Higher Education EdD (Online)

Fairleigh Dickinson University’s School of Education is offering an innovative program for those professionals who wish to attain an Ed.D. degree with an emphasis on using data analytics to solve problems, applying sustainable global practices, and employing current tools and research to solve problems. The Ed.D. is a 45 credit online program whereby students who have already earned their Master’s degree can take up to 30 credits a year including summers, and earn their doctorate in education within 26 months.   

The primary goal of this program is to develop leaders in higher education who examine and apply sustainable and equitable practices to support local and global communities, and promote innovative practices within their institution to meet the needs of their students.  This program will explore how higher education can develop relationships with external community organizations and businesses to help college students enter the workforce equipped to establish careers. 

The Ed.D. degree will be delivered online in two eight-week sessions per semester.  Monthly meetings with advisors and faculty via face-to-face or video conferencing will take place. In addition, there will be opportunities for summer residencies, which include symposia, workshops, and collaborative interdisciplinary projects.

Student Learning Outcomes

 Graduates will be able to:

  • Analyze the complex organizational structure of higher education and the roles of the faculty, staff and administrators;
  •  Apply data analytics to various sectors of higher education to address ongoing and systemic issues affecting enrollment, retention, graduation and assessment;
  • Explore strategies for building partnerships between employers and educators to help students enter the workforce better equipped to establish careers;
  • Examine and apply sustainable practices in higher education to support the health of local and global communities;
  • Examine social justice issues to help create an inclusive university culture;
  • Examine innovations that impact higher education worldwide.

Admission requirements

  • Earned Master’s degree of 36 credits or more in a related field, determined by an Advisor; 
  • A minimum of 3.0 GPA from previous coursework;
  • A written statement addressing an area of interest in higher education that the student wishes to pursue; 
  • A completed application;
  • Transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate studies;
  • Three letters of recommendation;
  • A resume that states the student’s educational background, work experience and professional goals;
  • Previous work experience in higher education is preferable, but consideration will be given to qualified applicants.

Degree Plan

Required courses (45 credits)

  • Organization and Administration in Higher Education
  • History of Higher Education 
  • Database Management and Reporting in Higher Education
  • Sustainable Development and Higher Education 
  • Innovation and Technology in Higher Education 
  • Building an Inclusive University Culture 
  • Enrollment Management
  • Community Development and Workforce Skills in Higher Education
  • Higher Education Policy 
  • Data Analytics and Visualization in Higher Education 
  • Field-based Internship I 
  • Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education 
  • Quantitative and Statistical Analysis 
  • Research Methods and Design 
  • Dissertation Seminar 
  • Continuous Matriculation (0 credits with fee)

Elective courses (12 credits)

  • Budgeting and Finance for Higher Education 
  • Current and Global Issues in Higher Education 
  • Field-based Internship II Project Management
  • Higher Education and the Law 

Special Information

The Dissertation

The completion of the dissertation is an important component of the Ed.D. degree in Higher Education. It indicates that the graduate is capable of conceptualizing and conducting research, and is ready to represent FDU as a leader in the field. To prepare the candidate in a more authentic manner regarding professional expectations and goals, and to facilitate a shorter time for completion of degree, the Ed.D. degree in Higher Education will require the candidate to develop three to five publishable manuscripts that support a singular theme; each manuscript will be approved by a dissertation committee in advance of the proposal defense. The candidate will follow the traditional dissertation format with five chapters. Candidates will be responsible for ensuring that their dissertation is consistent with university guidelines for their dissertation.

Career Outcomes

There are many leadership roles that are needed within Higher Education, which include:

  • Admissions and Enrollment: Individuals who work in admissions and enrollment establish and implement strategies to attract the right students to their institution. 
  • Academic Advising: Academic advisors who support students throughout their degree program, and assist them in choosing courses, majors, and minors, while ensuring they stay on track to graduate.
  • Diversity: Diversity officers who strive to create an open and inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff. 
  • Student Affairs: Student affairs which typically oversee a variety of departments, such as residence life, athletics, student activities, fraternities and sororities, and community service. 
  • Financial Services: Individuals who work in financial services and help students cover the cost of their education by identifying financial aid options, as well as scholarship, grant, and work study opportunities. 
  • Alumni Relations: Alumni relations professionals who work to engage and reconnect former students with the institution, often through networking events, workshops, outreach, and volunteer opportunities. 
  • Human Resources: Human resources (HR) professionals who focus on attracting and retaining new employees to their college or university. 
  • Institutional Research:  Institutional Research which collects, analyzes, interprets and disseminates information to the University community, and leads and coordinates the assessment of institutional effectiveness.

Given the variety of departments and opportunities within higher education, employment is expected to increase 10 percent by 2026—faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That growth will result in approximately 18,200 new higher education administration jobs, offering an average annual salary of $92,360. 

An Ed.D. in Higher Education will allow those professionals who have a Master’s degree and are currently working in higher education or related fields, to advance and assume leadership positions in one of the variety of jobs offered in higher education.