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EdD in Higher Education Administration

Application Deadline: 02/02/2024

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Program Information

Beginning with the Fall 2024 cohort, the EdD will be redesigned with a focus on leadership for innovation and social change with online course options. We look forward to welcoming our inaugural cohort to this new model!

The Fall 2024 application cycle has now closed. 

The Department of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Utah offers an Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership and Innovation. The program aims to develop the next generation of change leaders committed to equity and innovation in higher education by preparing students to hold the highest-level positions throughout higher education, the nonprofit sector, and related complex educational organizations. Offered in a cohort model, it is designed for experienced administrators looking to enhance their career as scholar-practitioners and institutional leaders.

Since we anticipate that students will be full-time employees throughout their studies, the curriculum is designed to be taken on a part-time basis (2 courses/6 credits per term) and we anticipate students completing in three years of continuous study (Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters).

Guided by nationally recognized faculty who hold leadership positions throughout higher education, the Ed.D. is modeled on theory-to-practice. Students will be taught by research faculty and full-time administrator instructors leading the way in systems change for equity in higher education. Students gain skills in application, using evidence to address persistent problems facing higher education.

Program Objectives:

  • Students will explore strategies for effective leadership and innovation, with coursework focused on human resource management, strategic planning, budgeting and finance, and systems change leadership.
  • Students will develop strategies for engaging in reflexive, mindful practice to sustain themselves as leaders in higher education.
  • Students will engage in a theory-to-practice capstone project, providing them the skills and practical experience to implement a new program, policy, or practice addressing equity in a higher education context.
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At a Glance

Program Emphasis
Higher Education
Credit Hours
48 credits
Application Deadline
Application Fee
Degree Conferred


Requirements for Application

  • A completed master's degree with a GPA of at least 3.00.
  • Experience in full-time administrative or leadership role in higher education for 3 or more years. 
  • Application fee.
    • For domestic applicants, the application fee is $55; for international applicants, the fee is $65. You can pay your fee online through the SLATE application process.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required.

Required Documents for Application

Under the Program Information section on the Slate application, first choose your program Educational Leadership & Policy EDD program, and upload the following:

  • Resume or Vita that includes academic and professional information and demonstrates career development (i.e. leadership roles, professional activities, and volunteer involvement)
  • Statement of Purpose (Limit statement to 500 words or less) Describe the following:
    • Your reason for seeking this degree and your career aspirations upon completing an Ed.D.
    • How you see the program fitting into your academic and professional trajectory.
  • Writing Sample
    • Using the statement and questions below, submit an essay that responds to the topic. (Limit response to 1000 words)
    • Describe a significant professional accomplishment that required strategic thinking, relationship building, and perseverance related to social justice and/or equity. Define what made this a source of accomplishment and describe what challenges you had to overcome to achieve the goal(s). What values, interests, and issues represented in this accomplishment motivate you to pursue advanced study in educational leadership?
  • Three letters of recommendation, which should be written by:
    • A faculty member from whom you have previously taken a class. The letter should address your skills and abilities to navigate the academic rigor of doctoral education.
    • Current/prior direct supervisor who will address your future potential for leadership in higher education.
    • A third person who can speak to your academic or professional potential to lead social change in higher education.
    • Letters will be submitted through the Slate application website

Priority submission by February 2, 4pm MT.

If you have questions or concerns at any time, please contact our Academic Coordinator, Marilynn Howard, at 801-581-6714,


Designed as a 48-credit, 3-year cohort program, our EdD curriculum offers students the opportunity to engage a wide range of topics related to equity-minded leadership and social change. Each course in the sequence also builds toward our innovative Capstone design that provides opportunity for students to spend intentional time and energy focused on addressing a problem of practice in higher education as it relates to equity and inclusion.

The capstone is NOT a modified dissertation – instead, the capstone consists of two parts: 1) a research paper examining the problem, theory, literature, and context in which the problem exists and 2) a formal proposal addressed to an administrative body who makes decisions about funding and supporting new programs or projects (similar to an extensive grant proposal).

Required Courses in the First Two Years:

  • History and Foundations of Higher Education Leadership
  • College Students and Campus Environments
  • Governance, Policy and Political Contexts for Equity-Minded Leadership
  • Addressing Inequality in Higher Education
  • Theory-to-Practice in Higher Education
  • Reflexive Practice for Higher Education Leaders
  • Evidence-Based Systems Change
  • Budgeting and Finance for Equity-Minded Leadership
  • Strategic Planning, Evaluation & Assessment for Equity
  • Managing Crisis in Higher Education
  • Equity-Centered Mindfulness and Wellness for Leadership
  • Literature Review for Capstone

Elements of the Capstone are folded into coursework throughout the program. In addition, all credits in the third academic year (fall and spring semesters) are fully dedicated to mentored drafting and revision of the capstone project.

Info Sessions

Register Now!

We will be hosting two Virtual Information Sessions to share out about the redesigned program.

Thursday, December 7th at noon MT: Register here


Wednesday, January 10th at 5pm MT: Register here

While sessions will not be recorded, you are welcome to contact the Program Director after each session to request a copy of the slides and ask any outstanding questions.



Program Director-- TBA

Marilynn Howard - Graduate Student Coordinator

Student Stories

Dr. Teshia Koffi, Ed.D.

Manager, Organization Development and Change, Office for Inclusive ExcellenceChief Executive Officer, Capacity Consulting and Development...

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