Online and Distance Degrees > Degree Programs > EdD in Higher Education Administration Executive Cohort

Doctor of Education (EdD) in
Higher Education Administration (Executive Cohort)


Program Overview

The University of Alabama’s Doctor of Education (EdD) in Higher Education Administration (Executive Cohort) degree program is designed for working professionals wanting to advance and accelerate their careers. Students will further develop valuable leadership skills and their applied knowledge of applied principles relevant to the field of higher education. Explore trends in education related to leadership, academic and student affairs, administration, teaching and more!

  • Program Format

  • Credit Hours

  • Tuition Per Hour


Reach the Highest Level in Higher Education

No matter your interests in higher education, our accelerated doctoral program prepares you to succeed with a curriculum designed to help you achieve your goals and graduate in three years. The hybrid model provides small classes with limited in-person meetings and plenty of opportunities to engage with the dynamic faculty. The program enrolls as a cohort to encourage peer support and nationwide networking with classmates. Through a curriculum covering a variety of pertinent topics and current events in the field, you will expand your skills and prepare to become a leader in the evolving world of higher education.

Locations of EdD in Higher Education Administration (Executive Cohort) graduatesOur graduates are working in over 20 states. From university presidents to provosts, deans and directors, this accelerated program has propelled our alumni into coveted leadership positions across the country, empowering them to make a positive difference at their respected colleges and universities, furthering their contributions to higher education.

Contact Dr. Arleene Breaux at 205-348-1169 or Jordan Todd at to discuss your options. Don’t forget to ask about Executive EdD scholarships!

  • Application Priority DeadlineFebruary 1 for fall admission
  • FeesTuition Rate: $440; Other Fees: $300 per credit hour EdD in Higher Education Administration program fee, $10 per credit hour college fee
  • FT Study RequiredYes
  • Other Program SpecificsCohort-based program


This degree program consists of 54 credit hours of coursework and 12 credit hours of dissertation research. Please note that courses are subject to change.

  • AHE 520 The Student in Higher Education
  • AHE 521 Student Affairs
  • AHE 530 Law and Higher Education
  • AHE 550 Financing Higher Education
  • AHE 560 Comparative Higher Education
  • AHE 601 Professional Seminar in Higher Education
  • AHE 602 Problems in Higher Education
  • AHE 610 Academic Cultures and Learning
  • AHE 640 Organizational Change
  • AHE 645 Higher Education and Student Affairs Assessment
  • AHE 699 Directed Doctoral Study
  • BEF 534 Multicultural Education
  • BEF 653 Studies in Higher Education History
  • BEF 654 Philosophy and American Higher Education
  • BEF 681 Ethics and Education
  • BER 540 Statistical Methods in Education
  • BER 600 Quantitative Research Methods
  • BER 631 Inquiry as Interpretation: Qualitative I

The decision-making process of Louisiana’s executive university leaders during declining state appropriations from 2008 to 2016

  • Dr. Kelsey Walden Bohl, Cohort 11
  • Dr. Claire Major and Dr. Arleene Breaux, Chairs

Pathways to the baccalaureate: Exploring graduating transfer students’ involvement at a four-year institution

  • Dr. Amelia Bickel, Cohort 11
  • Dr. Frankie Santos Laanan, Chair

Exploring student experiences of faith development through intercollegiate athletic participation

  • Dr. Tim Sceggel, Cohort 10
  • Dr. Nathaniel Bray, Chair

Department chairs’ research-related roles and responsibilities

  • Dr. D. Jay Cervino, Cohort 10
  • Dr. Claire Major, Chair

Agricultural education at the Virginia Military Institute during the 1850’s

  • Dr. Michael Wallace, Cohort 9
  • Dr. Philo Hutcheson, Chair

Bennett College: Faith, Protest and Race 1960-2000

  • Dr. Sharon Height, Cohort 9
  • Dr. Philo Hutcheson, Chair

A case study of early career faculty in a medical environment

  • Dr. J. Michael Mathis, Cohort 9
  • Dr. Karri Holley, Chair

The college choice process: A qualitative review of the role of parents in freshman, first-generation scholarship recipients’ access to higher education

  • Dr. Ronald Hebert, Cohort 8
  • Dr. Karri Holley, Chair

Division II NCAA male athletes and risk taking behaviors

  • Dr. Matthew Kerch, Cohort 8
  • Dr. Nathaniel Bray, Chair

Classes meet Thursdays 4:30 – 9:00 p.m., Fridays 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., and Saturdays 8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. once a month, year-round, for two years. Breaks for meals are included in these timeslots. Over the course of a weekend, students participate in instructional time with faculty members teaching the three different courses that they are enrolled in for that semester.

Here is the most updated course schedule for Cohort 17 and Cohort 18:

Spring 2024

Cohort 17

  • Jan. 11-13, 2024
  • Feb. 8-10, 2024
  • Feb. 29-Mar. 2, 2024
  • Apr. 4-6, 2024

Cohort 18

  • Jan. 11-13, 2024
  • Feb. 8-10, 2024
  • Feb. 29-Mar. 2, 2024
  • Apr. 4-6, 2024

Summer 2024

Cohort 17

  • May 9-11, 2024
  • Jun. 6-8, 2024 **Comps TBD**
  • Jul. 11-13, 2024

Cohort 18

  • May 9-11, 2024
  • Jun. 6-8, 2024
  • Jul. 11-13, 2024

Fall 2024

Cohort 19

  • Sep. 12-14, 2024
  • Oct. 3-5, 2024
  • Nov. 7-9, 2024
  • Dec. 5-7, 2024

Spring 2025

Cohort 19

  • Jan. 9-11, 2025
  • Feb. 6-8, 2025
  • Feb. 28-Mar. 1, 2025
  • Apr. 3-5, 2025

Summer 2025

Cohort 19

  • May 8-10, 2025
  • Jun. 5-7, 2025
  • Jul. 10-12, 2025

The EdD in Higher Education Administration Executive Cohort from The University of Alabama

Find out what students like best about UA’s EdD in Higher Education Administration Executive Cohort program.


The EdD in Higher Education Administration Executive Cohort at The University of Alabama welcomes applications from highly-qualified individuals who have strong academic preparation, leadership potential, and a clearly-articulated commitment to the field of higher education. Admission is competitive, as we admit a small number of students each year into the EdD program.

Applicants must apply to both the Graduate School and the Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Technology Studies. When applying to the Graduate School select ‘Executive Cohort Campus’ as the campus, select ‘Distance (Online/Blended/Gadsden)’ as the program type, and select ‘Fall’ as the entry term. Choose ‘Doctoral’ as the degree type, and ‘Higher Education Administration EDD’ as the program of study.

Questions concerning the application process should be directed to Dr. Arleene Breaux at (205) 348-1169 or Jordan Todd at to discuss your options.

A completed application package includes unofficial transcripts from all institutions attended, three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose and a completed Graduate School application.

The following departmental requirements should be submitted to the Graduate School’s Managing Supporting Documents portal:

  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • A one-page statement of purpose for pursing the degree, which can be the same document submitted to the Graduate School
  • Current curriculum vita or resume
  • Five-page writing sample that describes a problem within higher education today (nationally), analyzing salient points of the issue, and evaluating potential solutions. The sample should demonstrate formal, academic writing and include appropriate citations. Applicants may submit an academic paper in lieu of the five-page essay, preferably on a recent topic related to higher education.

Dr. Arleene P. Breaux

Clinical Full Professor, Higher Education Administration
Executive EdD Program Coordinator

  • EdD | University of Arkansas
  • Research Interests: Higher education administration, leadership and the presidency, governmental affairs and policy, finance

Dr. Nathaniel Bray

Professor, Higher Education Administration
Program Coordinator, Higher Education Administration
Associate Director, Educational Policy Center

  • PhD | Vanderbilt University
  • Research Interests: College student issues, faculty-administrator relationships, rural education, student access, policy, finance and prestige of sociology in higher education

Dr. Paton Roden-Beck

Clinical Assistant Professor, Higher Education Administration

  • PhD | The University of Alabama

Dr. KC Culver

Assistant Professor, Higher Education Administration

  • PhD | University of Iowa
  • Research Interests: Students’ academic experiences and outcomes, teaching pedagogy, faculty careers and academic leadership

Dr. Donald Gilstrap

Professor, Higher Education Administration
Dean, University Libraries

  • PhD | University of Oklahoma
  • Research Interests: Library design projects, innovation with practical applications for effective space utilization that support the research enterprise, emerging technology applications

Dr. Hee Jung Gong

Assistant Professor, Higher Education Administration

  • PhD | The University of Georgia
  • Research Interests: College access, choice, and success, education policy and STEM higher education

Dr. David Hardy

Associate Dean for Research & Service/Associate Professor of Higher Education

  • PhD | The University of North Texas
  • Research Interests: Ethical issues; Community college financial, administrative, instructional, governance, faculty and student issues; The nexus of academic culture and popular culture

Dr. Karri Holley

Professor, Higher Education Administration

  • PhD | University of Southern California
  • Research Interests: Interdisciplinary teaching and learning, organizational change in higher education, graduate and professional education, qualitative inquiry

Dr. Tonjanita Johnson

Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs for the University of Alabama System (UAS)
Associate Professor, Higher Education Administration

  • PhD | Jackson State University

Dr. Stephen Katsinas

Professor, Higher Education Administration
Director, Educational Policy Center

  • PhD | Southern Illinois University
  • Research Interests: History, finance, access of higher education, twentieth century American educational policy

Dr. Claire Howell Major

Professor, Higher Education Administration
Director, UA Teaching Academy

  • PhD | The University of Georgia
  • Research Interests: College and university teaching, instructional technology, qualitative methods


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