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    Jul 24, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Higher Education, EdD

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The EdD program in higher education is designed for individuals interested primarily in the application of theory to practice. It is particularly appropriate for persons who aspire to administrative leadership careers in one or more of the following areas.

  • Senior leadership positions in four-year colleges and universities, such as dean of students, vice president for student affairs, dean of administration, vice president for administration, vice president for development, assistant to the president, dean of continuing education and dean of a college of education.
  • Senior leadership positions in two-year community colleges, junior colleges and vocational/technical institutes, such as department chair, dean of learning resource centers, chief academic affairs officer, vice president of student services, dean of business services, and president.
  • Higher education middle management administrative positions in student affairs, administrative affairs, business affairs and development in all types of institutions of higher education, including such positions as director of institutional research, director of development, and director of continuing education.
  • Senior administrative and staff positions in higher education coordinating and/or policy agencies in state, regional and federal government.
  • Administrative leadership positions with higher education accrediting agencies, professional associations, consortia and other professional organizations.

Admission requirements

Students seeking admission to the doctoral program in higher education should apply for either the EdD or PhD program depending on their academic preparation, prior experience and career goals. Both doctoral programs offered in higher education enable students to acquire knowledge about and evaluate major organizational, behavioral and learning theories applicable to higher education; to conduct applied and/or original research in the field of higher education; to become familiar with past, present and emerging patterns of organization and professional administrative practice in higher education; and to observe and participate in the actual practice of higher education administration and/or research. However, the two programs differ significantly in length and emphasis and in course work, research tool, minor field and dissertation requirements.

Admission to the program is selective. Students seeking admission to the doctoral program in higher education should submit the following items to the UNT Toulouse Graduate School:

  • UNT Toulouse Graduate School application form;
  • official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended; and
  • official GRE or GMAT scores no older than five years are optional.

The following materials must be submitted to the Higher Education Program Office:

  • three recommendation forms, including at least one from a faculty member with whom the student has studied or conducted research (please contact the Higher Education Program Office for recommendation form);
  • a curriculum vitae or resume;
  • an admission essay (i.e., statement of purpose); and
  • a sample of the applicant’s best recent written work in the form of a published article or book chapter, a research term paper, master’s thesis or a professional report for which the applicant is the sole or primary author.

In addition to the minimum requirements of the College of Education listed under the “Admission Requirements” heading in the appropriate section of this catalog, admission to the EdD and PhD doctoral programs in higher education is contingent upon the following:

  • an acceptable GPA (the successful candidate for admission will normally have an overall GPA of 3.6 or higher from a graduate degree program, based on a 4.0 grading system);
  • GRE or GMAT scores are optional;
  • the quality and relevance of the applicant’s prior undergraduate and graduate work;
  • the quality and relevance of the applicant’s prior work experience in higher education administration, teaching and/or research;
  • the clarity and fit of the applicant’s career objectives;
  • the strength of the professional/educational references;
  • the quality of the admission essay and writing sample; and
  • an interview with program faculty.

There is an application deadline for each semester. Contact the program office for deadline dates. After review of the complete application packet, eligible applicants will be invited to interview with the program faculty. For additional information, prospective students should contact the higher education program office at 940-565-2045 or e-mail coe-che-info@unt. edu.

Degree requirements

The minimum total number of hours required for the EdD is 63 hours (57 if the internship requirement is waived) beyond the master’s degree.

Higher education doctoral core, 18 hours

Provides the student with a broad overview and integrated perspective of higher education as a field of study and academic enterprise.

Cognate area, 15 hours

The student completes a cognate of at least 15 semester credit hours from courses within the program of higher education in consultation with his or her major professor. Courses from outside the program of higher education may be taken as part of the cognate with the permission of the student’s major professor. Students are encouraged to focus on, but are not limited to, the following cognate areas:

  • Community college leadership
  • Student affairs administration
  • Organization and administration
  • Teaching and learning in higher education

Internship, 6 hours

An administrative internship of 6 semester hours is required of all doctoral students. Internship may be waived for students who have been employed in a full-time administrative position, or a teaching or research position in an institution, agency or association of higher education, for at least one academic year, or the equivalent as determined by the higher education faculty. Administrative internships consist of at least 120 clock hours of closely supervised administrative work per 3 semester hours of credit and culminate with a written report of the internship experience.

College of Education research core, 6 hours

The College of Education requires that each doctoral student complete

Higher Education research requirement, 9 hours

Each EdD candidate must be competent in the modes of inquiry methods common to the major field of study. The higher education program requires EdD students to complete 6 hours of higher education field research courses and 3 hours in quantitative or qualitative research methodology beyond EPSY 6010  and EPSY 6020 .

Higher education field research, 6 hours

Higher education field research consists of a series of two courses that must be taken in sequence and in consecutive semesters. This series is designed to help students strengthen their skills by creating research-based solutions for real-life issues in higher education administration. Prerequisites include College of Education research core (EPSY 6010  and EPSY 6020 ) and 30 hours completed in the higher education program.

Advanced research methodology, 3 hours

EdD students are required to take at least 3 hours of advanced quantitative or qualitative research course work beyond EPSY 6010  and EPSY 6020 . Students must work with their major professor to select courses that will equip them for dissertation research.

Dissertation research requirement, minimum of 9 hours

The principal goal of the EdD dissertation is the demonstration of the student’s ability to solve practical issues in higher education by conducting independent research. The research design must be congruent with the modes of inquiry used in conducting research on higher education. EdD students are encouraged to conduct action research that applies theories in creating solutions for real-life issues in higher education. No dissertation enrollment is permitted until the student passes the doctoral qualifying exam. Only 9 semester hours of dissertation credit are applied to the degree program, even though more dissertation hours may be accumulated. Please check university policy on the requirement of continuous enrollment.

Doctoral dissertation committee

Each EdD student must select a dissertation committee prior to taking the doctoral qualifying exam. The dissertation committee consists of a minimum of four graduate faculty members including a major professor. At least two members of the committee must be full-time Higher Education Program faculty. The major professor must be full-time Higher Education Program faculty with full UNT Graduate Faculty status. The third member must be external to the Higher Education Program (can be external to the college or university). The fourth member can be either full-time Higher Education faculty, affiliate Higher Education faculty, or someone external to the program (can be external to the college or university). Students who have a minor are encouraged to select the external member from the minor field. Students should consult with their major professor to form the dissertation committee. Please check the university and college dissertation committee policies for other requirements.

Additional requirements

Minimum grade requirement

All courses required and used toward the doctoral degree in higher education must be passed with a grade of B or better.

Residency requirement

All doctoral students at UNT are required to complete the residency requirement prior to taking the Doctoral Qualifying Exam. The residency requirement consists of two consecutive semesters at UNT with a minimum of 9 graduate hours in each term or three consecutive semesters with a minimum of 6 graduate hours in each term. The summer semester may be excluded for the purpose of determining consecutive semesters.

Doctoral qualifying exam

Students who have met the residency requirement and completed all course work on the degree plan (exclusive of dissertation) with a grade of B or better will be allowed to take the doctoral qualifying exam. Students who have met the residency requirement and are in the last 9 hours or less of course work (exclusive of dissertation) and will complete these hours in the current semester may take the doctoral qualifying exam with permission from the major professor. The higher education program doctoral qualifying exam includes written and oral components. Students who fail any part of the exam twice will be automatically dismissed from the program. Students who pass the doctoral qualifying exam are admitted to candidacy.


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