Be the Driving Force Behind Collegiate Success

You can make a lasting difference in the field of higher education. Nova Southeastern University's Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership will give you the knowledge you need to tackle the challenges found on campuses nationwide. You'll gain skills in problem-solving, social intelligence, professional development, and more—enhancing your ability to increase your school's performance and build a collaborative, decision-making culture. NSU's Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership will help you reach the top of the academic ladder.  

Our graduates flourish as college professors, university registrars, academic counselors, deans, and university presidents. The spirit of an NSU Shark shapes a strong leader and an even stronger future.

Two Capstone Options for Completing Your Education

NSU’s Ed.D. program offers two capstone options for completing your education: the Applied Dissertation or the Strategic Research Project (SRP). Both choices are designed to help you formulate tough questions and learn how to begin answering them as you prepare for educational leadership. You must successfully complete one of these capstones in order to graduate.

Who Should Apply

  • Practicing or aspiring educators, trainers, and staff developers in public and private colleges and universities, hospitals, government, religious or military organizations and private corporations.
  • Master’s degree graduates or above seeking a doctoral degree in education and leadership knowledge/skills in higher education administration.
  • Educators considering a Ph.D. in higher education leadership who want to explore Ed.D. benefits.

Quick Facts


Visit the Tuition and Fees page for more information.


NSU’s Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership is a minimum of 55 total credits to complete.

Delivery Options

Classes for the Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership are offered fully online. All doctoral students are required to participate in at least one Summer Institute

Application Deadlines

Applications for admission are accepted online and on a rolling basis for all graduate programs throughout the calendar year. No entrance exam required.

Earning Potential

College or University Professor

$158,643 Average Salary Per Year

Academic Advising Director

$82,440 Average Salary Per Year

Postsecondary Administrator

$69,748 Average Salary Per Year

Source:, 2021

Ed.D. in Higher Educational Leadership Curriculum

Concentration Area Courses (21 credits)
HEL 8300
The Faces of 21st Century Higher Education Institutions (HEL 8300 / Credits: 3 )
HEL 8310
Student Affairs in Higher Education (HEL 8310 / Credits: 3 )
HEL 8320
Planning, Budgeting, and Financing of Institutional Resources (HEL 8320 / Credits: 3 )
HEL 8330
Governance, Ethics, and the Law of Higher Education (HEL 8330 / Credits: 3 )
HEL 8340
Leading the Academic Mission of Today’s Colleges & Universities (HEL 8340 / Credits: 3 )
HEL 8350
Politics and External Relations of Higher Education (HEL 8350 / Credits: 3 )
HEL 8360
Comparative Higher Education (HEL 8360 / Credits: 3 )
Elective Courses (3 credits)
Any Ed.D. Program course (For DISR students) ( / Credits: 3 )
ORGL 8750
(For SRP students) (ORGL 8750 / Credits: 3 )
Summer Institute*
FSC 8000
Summer Institute (Residency Requirement) (FSC 8000 / Credits: 1 )
Applied Dissertation or Strategic Research Project (12 credits)**
DISR 8966
Applied Dissertation 1: Prospectus (DISR 8966 / Credits: 3 )
DISR 8967
Applied Dissertation 2: Proposal Development (DISR 8967 / Credits: 3 )
DISR 8968
Applied Dissertation 3: Proposal (DISR 8968 / Credits: 3 )
DISR 8969
Applied Dissertation 4: Applied Dissertation (DISR 8969 / Credits: 3 )
ESRP 9000
Strategic Research Project I (ESRP 9000 / Credits: 6 )
ESRP 9001
Strategic Research Project II (ESRP 9001 / Credits: 6 )
Required Courses
EDD 8100
Academic Writing (EDD 8100 / Credits: 3 )
EDD 8200
Leadership, Communication and Technology (EDD 8200 / Credits: 3 )
RES 8100
The Nature of Knowing: Introduction to Research Methods (RES 8100 / Credits: 3 )
RES 8200
Research Methods II (RES 8200 / Credits: 3 )
Quantitative Research Track (6 credits)***
RES 8911
Quantitative Research Design (RES 8911 / Credits: 3 )
RES 8921
Quantitative Data Analysis (RES 8921 / Credits: 3 )
Qualitative Research Track (6 credits)***
RES 8926
Qualitative Data Analysis (RES 8926 / Credits: 3 )
RES 8916
Qualitative Research Design (RES 8916 / Credits: 3 )
Research Track for those completing the Strategic Research Project (6 credits)
RES 8910
Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods (RES 8910 / Credits: 3 )
RES 8924
Data Visualization for Strategic Planning (RES 8924 / Credits: 3 )

*Doctoral students are required to attend at least one Summer Institute as part of required coursework. During each day of the institute, students will attend sessions where they will learn valuable skills to help them be successful in the program. There will also be sessions offered specifically to assist with the understanding and completion of the culminating capstone option (applied dissertation or strategic research project) that all students are required to complete. The sessions offer a unique blend of direct instruction and time for students to ask questions and connect with NSU faculty and engage with fellow students. The overall goal of the institute is to immerse students in a learning experience that will provide students with the information and tools needed to be a successful Ed.D. student. For additional information, please visit the website at

**Students who complete all of their coursework and have registered for all of their dissertation benchmark courses (prospectus, proposal development, proposal, and applied dissertation) within the first three years will be required to register for ADS 8090 - Applied Dissertation Services I in order to receive dissertation services from their committee. Beginning with the fourth year (37th month/10th semester) following initial enrollment, and irrespective of remaining coursework, doctoral students are required to register for ADS 8091 - Applied Dissertation Services II, up to the point of degree completion, in order to receive dissertation services from their committee. Credits earned from ADS 8090 or ADS 8091 do not count toward the minimum credit hour requirement for the Ed.D. degree.

***For students completing the Applied Dissertation, you will select either the Quantitative Research Track or the Qualitative Research Track. 

Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership Professional Licensure Disclosure

Admission Requirements

Ready for the Next Step?

We’re thrilled you’re applying to this Ed.D. program at NSU.

This program opens opportunities in areas of research, academia, and management for those who are ready to advance as well as for individuals considering a career change.

Applications for admission are accepted online and on a rolling basis. No entrance exam is required. 


Apply Now

Have the following items ready to submit with your online application:


  • $50 application fee
  • Transcripts from all schools attended
  • Two professional letters of recommendation by two different individuals who can attest to the applicant's ability to succeed in a doctoral program


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