Earn Your Online PhD/EdD in Leadership

with a specialization in Higher Education

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Develop Your Expertise in Higher Education with a PhD or EdD from Concordia University Chicago

Higher education faces more challenges today than ever before. Leaders in the field must have expertise in managing the financial and educational aspects of running a school, while also understanding the laws and regulations that affect institutions of higher learning. Earning a doctorate in education leadership prepares graduates to become valued experts in this field.

The online EdD, Leadership: Higher Education Specialization and PhD, Leadership: Higher Education Specialization programs from Concordia University Chicago offer innovative degree options from a university of distinction. Both doctorate programs focus on producing ethical experts in higher education who are ready to assume the top jobs in university administration.

PhD, Leadership in Higher Education

  • Theoretical and abstract
  • Research-focused
  • “Big-picture” approach
  • 67 credit hours

EdD, Leadership in Higher Education

  • Practical and applicable
  • Action-based
  • Focused approach
  • 61 credit hours
I love to help people and to help their growth and change their life for the better. My career goal is to be a CEO and a professor; in that way, I would not just impact a couple of lives, but I would have an impact in students’ growth and employees’ growth and lifestyle. I want to make sure they find satisfaction with their role and show that it is possible to make a profit while taking care of our communities and planet.

- Monica Brotons Davila
Puerto Rico
DBA ’23

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PhD/EdD, Leadership: Higher Education Outcomes

  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of the complexities of higher education institutions.
  • Hone leadership and administration skills applicable to higher education institutions.
  • Explore policies, practices and issues facing public and private post-secondary institutions.
  • Develop research skills that stem from evidence-based decision making.

Experts in higher education leadership and administration are in greater demand than ever before as colleges and universities face increasing financial constraints and more competition. They also must guide schools and students into the distance-learning era as online courses and degree programs continue to grow. Earning an EdD or PhD, Leadership in higher education prepares you to advance into top administration positions in this challenging and rewarding field.

Take the Next Step in Your Career in Higher Education with an Online EdD or PhD in Leadership from Concordia University Chicago

Concordia University Chicago offers a variety of specialized degrees in many industries, including healthcare, business, education and human services. The PhD in Higher Education and EdD in Higher Education degree programs are designed to prepare graduates with the latest knowledge and skills needed to develop expertise in running a post-secondary academic institution.

Among the topics covered in the leadership doctorate in higher education program are:

  • Research-Based Decision Making
  • Leadership Theories and Professional Practice
  • Developing the Organization’s Human Capital
  • Promoting and Leading Change
  • Creating and Leading a Learning Organization

Program Details

The PhD, Leadership: Higher Education Specialization requires 67 credit hours of online coursework, including a comprehensive exam and dissertation. The EdD, Leadership: Higher Education Specialization has two less research courses and a total of 61 credit hours. All online courses are eight weeks in duration.

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Less than 2%

of the US population

have earned a doctorate

Career Outlook

Those who work in higher education leadership oversee student services, faculty research and academics at colleges and universities. They may lead large departments such as the registrar’s office, student life or admissions.

Demand is high for qualified professionals in this field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 7% increase in employment of postsecondary education administrators between 2021 and 2031.

Earning an EdD or PhD, Leadership in Higher Education Specialization prepares graduates for many jobs, including:

  • College President
  • Director of Admissions
  • Alumni Relations Director
  • Continuing Education Specialist
  • Dean
  • Program Director

Salaries vary depending on the exact position and location. According to BLS data from May 2021, the median salary for postsecondary education administrators was $96,910 per year. The top 10% of postsecondary administrators earned over $190,770 annually.

Quality higher education leadership betters the lives of students, prepares tomorrow’s leaders and ensures that academic institutions operate efficiently, effectively and ethically. Earning an EdD, Leadership in Higher Education or PhD, Leadership in Higher Education prepares graduates to take on critical leadership roles in higher education.

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PhD/EdD, Leadership: Higher Education Specialization: Online Degree Program (61 – 67 credits)

PhD/EdD, Leadership: Higher Education Specialization Courses

Tuition & Financial Aid

If there is no interruption in your course of study at Concordia University Chicago, you are guaranteed there will be no increase in tuition rates. Contact us to confirm the current tuition and fees for the PhD or EdD, Leadership: Higher Education Specialization program. Students who enroll in the online program as a degree candidate are eligible to apply for federal financial aid.

Active-duty military service members, veterans and eligible dependents can take advantage of financial programs available to assist in paying for a college education. For more information, please visit our website.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission into the PhD or EdD, Leadership in Higher Education Specialization programs at Concordia University Chicago, students must have earned a master’s degree with a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA. Prospective students must complete the free online application and submit all required admission materials:

  • Objective Statement – Write a brief statement outlining your education and career goals and explain how a doctorate degree from Concordia University Chicago will help you fulfill those objectives.
  • Official Transcripts – Provide one official, sealed transcript from each institution that has granted you a degree.
  • Letters of Recommendation – Send two letters of recommendation from individuals who are able to comment on your academic proficiency, professional competencies, personal character and potential for doctoral study.
  • Professional Resume – Provide a copy of your resume or curriculum vitae, including relevant work experience, degrees, certifications, and skills.
  • Writing Sample – Submit a paper that demonstrates your ability to write in a scholarly manner at a level typical of graduate work. A paper from your master’s program would be most appropriate. This sample should approach, but not exceed, five pages in length.

International applicants may be required to submit additional supporting materials, such as proof of English language proficiency, a copy of their passport and a foreign transcript evaluation from an approved credentialing service. For full requirements, visit the Admission & Tuition page. 

There is no application fee to apply for the online EdD or PhD, Leadership: Higher Education Specialization program at Concordia University Chicago.


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Please fill out the short form below and someone will contact you shortly to discuss the opportunities at Concordia University Chicago.

By completion and submission of this form, I consent to receive communication from a representative of this institution by phone, text or email regarding the educational program request.

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Our Mission

Steadfast in Jesus Christ as revealed in the Holy Scriptures, Concordia University Chicago promotes academic rigor in its liberal arts and professional programs; grounds students in objective truth, integrity, and excellence; and practices faithfulness to the Confessional teachings of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, as it forms students for vocations in church, family, and the world.

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