Educational Studies - Educational Leadership and Higher EducationDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
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*beyond the master’s is typical
Preparing Future Scholars in Academia
The Doctorate of Philosphy in Educational Studies provides academic preparation and professional development for those individuals interested in the study of educational leadership and higher education.
This program allows students to choose from three different areas to focus. Below are the three concentrations which are available.
The Ph. D. in Educational Studies with a concentration in Higher Education allows students who are currently employed at a college or university the ability to advance their knowledge in the field so that they can become a scholar in the field.
The Ph. D. in Educational Studies with a concentration in Community Colleges allows students who are currently employed at a community college the ability to advance their knowledge in the field so that they can become a scholar in the field.
P-12 Educational Leadership
The Ph. D. in Educational Studies with a concentration in P-12 Educational Leadership allows students who are currently employed at a P-12 institution the ability to advance their knowledge in the field so that they can become a scholar in the field. Students interested in becoming a Superintendent should pursue an Ed.D. degree with a specialization in P-12 System Level School Leadership. The Ph.D. degree does not offer a Superintendent endorsement.
The program is described as an online program; however, all students are encouraged or required to travel to campus. The Ph.D. requires students to complete a minimum of 6 credit hours of on-campus research residency seminars. Normally, all doctoral students will be on campus to present the dissertation proposal and for the final defense of the dissertation study.
Courses are offered on the regular semester and summer session schedule of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Research residency seminars are offered during the summer in a hybrid fashion (time-intensive on-campus experiences followed by additional online content) to facilitate the on-campus residency requirement. Courses are announced in the UNL schedule available online and students register for courses using the University web-based enrollment and billing system.
New applicants should be aware that not all advisors can accept new students every year. We recommend that you contact the individual faculty members to learn about their scholarly interests and advising capacity in the course of preparing your application for admission.
Our Unique Program
- Students learn from faculty who conduct and share leading research on contemporary challenges and opportunities in higher education. These scholars have devoted their careers to teaching, researching, discovering, and sharing what works in higher education administration.
- Students also learn from faculty with decades of combined experience as higher education administrators and leaders who have lived and breathed the work of directors, coordinators, and supervisors at a variety of higher education institutions.
- Courses are taught by current UNL administrators and carefully selected external professors, bringing an extra dimension of real-world credibility and authenticity to the program.
Individual Attention, Support, & Hands-on Learning
- Students apply administrative theory and current research to their unique work environments while building supportive relationships with faculty and colleagues. Students leave the program with an expanded network of support, connections, and perspective.
- Multiple opportunities to grow through additional, no-cost learning opportunities such as the Women in Educational Leadership Conference (WELC), the Critical Issues Forum, and the Sybouts Student Research Symposium.
Access to Leading Higher Education Professionals
- Experienced college and university administrators share expertise from the very beginning on current issues, such as enrollment, retention, access, campus culture and climate, law, student involvement, equity, and other key topics.
From Day One
- With a thorough background in theory and experience with its application, our graduates are Day-One-Ready for student engagement and success, recruitment and retention of students, faculty and staff, human and alumni relations, and other aspects of higher education administration.
Courses and Schedule
- The University of Nebraska grants the Ph. D. degree only to students who have completed a minimum of 90 graduate semester hours. For this degree, EDAD requires 18 hours of doctoral level research and statistics courses in addition to the 90 graduate semester hour requirement. This degree requires completion of a minimum of 45 semester hours (excluding research and statistics courses) at UNL after admission for doctoral study, regardless of how many graduate hours you may have already acquired before admission. Students are required to complete a minimum of 6 credit hours of Research Residency Seminars as part of Electives or Research/Statistics.
Launching Your Journey
The Doctorate of Philosophy in Educational Studies is a hybrid program primarily designed to serve the needs of those already employed at a college or university and who seek to advance their knowledge in the study of higher education or community colleges.
The sequence of courses taken by a student is dependent upon if the student is enrolled part-time or full-time. For part-time students, it is expected that they take 2 courses per semester, including over the summer, for a total of 6 courses per year. Full-time students should take 3 courses per semester and 2 over the summer. Deviating from this sequence may delay program completion, as certain courses are offered at certain times and are subject to enrollment limits. Additionally, a student's specific sequence of courses is also dependent upon the concentration that they select to pursue. Students unable to follow the sequence as outlined should be in regular communication with their advisor.