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

Higher Education Administration (Executive Cohort)


Program Overview

In the Higher Education Administration program at The University of Alabama, we know that choosing to pursue a graduate degree is a life-altering decision, at both a personal and a professional level.

  • Program Format

  • Credit Hours

  • Tuition Per Hour


Reach the Highest Level in Higher Education

At the personal level, it’s a decision that requires hard-work, dedication, and perseverance as well as support from friends and family. At a professional level, the decision requires you to develop new knowledge and skills and even a different perspective on important issues surrounding your field. We are committed to your success in the program in Higher Education Administration.

We offer an accelerated EdD program, a curriculum designed to help you achieve your goals, small classes that encourage peer support, and opportunities to engage with a dynamic faculty. Learn more about the EdD in Higher Education Administration Executive Cohort at The University of Alabama. You will discover that we are dedicated to helping you become a leader for a changing world.

  • Application Priority DeadlineFebruary 15 for Fall 2021 cohort
  • Fees$740 (standard graduate tuition rate of $440 per credit hour plus $300 per credit hour EdD in Higher Education Administration program fee); $10 per credit hour college fee and $10 per credit hour technology fee
  • Orientation RequiredYes
  • FT Study RequiredYes
  • Other Program Specifics*Test scores are waived through Fall 2022 semester applications; Cohort-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 510 The Community College An overview of the development, format, issues, and purposes of the contemporary community and junior college.
  • AHE 511 Orientation in Higher Education Introduction to structure, processes, and study of higher education organizations, including community colleges, technical schools, and universities.
  • AHE 520 The Student in Higher Education A survey of the needs, characteristics, and cultures of the American college student within various types of higher education institutions.
  • AHE 521 Student Affairs An overview of the organization, personnel, and practices of student affairs and related higher education functions in U.S. colleges and universities. The course is designed to increase student understanding of how Recruitment and Admissions Services, student activities, and student development tasks are organized, administered, and assessed. Students will explore the main issues, roles, constituencies and expectations affecting individual professionals as well as the profession as a whole.
  • AHE 530 Law in Higher Education Investigates and explicates the structure and background of law and equity in higher education, with emphasis on how statutory law, administrative law, and case law respond to and affect faculty, students, administrators, and trustees. Constitutional law, contracts, torts, the law of private associations, civil rights statutes, executive orders, injunctions, specific performance, corporate and partnership law, law of agency, and laws on liability are studied as they apply to higher education.
  • AHE 540 Organization and Administration of Higher Education Overview of the organization, administrative roles and positions, administrative process, and administrator relationships within various institutions of higher learning.
  • AHE 550 Finance and Business Affairs in Higher Education An overview of the budgeting processes, sources of revenue, types of expenditures, and issues and innovations in financing various types of contemporary institutions of higher education. Also a survey of the various business and planning operations vital to the operation of colleges and universities.
  • AHE 560 Comparative Higher Education This course is designed to provide a cross-cultural perspective on issues related to higher education throughout the world. The course will focus on topics such as reform, students and student activism, internal and external governance of universities, unions, and the academic profession in key world regions.
  • AHE 591 Seminar in Higher Education A topical seminar on a current issue or problem in higher or postsecondary education. On occasion, the seminar involves travel or on-site visitations to institutions or oversight bodies.
  • AHE 600 Student Development Theory I Introduction to the theoretical basis for the delivery of services through organizational student development, and a study of the research basis for student development.
  • AHE 601 Professional Seminar in Higher Education This course is designed for students newly admitted to the doctoral program in higher education administration. As such, the seminar concentrates on issues and concerns that arise as part of the doctoral experience. Course activities and experiences may vary according to the professional experience and academic background of course participants.
  • AHE 602 Problems in Higher Education Seminar studying the current issues and trends related to higher education.
  • AHE 603 College and University Teaching An intensive graduate seminar that provides an overview of the issues, principles, and practices associated with effective college teaching. Topics include learning and diversity; teaching models and strategies; teacher and student behaviors and learning outcomes; and instructional improvement strategies.
  • AHE 607 Student Development Theory II Provides a comprehensive study of student growth and development during the college years. The course is designed to address professionals in student affairs and higher education administration.
  • AHE 610 Academic Cultures and Learning An intensive examination of the student, faculty, and administrative cultures in higher education environments. The impact of various internal and external factors on institutional culture and behavior will also be studied, particularly as they relate to teaching, learning, research, and service.
  • AHE 620 Power, Politics, and Change in Higher Education Systems A study of higher education institutions as complex organizations within a framework of local, state, and federal domains. Attention is focused on the institution as a dynamic political entity that continually undergoes change. State-level coordination and systems behavior are also examined.
  • AHE 640 Organizational Change in Higher Education Colleges and universities face tremendous challenges; the need for change—and for change agents—has never been greater. This course examines organizational change both theoretically and practically in higher education.
  • AHE 641 Personnel and Human Resource Management in Higher Education Need for and types of personnel; recruitment, advancement, and security of personnel; salaries, wages, and benefits; and problems peculiar to college personnel.
  • AHE 642 Institutional Research and Assessment in Higher Education An overview of the institutional research and analysis techniques utilized in contemporary higher education. The course is configured for those with an interest in conducting institutional research and/or working in offices of institutional research on the campus, system, and/or state level.
  • AHE 643 Grant Writing and Contract Management An introduction to the legal principles of contracts and grants in higher education, including how to identify funding sources, make the proposal, and manage the project. Statutory, administrative, and case law will be studied as they relate to making the proposal and managing the project.
  • AHE 644 Academic Program Development and Evaluation in Higher Education Design and management of academic programs; study of institutional structures for academic affairs; practice in program review for instructional improvement; and overview of graduate programs (general and liberal education, as well as occupational and professional education).
  • AHE 660 Case Studies in Higher Education This course is designed to enhance an understanding of decision making in higher education. Based on case studies, students will analyze, propose policies, generate action plans and implementation procedures, and assess the potential consequences of their administrative decisions.
  • AHE 670 Higher Education Policy and Finance This course will introduce students to the essential elements of higher education policy and finance. Students will examine the main financing options of colleges and universities; college costs and pricing; financial aid policy, and emerging policy issues.
  • AHE 680 Reading Research in Higher Education The purpose of this course is to provide students with skills that enable them to understand and synthesize current research in higher education.
  • AHE 690 Directed Doctoral Study in Higher Education Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor and prior approval of study topic. Directed individual study and analysis of a problem confronting higher education. Note: Frequently, special one-time-only seminars focusing on a particular aspect of higher education are offered by program faculty under this course number.
  • AHE 699 Dissertation Research Directed dissertation research in the field of higher education. Enrollment is subject to program regulations and permission of the student’s dissertation committee chairperson. Also offered in summer school.

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 three faculty members teaching the three different courses that they are enrolled in for that semester.

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, and ‘On Campus’ as the program type. Choose ‘Education’ as the department, ‘Doctoral’ as the degree type, and ‘Higher Education Admin, EDD’ as the program of study.

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

The following application materials are required by the Graduate School.

  • Submit application online at the Graduate School Online Application Center.
  • *Standardized Test Scores – The GRE is the preferred test, but the MAT will also be considered. To be considered for regular admission, a minimum of 300 on the combined verbal and quantitative sections of the revised GRE or a minimum of 50th percentile on the MAT is required. Test scores expire after five years.
  • Transcripts – Submit all transcripts from postsecondary institutions attended.
  • Minimum 3.0 average GPA for the last 60 semester hours in a degree program or a 3.0 or higher in a completed graduate degree program.
  • Statement of Purpose

*Test scores are waived through Fall 2022 semester applications.

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, you can use the same document submitted to the Graduate School
  • 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 writing and include appropriate citations.

Dr. Arleene P. Breaux

Clinical Associate Professor, Higher Education Administration
Executive Ed.D. 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
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. David Hardy

Assistant Professor, Higher Education Administration

  • 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
Program Coordinator, 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. 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. Frankie Santos Laanan

Professor, Higher Education Administration
Department Chair, Educational Leadership, Policy and Technology Studies

  • PhD | University of California, Los Angeles
  • Research Interests: Impact of community colleges on individuals and society, health and wellness of college students, pathways to STEM degrees for diverse students, survey research methods

Dr. Claire Howell Major

Professor, Higher Education Administration

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

Dr. Steve Mobley, Jr.

Assistant Professor, Higher Education Administration

  • PhD | University of Maryland
  • Research Interests: Historically Black Colleges and Universities, social class diversity within black communities, African American queer students, low-income, first-generation students, critical qualitative inquiry

Dr. Krystal L. Williams

Assistant Professor, Higher Education Administration

  • PhD | University of Michigan
  • Research Interests: Underrepresented Groups in STEM, higher Education and public policy, historically black colleges and universities; student role strain and adaptation; P-20 educational pathways

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