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Explore our PhD in Education Higher Education Leadership, Management, and Policy specialization

Institutions of higher education are continuously evolving to meet the needs of diverse clientele and stakeholders. In this specialization, you will explore the systems, policies, and politics of higher education. Learn and apply effective leadership and management skills and strategies to facilitate positive social change.

As a student in the Higher Education Leadership, Management, and Policy specialization, you will research institutions of higher education from a systemic, organizational perspective. Learn how internal and external systems, politics, and policies impact institutional effectiveness, student learning and development, and the organization’s overall development and impact. This program also helps you develop the leadership skills required to address the needs of a dynamic higher education landscape, domestically and internationally.

This specialization is designed for professionals in community colleges, private and public liberal arts colleges, distance-learning institutions, regional and state universities, state and federal agencies, and national professional associations.

PROGRAM SAVINGS

Receive your first course at no cost if you reside in the U.S. and start this program on November 30, 2020. Contact one of our enrollment specialists to learn more.

Get Started Now

Curriculum

Minimum Degree Requirements

  • 86 credits (minimum)
    • Foundations courses (5 cr.)
    • Elective courses (30 cr.)
    • Doctoral support courses (11 cr.)
    • Research courses (20 cr.)
    • Doctoral capstone (minimum 20 cr.)
    • Doctoral Writing Assessment (0 cr.)
  • Four PhD residencies to equal a minimum of 16 units

Walden students have up to 8 years to complete their doctoral program unless they petition for an extension.

In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation/doctoral study course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required terms in the dissertation/doctoral study course shell.

To complete a doctoral dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the Chief Academic Officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook.

This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 855-646-5286.

Courses

Course Code Title Credits
EDPD 8002

Leading the Future of Education

As an advanced graduate student, you are about to embark on one of the most exciting journeys of your life. This practical course provides meaningful skills you will need to select your path, complete your degree, and become a successful leader of educational change in the 21st century. Networking and research skills, scholarly writing, critical thinking, use of Walden resources, and the three advanced graduate paths (e.g., PhD, EdD, EdS)—this course addresses all of these in a manner that provides a solid foundation of skill sets upon which to base your journey. You will find a balance of assignments (e.g., case studies, discussions, application assignments) that will ignite your passion for learning, that will allow you to collaborate with others, and that will guide your current and future work. This course is designed to reflect Walden's social change mission and provide you with meaningful tools for success as an advanced graduate student.

(5 cr.)
EDPD 8030

Higher Education in the 21st Century

Higher education is in a period of review as it responds to global issues and often shrinking resources. This course provides educational professionals with a foundational understanding of higher education and the origins of practices and problems of educational institutions. Educational professionals investigate solutions to today's higher education issues and assess the relevance of current education models in relation to 21st-century needs.

(5 cr.)
EDPD 8031

Leading and Managing Instructional Change

The politics of education come into play as leaders work to implement innovation and change within higher education organizations. Issues such as access, funding, speed of change, priorities of diverse stakeholders, the relation of work to education, the impact of technological change, and mobility of students are examined. Leaders examine change theory. Educational professionals investigate how internal and external forces impact change and consider the global challenges in leading and managing change.

(5 cr.)
RSCH 8110

Research Theory, Design, and Methods

In this research course, students are provided with core knowledge and skills for understanding, analyzing, and designing research at the graduate level. Students explore the philosophy of science, the role of theory, and research processes. Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research designs and data collection methods are introduced. The alignment of research components is emphasized. Students also explore ethical and social change implications of designing and conducting research. Students demonstrate their knowledge and skills by developing an annotated bibliography. (Prerequisite(s): RESI 8401.)

(5 cr.)
EDPD 8032

Strategic Planning and Program Evaluation in Higher Education

Effective leaders are expected to be creative, out-of-the-box thinkers, able to anticipate and react quickly to the ever-changing landscape of higher education. Strategic planning and program evaluation are necessary components for leading and managing successful higher education institutions. Principles of effective change process are emphasized from both the macro- and micro-level perspectives. Developing collaborative educators in the evaluation and transformational process of strategic planning is a key objective of this course, with emphasis on in-depth analysis of the paradigms, processes, and components of change.  

(5 cr.)
EDPD 8033

The Politics of Higher Education: Policy Development and Implementation

This course is an introduction to the higher education politics and the policy-making process. In this course, education professionals survey the general nature of policy making with examples and readings from higher education. Key stakeholders, institutional structures, and processes in the federal, state, and local higher education policy arenas will be studied. The origins and consequences of key policy enactments affecting college access and success, instruction, performance accountability, and the economic development role of higher education are studied through scenarios and case studies.

(5 cr.)
EDPD 8113

Tools for Doctoral Research Success

Education professionals seeking the PhD in Education degree are required to make an original contribution to the field of education. The purpose of this course is to help educators begin that process by introducing them to the steps for developing the components of the dissertation—its timeline and available resources. Education professionals examine and analyze selected research to identify questions addressing a specific gap in the existing research literature, the framework and methodology, and other key components necessary to create scholarly research. They also explore resources such as the Writing Center and library, as well as specific tools they can use to complete the dissertation.

(3 cr.)
RSCH 8210

Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis

In this research course, students are provided with the opportunity to develop core knowledge and skills for designing and carrying out quantitative research at the doctoral level, including the application of statistical concepts and techniques. Students explore classical common statistical tests, the importance of the logic of inference, and social change implications of conducting quantitative research and producing knowledge. Students approach statistics from a problem-solving perspective with emphasis on selecting appropriate statistical tests for a research design. Students use statistical software to derive statistics from quantitative data and interpret and present results. (Prerequisite(s): RSCH 8110 or RSCH 7110 or RSCH 6110, and RESI 8401.)

(5 cr.)
EDPD 8034

International Education and Development

In this course, education professionals examine theoretical approaches to the study of international education and the policy development of current topics in diverse global settings. Both case studies and practice blend in this course to prepare students to operate in the global education phenomena. Among the topics to be explored are international policy transfer, social stratification, the cultural transmission of knowledge, and the place of education in the global economy.

(5 cr.)
EDPD 8114

Demystifying Doctoral Writing for Research

Education professionals expand their knowledge of the dissertation process by reviewing tools, resources, and sample dissertations as they focus on the alignment among the identified problem, purpose, framework, research question(s), and study design. Education professionals use tools, including the appropriate rubrics and checklists, to narrow the focus of their research topic, plan a comprehensive literature review, and begin to develop their prospectus.

(3 cr.)
RSCH 8310

Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis

Students in this research course are provided with the opportunity to develop basic knowledge and skills for conducting qualitative research at the doctoral level. Students explore the nature of qualitative inquiry, how theory and theoretical and conceptual frameworks uniquely apply to qualitative research, data collection procedures and analysis strategy, and how the role of the researcher is expressed in the ethical and rigorous conduct of qualitative research. Students practice collecting, organizing, analyzing, and presenting data, and they develop a detailed research topic for conducting a qualitative study. (Prerequisite(s): RSCH 8110 or RSCH 7110 or RSCH 6110, and RESI 8401.)

(5 cr.)
EDPD 8042

Education Law, Policy, and Governance

In this course, education professionals examine legal and ethical issues within the context of an educational setting. Supporting development of their legal reasoning skills, education professionals discuss the laws and statutes that inform policy and governance of educational organizations. They also engage in assignments that emphasize the ways ethics affect decision making, professional conduct, and educational policies when analyzing critical issues in educational leadership. 

(5 cr.)
EDPD 8910

Writing a Quality Prospectus

Educators in nearly all doctoral-level programs are required to complete dissertation projects that necessitate requisite knowledge of conducting research, including the development of an appropriate research plan. In this course, education professionals utilize knowledge from previous courses to develop their prospectus—a brief document that provides preliminary information about their dissertation research to serve as a plan for developing the research proposal. They engage in a logical progression from topic conception to prospectus completion. They take their individualized topic and identify the research problem, purpose of their study, theoretical or conceptual framework, and appropriate research design, while also examining the concepts of feasibility and overall alignment of study components.

(5 cr.)

ADVANCED RESEARCH COURSE- choose 1

RSCH 8260

Advanced Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis

Students in this research course build upon knowledge and skills acquired in the prerequisite quantitative reasoning course and are presented with opportunities to apply them. They are provided with more specialized knowledge and skills for conducting quantitative research at the doctoral level, including understanding multivariate data analysis and applying more advanced statistical concepts, such as factorial ANOVA, mediation, moderation, logistic regression, ANCOVA, and MANOVA. Students explore existing datasets and apply suitable statistical tests to answer research questions with social change implications. In this course, they approach statistics from a problem-solving perspective with emphasis on selecting the appropriate statistical tests for more complex research questions and social problems. Students use statistical software to perform analyses and interpret and present results. They will apply and synthesize their knowledge and skills by carrying out a quantitative research project. (Prerequisite(s): RSCH 8110 and RESI 8402.)

(5 cr.)
RSCH 8360

Advanced Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis

Students build upon the knowledge and skills acquired in RSCH 8310 - Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis. and have experience applying them. Students develop a more sophisticated understanding of the theoretical antecedents and practical applications of eight contemporary qualitative approaches. Students gain experience developing qualitative interview guides, collecting data, and managing the process from transcription through analysis. The unique challenges of confidentiality and ethical issues are explored as well as implications for social change. Students will apply and synthesize their knowledge and skills by developing a qualitative research plan using a topic relevant to their capstone. (Prerequisite(s): RESI 8402.)

(5 cr.)
RSCH 8460

Advanced Mixed-Methods Reasoning and Analysis

Students build upon knowledge and skills acquired in RSCH 8210 - Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis and RSCH 8310 - Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis for more specialized knowledge and skills to design mixed-methods research at the doctoral level. Students are provided with more specialized knowledge and skills for designing mixed-methods research at the doctoral level. They gain an understanding of the types of mixed-methods designs and how to select the most appropriate approach for the research question(s). The emphases of this course are on integrating quantitative and qualitative elements into true mixed-methods studies, practice in data analysis, and integration of qualitative and quantitative data within a research write-up. Students will apply and synthesize their knowledge and skills by developing a mixed-methods research plan that incorporates qualitative and quantitative elements appropriately. (Prerequisite(s): RSCH 8110 or RSCH 7110 or RSCH 6110, and RSCH 8210 or RSCH 7210 or RSCH 6210, and RSCH 8310 or RSCH 7310 or RSCH 6310, and RESI 8402.)

(5 cr.)

DOCTORAL WRITING ASSESSMENT

DRWA 8880

Doctoral Writing Assessment

This course is part of Walden's commitment to help prepare students to meet the university's expectations for writing in courses at the doctoral level. In this course, students write a short academic essay that will be scored by a team of writing assessors. Based on the essay score, students will complete or be exempted from additional required writing support needed to meet writing proficiency standards. This required assessment course is free. Students will be enrolled automatically in it at the beginning of their doctoral program.

(0 cr.)

DISSERTATION

EDPD 8990

Completing the Dissertation

Education professionals in nearly all doctoral-level programs are required to complete dissertation projects that necessitate independent application of requisite knowledge by conducting research based on close interaction with, guidance from, and supervision by an institution-approved dissertation committee. Students in each PhD program specialization are supported in the completion of their doctoral dissertation in this course. The PhD dissertation process is composed of several stages and requires levels of approval: prospectus, proposal, Institutional Review Board (IRB), Form and Style, abstract by Chief Academic Officer (CAO), and the final study. Education professionals develop and support a doctoral-level research problem and review related literature to develop a framework for their study. They move from a research problem to the purpose of the study, the framework, and then an appropriate design while examining the concepts of feasibility and overall alignment of study components. Education professionals consider ethical feasibility issues as related to their dissertation development and proceed to data collection and analysis. They conduct an oral defense, appropriately presenting results and outcomes of the research, as well as implications for positive social change, a Walden hallmark.Students take this course for a minimum of four quarters and are continuously enrolled until completion of their dissertation with final chief academic officer (CAO) approval.To complete a dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the chief academic officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook.

(5 cr. per term for a minimum of 4 quarters until completion)
VIEW ALL COURSES Less Courses

Note: Time to completion and cost are not estimates of individual experience and will vary based on individual factors applicable to the student. Factors may be programmatic or academic, such as tuition and fee increases; transfer credits accepted by Walden; program or specialization changes; unsuccessful course completion; credit load per term; part-time vs. full-time enrollment; writing, research, and editing skills; use of external data for the doctoral study/dissertation; and individual progress in the program. Other factors may include personal issues such as the student’s employment obligations, caregiving responsibilities, or health issues; leaves of absence; or other personal circumstances.

Tuition and Fees

Curriculum Requirements Cost Total *
Tuition-Coursework 66 quarter credits  $675 per quarter hour for coursework credits $44,500^
Tuition-Doctoral Study/Project  20-120† quarter credits $675 per quarter hour for dissertation credits $13,500-$81,000*
Technology Fee $160 per quarter $1,920-$4,800*
4-Day Residency Fee Four Residencies (residency two and residency four may be virtual; additional residencies may be required $1,375 (travel, lodging and other expenses are additional)           
$1,475 (virtual)
$5,700
Estimated Range:     3-Year Minimum 8-Year Maximum
 
$65,620
$136,000*+
(assuming completion in a 3-year timeframe) (assuming completion in a 8-year timeframe)

These are ranges of what a student can expect in terms of time and tuition cost to complete a degree. It does not include other fees, nor is it adjusted for tuition increases over time. Walden faculty has concluded that generally students who do not complete their program in eight years are unlikely to complete and only allow students to exceed that time frame when a student petitions for an extension and provides good reason for the delay and assurances that obstacles to completion can be overcome. Time is calculated using the time allowed for each semester or unit that the student completes. Students are encouraged to work continuously during the program so as not to extend the time needed to complete the degree as work can become stale and students lose focus. Students who earn two grades of “Unsatisfactory,” who repeatedly drop a course before a semester or unit has been completed, or are unable to complete in the eight year time frame, should expect that they may be dismissed from the program. Walden believes that it is in the best interest of a student who is unable to complete the degree in the stated ranges to strongly consider withdrawal or obtaining a lesser degree.

Time to completion and cost are not estimates of individual experience and will vary based on individual factors applicable to the student. Factors may be programmatic or academic such as tuition and fee increases and/or the student’s transfer credits accepted by Walden; program or specialization changes; unsuccessful course completion; credit load per term; writing, research and editing skills; use of external data for their doctoral study/dissertation; and/or individual progress in the program. Other factors may include personal issues such as the student’s employment obligations; care giving responsibilities or health issues; part-time vs. full-time enrollment; leaves of absence; and/or other personal circumstances.

Tuition and fees are subject to change. Books and materials are not included. Students may incur additional costs for remedial writing assistance, if necessary.

^This assumes students successfully complete their coursework on the first attempt.

† Based on a 3-year minimum completion requirement and an 8-year maximum timeframe as outlined in Walden academic policy.

*Tuition and fees will be higher if students petition to extend the 8-year maximum timeframe or choose to take more expensive elective courses.

+Tuition and time to complete may be reduced if transfer credits are accepted, or if you receive grants, scholarships or other tuition discounts. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 844-642-0198.

FINANCIAL AID

Many Walden degree-seeking students—67%—receive some form of financial aid.* Create a customized plan that makes sense for you.

*Source: Walden University’s Office of Financial Aid. Data reports as of 2018.

Find Ways to Save

PROGRAM SAVINGS

Receive your first course at no cost if you reside in the U.S. and start this program on November 30, 2020. Contact one of our enrollment specialists to learn more.

Get Started Now

Admissions Requirements

Program Admission Considerations: A master's degree or higher.

General Admission Requirements: Completed online application and transcripts. Please note that the materials you are required to submit may vary depending on the academic program to which you apply. More information for international applicants.


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