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Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in

Leadership Development

College Leadership Emphasis
(Total Hours: 64-66)

The intent of the Ed.D. degree in Leadership Development with an emphasis in College Leadership at the University of South Florida is to develop the competencies of future educational practitioners in two- and four-year colleges. Students in the program will obtain and synthesize knowledge to apply to educational problems and practices. The Ed.D. program is designed for individuals who are primarily interested in the application of theory to improve policies and practices in higher education. Appropriate professional positions for graduates of this program would be:

  • department chairs, deans, vice-presidents, and presidents in community colleges and four-year colleges and universities in academic or occupational/professional units,
  • faculty leaders in colleges and universities,
  • college and university business and finance officers,
  • program directors and coordinators,
  • curriculum developers,
  • policy analysts in state or national higher education agencies,
  • governmental relations liaison officers at institutions, or state and national agencies, and
  • fiscal or academic program officers at state or national organizations.

Basic Requirements for Admission

 In order to be admitted to the Doctoral program, a student needs to meet the following requirements:

  • A grade point average of 3.5 at the master's level
  • A GRE score of 1,000 minimum (quantitative and verbal). A score of at least 500 on the verbal portion of the GRE is expected in order for students to complete the dissertation requirements.
  • A Master's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education.

In addition, the student needs to submit the following information directly to the Department of Adult, Career, and Higher Education when applying for admission to the program:

  • A vita or a resume, with specific note of experience in higher education
  • A personal statement describing the student's professional goals and why he or she is applying to the program, and
  • Three letters of recommendation from references familiar with the student's academic and/or professional abilities.

Outline of Degree Plan
 A minimum of 64 to 66 semester hours after the Master's degree is required, typically completed in 12 or 13 courses.

Program of Studies for the Ed.D. Degree,
College Leadership Emphasis

Basic Core (9 hours)

All students must complete the following 3 courses:

1. EDH 6081 The Community College in America
OR EDH 6051 Higher Education inAamerica
2. EDH 7225 Curriculum Development in Higher Education
3. EDH 7636 Organizational Theory & Practices in Higher Education

Specialization (12-13 hours)

Students should choose at least 4 courses from among the following:

  EDH 6938 Seminar in College Teaching
  EDH 6947 Internship
  EDH 7505 Higher Education Finance
  EDH 7632 Leadership in Higher Education
  EDH 7633 Governing Colleges & Universities
  EDH 7635 Organization & Administration of Higher Education
  EDH 7935 Higher Education Capstone Seminar (strongly recommended as one of the final courses in the program before taking qualifying exams)

Students may substitute up to 6 credits within the Specialization courses with courses from the list below, with the approval of the students' Program of Studies Committee:
  ADE 6385 The Adult Learner
  EDG 7931 Issues in Globalization in Higher Education

Foundations (7-8 hours)

Students must take at least 2 courses in Educational Foundations (1 in Psychological Foundations and 1 in Social Foundations). The following courses are strongly recommended, but other courses are available (see your advisor).

Measurement Requirements (12 hours)

Students must take at least 3 courses in Measurement. The following courses are typically recommended, but other courses are also possible (see your advisor):
  EDF 6407 Statistical Analysis for Educational Research I
  EDF 7408 Statistical Analysis for Eductaional Research II
  EDF 7410 Design of Systematic Studies

Pre-Approved Courses for Psychological & Social Foundations

Dissertation EDH 7980 (24 hours minimum)

NOTE:  Students may elect to enroll for up to 6 semester hours of internship (EDH 6947) and/or Independent Study (EDH 6906). These credits are over and above the requirements listed above.

Students must consult their advisors to choose Foundations and Research and Measurement courses from among a list of approved courses for doctoral students.

Program of Study Requirements

By the end of the 2nd semester of the student's coursework or before the student has completed 15 hours of graduate coursework, the student should select a Program of Study Committee comprised of a minimum of four credentialed faculty members, one of whom serves as a chairperson, or two of whom serve as co-chairs. One member of the committee must be from outside the Higher Education program.  This committee will be responsible for developing the student's Program of Study, which includes a list of all coursework the student will complete, and designing and evaluating his/her qualifying examination.
Qualifying Exam

After completing all coursework or during the last semester of coursework, the student must pass a written qualifying examination which integrates knowledge and skills learned in the doctoral program. The student and his/her major advisor can select one of three following options for the qualifying examination. Almost all students in the higher education program are directed to choose Option 1.

Option 1 -The exam integrates the work in the student's specialization area and required coursework.
Option 2 - The exam is composed of sub-tests covering the specialization the and required coursework.
Option 3 - The student writes a formal, scholarly paper that demonstrates integration and synthesis covering knowledge in the specialization and the required coursework. This paper cannot be used to fulfill part or all of the dissertation requirements. The paper should be written at a level that is publishable in peer-reviewed scholarly journals. The paper is evaluated by all members of the student's Program of Study Committee.

Qualifying Exam Grading Rubric


Higher Education Home

Basic Requirements for Admission

Outline of Degree Plan

Program of Study Requirements

Program of Study Form

Qualifying Exam

Pre-Approved Courses for Psychological & Social Foundations





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