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College of Education

Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership

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The Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership is designed to prepare students for leadership roles in a variety of higher education institutional settings. The program provides a professional degree to improve the practice of those engaged in administrative functions in higher education. 

The doctorate of Educational Leadership in Higher Education:

  • Is a 54-hour cohort-based, weekend program combining foundations, inquiry courses, administrative leadership in higher education and the dissertation in practice.
  • Provides a practice based design capitalizing on goals and needs of students.
  • Takes advantage of TCU’s history as a sectarian institution to include value based and ethical leadership concepts as part of the curriculum

The Higher Education Leadership program prepares students to assume major leadership roles in higher education institutions. The program:

  • Prepares students for positions such as presidents, vice-presidents, deans and department heads.
  • Develops educational leaders who understand organizations and the effective leadership of organizations.
  • Develops educational leaders prepared to take advantage of increasing opportunities for creating new educational institutions and systems.
  • Develops leaders who understand the relationship of higher education to community settings.
  • Develops educational leaders who operate with a global perspective in a diverse and rapidly evolving professional field.
  • Develops educational leaders who reflect clear ethical and moral commitments for the education of students.
  • Develops educational leaders able to envision and create new settings now possible through the availability of information technologies.

To be admitted to the doctoral program in Higher Education Leadership, a student must:

  • Apply to TCU Graduate School
  • Demonstrate a strong academic record
  • Have a Master’s Degree in education or an appropriate field from a regionally accredited institution
  • Provide a written statement that documents evidence that leadership skills and experiences, and explains motivations and goals for pursuing the Ed.D. degree
  • Complete an interview with College of Education faculty
  • Complete a reference referral form and provide 3 letters of reference, with at least one letter from an academic reference
  • Show three years of professional experience, preferred
  • International students must meet TCU International Admission requirements
  • December 1 – Priority deadline
  • February 1 – Final deadline

Tuesday, September 13 at 12:00 – In-Person
Thursday, September 22 at 5:30 - Online
Wednesday, September 28 at 12:00 - Online

Wednesday, October 12 at 12:00 In-Person
Monday, October 17 at 5:30 In-Person
Thursday, October 27 at 5:30 Online

Wednesday, November 9 at 12:00 - Online
Monday, November 14 at 5:30 – In-Person

Thursday, December 1 at 5:30 - Online
Tuesday, December 6 at 12:00 In-Person
Monday, December 12 at 5:30 – In-Person

  • Applications now being accepted
  • Flexible class options available
  • Learn about admissions requirements and deadlines
  • Full and part-time options
  • Learn from leading scholars and practitioners

Questions and registration, email

A program of study is both a guideline for the student and the student’s Doctoral Advisory Committee and a document for ongoing evaluation and assessment. Each student will create a Doctoral Advisory Committee (DAC). The DAC will be created using the criteria established by the College of Education in the “Guidelines for Project/Dissertation Committee Service” document. Among the first tasks of the DAC is to develop the student’s Program of Study. While there is latitude intended in this plan, the DAC has the responsibility to help the student be prepared to achieve their career goals. The EdD in Higher Education Leadership requires the completion of 54 hours of post-matriculation course work.

For a detailed description of the program of study for the Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership, see the TCU Online Catalog.

Download Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership degree plan

Year 1 Course(s) Course(s) Course(s) Credit Hours
Summer Foundational Readings Ethics & Equity   6
Fall Cultural Foundations Research in Education   6
Spring Academic Leadership & Governance Quantitative Research   6
Year 2        
Summer History & Philosophy of Higher Education Impact of College Students   6
Fall Qualitative Research Organizational Behavior in Higher Education Dissertation 7
Spring Finance in Higher Education Doctoral Seminar Dissertation 7
Year 3        
Summer Human Resource Management Trends & Issues in Higher Education Dissertation 7
Fall Legal Issues in Higher Education Dissertation   6
Spring Dissertation     3

The Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership Programs enrolls both working professionals, as well as full-time doctoral students, who wish to hold a graduate assistantship. The Graduate Assistantship Program provides master and doctoral students with a theory to practice experience complementing the Higher Education Leadership curriculum. Graduate Assistantships are in a variety of offices, such as Fraternity and Sorority Life, John V. Roach Honors College, Housing and Residence Life, Institutional Effectiveness, Center for Career and Professional Development, and many others.

TCU enhances the Graduate Assistant’s practical experiences through collaboration with other offices, which foster skill sets in many functional areas. Graduate Assistants are encouraged to participate in departmental, divisional and University committees, and are provided with many development opportunities fostering growth and learning. In the program, students can expect:

  • Opportunities for student development and creation of programs specifically meeting student needs.
  • To have the ability to work with University practitioners, specifically trained in functional areas to provide student support and services.
  • Supervisors to spend time getting to know Graduate Assistants, their needs and develop development plans to meet those needs.

Fall 2022 Class Dates
August 20-21
September 17-18
October 8-9
November 12-13
December 3-4

Spring 2023 Class Dates
January 21-22
February 11-12
March 4-5
April 1-2
April 29-30

Summer 2023 Class Dates
June 9-11
June 23-25
July 14-16
July 28-30


Program participants are invited to membership in the Higher Education Leadership Organization, a student organization offering guest speakers, interview preparation and networking.

Program Advisors

Ashley Tull, Ed.D.
Professor of Professional Practice, Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership & Higher Education (817) 257-6938
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