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Our curriculum allows students to first gain a broad understanding of foundational research and literature in the field of higher education. All incoming students begin with common core courses before focusing on their specific research interests and methodologies.

HALE Core Courses (15 credits)
Course Descriptions
EAD 960 – Proseminar in Postsecondary Education
EAD 966 – Students in Postsecondary Education
EAD 968 – Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum
EAD 967 – Higher Education Policy Development and Analysis
EAD 970 – Organization and Administration in Postsecondary Education

Research Inquiry Courses (12-13 credits)
Course Descriptions
CEP 930 – Educational Inquiry
3 credits – Graduate Level Quantitative Methods Class
3 credits – Graduate Level Qualitative Methods Class

Electives (18 credits)
9 credits – Elective Credits within HALE-specific courses
9 credits – May be taken from any department

Dissertation Proposal Capstone
EAD 995 – Research Practicum in Educational Administration

Program Benchmarks

Comprehensive Examination
At the completion of the core coursework of the HALE program, students must pass a written examination, which requires students to incorporate their knowledge of higher education literature. The comprehensive examination is designed to assess a student’s readiness to engage in scholarly conversation regarding higher education and demonstrate their ability to add their voice to the field of higher education.

Guidance Committee
Upon completion of the core course work, students select a guidance committee comprised of faculty from both inside and outside the department. This committee assesses the student’s performance and helps students make decisions on elective selection, research areas, and potential dissertation topics.

EAD 995: Research Practicum in Educational Administration
Serving as the final course, EAD 995 provides the student a forum to exchange ideas and elicit feedback from peers and faculty as they construct their dissertation proposal. All other coursework must be completed before a student may enroll in this course. Following this course, and a successful dissertation proposal and student is admitted to doctoral candidacy.

Dissertation Research Project
After admission to candidacy, a student must complete a doctoral dissertation research project. This dissertation is a substantial scholarly product based on original research, which makes a knowledge contribution to the field of higher education. During their research, students must enroll in doctoral dissertation credits each semester they are working. Students must enroll in a minimum of 24 and a maximum of 30 credits while writing their disseration to be considered for graduation.

Final Dissertation Defense
Following the completion of the dissertation research project, a candidate must first provide a prepared presentation of their project and its findings. Second, a student must provide a final oral defense of their findings.