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Online Doctor of Education - Higher Education Leadership

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Great leaders don't accept the status quo.

They accept a challenge.

How do you improve delivery and efficacy in higher learning? How can you better prepare students for the workforce? How do you adapt to emerging technology and modern faculty-administration dynamics? It takes reflective, future-focused leadership to answer today’s big questions in higher education. The Maryville online Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership can provide you with the leadership abilities and perspective to meet the challenges of today — and tomorrow.
Explore higher education-focused leadership theory and develop the expertise to apply it in real-world situations. Build a contemporary understanding of administrative relationships and the student experience. Gain actionable insight into higher ed governance, policy, and financing to help you effect institutional change. Pursue your Maryville Ed.D. online and learn to impact higher education on a grand scale.

Maryville's Online Ed.D. at a Glance:

  • Graduate in as few as 32 months
  • Enjoy the convenience of 100% online coursework
  • Attend your residency on campus or virtually
  • Get personal mentorship from scholar-practitioner faculty
  • Receive added support from the cohort learning model
  • Focus solely on higher education
  • Complete your coursework and dissertation simultaneously

Accreditation and Honors

Why choose Maryville for your online Doctor of Education program?

We’re unlike other online Ed.D. programs in a few major ways.

Our dissertation is different

Most doctorate programs place the dissertation at the end of the program, but we believe it should be more than just a paper at the end of your study. It should inform your research, drive your leadership focus, and keep your writing and thinking sharp throughout the program. Incorporate valuable knowledge you gain as you learn it.

Our focus is different

The online Ed.D. is more than a doctorate in education — it’s a doctorate in higher education leadership. Your focus will be squarely on impacting higher education at the institutional level. We want you to be in a position to help those institutions grow in the face of a fluctuating economy, changing technology, increased competition, and an influx of degrees in the job marketplace.

We’re cohort based

This means you benefit from smaller classes, more collaboration, and more individual attention and mentorship from faculty. You also get to continue coursework with the same classmates so you can develop your skills together.

We provide greater support

As you work on your assignments and your dissertation, you will have complete access to the Maryville library and librarians. Additionally, your courses will include integrated writing tools, such as pre-submission proofreading with detailed feedback.
Stand out.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only 1.9% of people over age 25 hold doctorate degrees.

What can I do with an online ED.d.?

Our Ed.D. is a leadership-focused degree that promotes strategic high-level decision making. Of course, those who complete Ed.D. programs can teach, but the degree is most applicable outside of the classroom. Positions at the top levels of higher education can empower you to have a greater influence. They can also prove to be very lucrative. Earning your doctorate in higher education online is a great way to increase your earning potential.


Chief Academic Officer


College/University President




Dean of Students


Academic Dean


Postsecondary Education Administrator


Department Chair


Admissions Director


* All median salaries based on January 2016 reports from

Why Earn an Ed.d. over a PH.d. in higher education?

Not all doctoral programs in higher education have the same value or utility. We want to make sure the skills you earn from your degree match your aspirations. Here are some reasons why an Ed.D. may be your best option.

What will I learn in the Online Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership Program?

The best higher education doctoral programs prepare you to address the critical issues that will shape the future of higher ed. That’s why we focus on topics like quantitative and qualitative data analysis, future-focused governance and finance, contemporary student experiences, new and innovative technologies, and just about anything else you may face in a leadership role. We also let you explore your individual interests through professional practice courses based on current trends in higher education. The program is designed for completion in as few as 32 months of year-round study. To view course descriptions and prerequisites, click on the course titles listed below.

Doctor of Education Admissions Requirements

A master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution
Minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for master’s transcripts
Must submit both bachelor's and master's transcripts
Minimum of three years experience in the field of higher education (exceptions considered for demonstrated professional leadership experience transferable to higher ed)
Personal essay: 500 - 600 words
Two professional letters of recommendation

Next steps toward earning your doctor of education — higher education leadership

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