EdD in Higher Education

Become a top leader at your higher education institution.

Our EdD in Higher Education major prepares you to understand, examine, and implement the measures foundational to institutional effectiveness in colleges and universities. The major is part of the school’s Doctor of Education (EdD) program, which has a variety of different majors to serve professionals from various fields.

We will prepare you to be a college leader who engages in data-based planning and decision-making in higher education environments that demand accountability and transparency.





Program Facts

Degree Type

Doctor of Education (EdD)


84 credits
(24 transfer from your master's degree)



Time Commitment



3 years on average

Enrollment Term


Application Deadline

February 1

Admissions Requirements

No GRE Exam is required

Program Overview

The EdD major in Higher Education is part of the Doctor of Education (EdD) degree program at the University of Pittsburgh Pitt School of Education. The program aligns with School of Education’s mission to prepare students to be scholars, leaders, and change-makers in education and health, with a particular focus on equity and justice.

Leadership-Oriented Curriculum

Our program integrates leadership and management skills within a philosophical framework of higher education. We develop our students’ proficiency in leading highly functional teams within postsecondary education.

Centered on Equity and Justice

The program aligns with the mission/vision of the school of education in preparing students to be scholars, leaders, and change-makers in education and health, with a particular focus on equity and justice.

Earn Your Degree While Working

The program accommodates the schedules of working professionals and combines an online learning environment with monthly Saturday in-person sessions.

The Best of Online and Face-to-Face

There is a hybrid course delivery model, including a one-day welcome and information event, a week-long intensive on-ramp experience in the first summer, cross-disciplinary practitioner inquiry and foundations courses, and an internship.

Built for Professionals

The EdD helps graduates advance within their professional areas of practice. This is in contrast to our PhD, which is a full-time program that helps to prepare graduates for research-oriented careers and/or working as faculty within research and doctoral granting universities.


The EdD program is a three-year program that consists of 60 new credits. Students transfer 24 credits from relevant graduate work.



Learning Experiences

The EdD curriculum is delivered in several stages, through a variety methods:

The EdD cohort participates in a full-day, on-campus, orientation in the spring before the summer start of the program.

The day includes opportunities to meet program faculty, EdD program information, and cohort-building activities as well as an introductory session with other students in your academic major.

Orientation typically takes place in March or April.

The EdD cohort will participate in a full-week, on-campus, experience that includes intense work focused on understanding enduring problems of practice in education, health, and human development.

This one-week experience typically takes place in June, and is a component of the first summer courses (Foundations 1 and Practitioner Inquiry 1).

You will experience a hybrid model of education through online course experiences and in-person, once per month (typically on Saturdays) sessions on the Pittsburgh campus.

Attendance at in-person, on campus sessions is required.

Degree Requirements

EdD students at the Pitt School of Education complete 10 requirements that are embedded in coursework, including a practitioner inquiry project.

Career Pathways

Graduates of our program pursue careers as college presidents, academic deans, student affairs deans, directors of institutional development, registrars, directors of admissions, directors of residence life, and vice presidents of higher education institutions.

Additionally, graduates pursue senior management positions in governmental and non-governmental agencies, foundations, and policy groups.