Earn an education doctorate as preparation for an executive-level administrative career in higher education


The EdD in Higher Education focuses on supporting problem-posing research and the critical development of a practitioner-scholar for executive-level administrative leadership within postsecondary contexts. This hybrid-delivery, weekend format program focuses on coursework that draws from students’ significant professional/lived experience connected to theoretical frameworks and concepts, providing additional skills, competencies, and knowledge needed to be social justice change-agents. Through a dissertation project, students will carry out a mode of inquiry that connects theory and practice, and fosters analytic actions around a critical issue in the field of higher education.

Our commitment to you

The Executive EdD in Higher Education prepares individuals for transformative leadership in postsecondary contexts through development of skills and knowledge in strategic management, leadership, social justice, and organizational mission. Through a collaborative cohort model, student will engage in evidence-based discussions, consider emerging issues in higher education, and develop a practitioner-scholar lens for leading at the executive level.


Our program emphasizes:

  • A focus on leadership in a range of postsecondary education sectors including community colleges, liberal arts colleges, and research universities
  • An understanding of psychological, sociocultural, and structural domains of higher education, from college student development to organizational theory
  • An examination of relationships between a range of leadership responsibilities within postsecondary contexts including diversity and inclusion, student services, curricular planning, enrollment management, budgeting and finance, and faculty governance


Upon completion, our students will be able to:

  • Apply scholarly knowledge and research skills to address complex problems of practice
  • Lead constructive conversations that shape equity-minded policies across multiple levels of an organization
  • Partner with diverse constituents to shape sustainable institutional change for inclusive excellence
  • Integrate theoretical and conceptual understandings with practice-based solutions

Professional Values

Program experiences will be shaped by the following values:

  • Consistent attention to social justice and equity
  • Evidence-based forms of understanding
  • Individual and collective reflection
  • Transformative collaboration among cohort peers
  • Dialogical relationships between faculty and students 

Program Faculty

Our dedicated Higher Education Faculty are experts in their fields who will support students throughout each stage of the program.

Faculty Members for this program include:

  • Demetri Morgan, PhD - Assistant Professor; Program Chair for Higher Education
  • Lorenzo Baber, PhD - Associate Professor
  • Patrick Green, EdD - Executive Director, CELTS, Director of Engaged Learning, Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Education
  • Lester Manzano, PhD - Assistant Vice Provost for Student Success, Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Education
  • Hilary Zimmerman, PhD - Research Associate, Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Faculty Affiliate, School of Education


With 24 transfer credit hours from a previous graduate degree, completion of the EdD degree program requires an additional 48 semester hours of graduate credit at Loyola University, Chicago.  Students are also required to complete a capstone project at the conclusion of coursework and a dissertation study to complete the degree.

Program Length

Time to degree will vary based on the number of courses taken per semester and the length of the dissertation. However, the program is designed so that students taking six credit hours (two courses) per semester, including summer session, can complete coursework in 2.5 years. The length of the dissertation study can add an additional 6 - to - 18 months depending on the pace of the student.

Continuous Enrollment
EdD students in Higher Education are required to maintain continuous enrollment during their program of studies. This means that during each semester of each academic year (excluding Summer Sessions), each student must enroll in at least one course. A formal leave of absence may be granted upon request and the approval of the School of Education’s Assistant Dean of Student Academic Affairs.

Degree Requirements

Core Courses

  • ELPS 400: Inquiry into Educational Policy (3 credits)
  • ELPS 428: The Junior and Community College (3 credits)
  • ELPS 429: Special Topic: Equity and Justice in Higher Education (3 credits)
  • ELPS 434: American College Student (3 credits)
  • ELPS 435: Enrollment Management in Higher Education (3 credits)
  • ELPS 448: International Higher Education (3 credits)
  • ELPS 453: Legal Aspects of American Higher Education (3 credits)
  • ELPS 454: Budgeting and Finance in Higher Education (3 credits)
  • ELPS 459: Organization and Governance in Higher Education (3 credits)
  • ELPS 530: Professional Seminar: Contemporary Issues in Higher Education (3 credits)
  • ELPS 605: Strategic Executive Leadership in Higher Education (3 credits)

Research Courses

  • RMTD 420: Educational Research I: Building a Body of Evidence using Qualitative Methods (3 credits)
  • RMTD 421: Educational Research II: Building a Body of Evidence using Quantitative Methods (3 credits)
  • RMTD 520: Research Seminar – Capstone Project (3 credits)

Dissertation Courses

  • ELPS 620: Dissertation Research (6 credits)

Application Requirements

Interested in applying? Check out the EdD in Higher Education application requirements.


Tuition, Financial Aid and Scholarships

The School of Education and Loyola's Financial Aid Office are committed to helping students secure the necessary financial resources to make their education at Loyola affordable. You can learn more on the Financial Assistance page.


When will classes be held and where?

Courses for the EdD in Higher Education will be offered in a hybrid format – combination of online and face-to-face meetings – on alternating weekends during Friday evening (5-9p) and Saturday (9a-5p). Students will enroll in a new course every eight weeks (two courses per semester), holding one face-to-face meeting during the course.

Do I have to live in the Chicago-land area to enroll in the program?

Not at all!  Each course has one face-to-face meeting per eight weeks. As such, students are only required to be physically present on the Water Tower campus for class twice a semester (six times a calendar year including summer session). The remaining course meetings will be held on alternating weekends through Zoom online platform. The weekend schedule for each semester will be provided in advance so students may plan in concert with other responsibilities (e.g., family and work).

What distinguishes the EdD in Higher Education at Loyola University, Chicago from other EdD programs?

In addition to a world-class group of faculty, the EdD in Higher Education at Loyola University, Chicago embraces the value of transformative education in the Jesuit tradition.  Courses will all be taught from perspective of Ignatian pedagogy—emphasis on student attention, reflection, and judgment which fosters action and commitment. We embrace a pedagogy that cultivates disruptive knowledge, teaching students how to disrupt status quo and and support empowerment of society’s most vulnerable groups for equity and justice.