Studies

All graduate degree programs are under the authority of the UNL College of Graduate Studies. That campus unit sets broad requirements for the degree and must accept the program of studies given it by the graduate student. Application for admission is first made to the graduate college. The graduate college then accepts the appointment of a supervisory committee to oversee the work of the graduate student. And the graduate college then accepts the recommendation of the supervisory committee for a program of studies leading to the degree. Contact Graduate Studies for further information.

Ed.D. and Ph.D. Degree

All students who complete doctoral programs in the Department of Educational Administration will have an opportunity to develop their knowledge of educational leadership and increase their potential to serve important leadership roles in educational and human service organizations. The faculty of the department have taken care to distinguish between the two doctoral degrees offered by the department in order to help admitted students have a clearer understanding of faculty expectations and to assist students in selecting their degree objective.

The Doctor of Education (EdD)

The EdD in Education is a program of study that prepares the student for professional practice. The EdD may be earned with a focus in P-12 education or in higher education. Those earning the degree receive a diploma indicating the degree as a Doctor of Education

This is the appropriate degree objective for that individual who intends to either pursue or continue a career as a practicing administrator in an educational organization or in a related type of organization. The EdD is a degree intended to help an individual develop leadership skills and become more versed in developing the analytical skills to confront difficult problems of practice. The EdD program will be characterized by the following:

  1. a program of studies that enhances the student's knowledge of the profession toward which she or he is focused;
  2. the opportunity to gain real life experience in the area of administration the student seeks to pursue, especially through internships oriented directly at student interests;
  3. a grounding in the major cognate areas that have been historically important to practitioners;
  4. a dissertation focused on a problem of practice;
  5. the opportunity to develop group skills by working on collaborative projects;
  6. research tool courses aimed at developing analytical skills.

P-12 Administration Doctor of Education

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The PhD degree in Educational Leadership and Higher Education (ELHE) is a program of study that prepares the student for a scholarly career. The PhD may be earned with a focus on higher education, or educational leadership. Those earning the degree receive a diploma indicating the degree as a Doctor of Philosophy.

As such, students are expected to master a scholarly research tradition in a specific area of educational administration and to be familiar with both quantitative and qualitative research methods in education. We expect that the skills acquired will be the skills of scholarly inquiry and research. While we realize that a person's future is not readily predicted, we intend that a student who elects this degree objective will be oriented toward research and scholarship. Thus, we intend that students seeking a PhD degree will pursue a doctoral program that is characterized by the following:

  1. a strong grounding in a scholarly tradition that leaves the student with expertise in the area of their dissertation research;
  2. six courses (18 hour) in research tools
  3. the completion of a minimum of six hours of coursework on campus;
  4. the completion of several research studies prepared for presentation and publication;
  5. a close working relationship with the supervisory chairperson;
  6. a dissertation that seeks to add to the knowledge base of its topical domain.

Educational Leadership and Higher Education Doctoral Programs


At the master's degree level the department has one major, Educational Administration. A specialization in Student Affairs Administration is available at the master's level.

At the doctoal degree level there are two majors. The department grants an Ed.D. degree in Educational Administration for individuals whose career path is P-12 leadership. This is a degree designed specifically for individuals who are pursuing superintendent endorsement. Individuals who already have a master's degree but do not have building level endorsement may also pursue this major; earning curriculum supervisor, SPED supervisor, or principal endorsement enroute to the Ed.D. degree.

The Educational Studies major is offered at the doctoral level by the College of Education and Human Sciences.  EDAD sponsors a specialization in Educational Leadership and higher education under this unified major.  The Educational Studies major may be either an Ed.D. or Ph.D. depending on the program of studies filed with the Graduate College.

Requirements for Applicants


The UNL Graduate College requires 90 credit hours exclusive of the research tools for the PhD degree and 96 credit hours including the research tools for the EdD degree. Students may transfer in up to 45 graduate credit hours from another accredited institution subject to the following:

  • the Graduate College accepts the hours and has an official transcript
  • the supervisory committee accepts the hours on the program of studies.


Students pursuing the EdD are not required to be physically present on campus. Students pursuing the PhD are required to complete a minimum of 6 credit hours on campus. In addition, the UNL Graduate College does have a credit hour residency requirement. By this, the Graduate College means that a student must complete a set number of credit hours within a time period. For the PhD degree, students must complete 27 hours within a consecutive 18 months. For a member of the university or a person employed in their major field, a person may instead complete 24 credit hours within a consecutive 24 month period. A further restriction specifies that no more than one third of the work for residency or 9 hours may be taken during summer sessions. This requirement holds for the EdD degree as well although the supervisory committee may determine how many hours may be taken in the summer. For clarification, please see the on-line version of the Graduate Studies Bulletin at

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees can be found at the following website:

No GRE Scores

GRE scores are not required for academic programs in the Department of Educational Administration.