Doctoral Degree

Higher Education Leadership (EdD)

Our 3-year doctoral degree in higher education leadership develops the skills you’ll need for a rewarding career grounded in theory, scholarship, educational research, and best practices.

Program Overview

From a scholarly perspective, you’ll learn how the field of higher education is organized and studied, how to become a proficient consumer of research, and how to integrate data and theories into decision-making.

From a practitioner perspective, you’ll hone your core competencies and leadership skills through case studies, collaborative team problem solving, and scholar–practitioner leadership research projects.

Plus, you’ll join a professional learning community of higher education leaders from around the region who go on to become leaders at area universities as presidents, provosts, vice presidents, deans, and more.

Widener's Center for Education is proud of its 2016 NCATE accreditation and is prepared to meet the renewed rigor and relevance of excellence by seeking accreditation based on the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) 2023 standards. Eligible programs take steps to maintain gapless national accreditation for educator preparation. See CAEP standards and annual impact and outcome measures. 

Program Options

View the academic catalog for Loading... requirements.

Our doctoral degree program is a flexible, part-time program designed for working professionals. Complete your degree in just three years in an accelerated format, including your research and dissertation requirements. We offer a curriculum that mixes online, blended, accelerated, weekend, and on-campus coursework that you can complete at a pace that fits your lifestyle. 

Beginning graduate students may enter the Loading... and complete coursework in three consecutive semesters. The five courses are determined by advisement, which allows students to customize the certificate based on specific professional development needs and career goals

Admissions Information

  • Complete the application form.
  • Submit your resume.
  • Submit a personal statement.
  • Have an official transcript sent from all previous graduate and undergraduate programs.
  • Submit three letters of recommendation from colleagues, supervisors, or college professors.

You will have an admissions interview with a faculty advisor.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. We accept applications for students to begin in the fall, spring, or summer terms. 

Program Highlights

Gain the knowledge and skills to succeed as a leader at colleges and universities in positions such as presidents, provosts, vice presidents, deans, and more.

Finish Your Doctorate in 3 Years

Go further, faster with an EdD designed to help you experience rapid career growth. In just three years, you'll graduate ready to step into greater leadership in higher education. 

Learn from Faculty Who Prioritize Your Success

Our faculty hold doctorates in higher education and are known for their mentoring, academic advising, dissertation service, and personal commitment to working with you to align your coursework with your career goals.


Get to know the faculty who teach in the Higher Education Leadership program.

Kim C. O'Halloran
Associate Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies & Extended Learning

"I frequently utilize a learning contract, which allows graduate students to choose the methods of assessment that will best facilitate their own learning, and incorporate student leadership in the classroom and through online tools."

Ning Wang

"My goal in teaching is to enable and motivate my students to understand and make sense of the craft of applying research methods and to become critical and rigorous learners."

Your Inside Track to Success

Your Inside Track to Success

Recent Employers & Industry Connections

  • Arcadia University
  • Delaware County Community College
  • Eastern University
  • University of Delaware
  • University of Pennsylvania

Outlook & Outcomes

Potential Careers

  • Senior Leadership (President, Provost, Vice President)
  • Dean (Assistant, Associate, etc.)
  • Faculty (Adjunct, Tenure-Track, etc.)
  • Chief Diversity Officer
  • Director of Academic or Administrative Unit

Industry Growth

Employment of postsecondary education administrators is projected to grow 10% from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Expected growth may result from increasing student enrollment in colleges and universities.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Take the Next Steps

Join a leading university dedicated to your success.

Visit Us

A visit is the best way to get to know us. Schedule your visit today, and see all that Widener can offer you.

View Tuition and Fees

Explore program costs and payment options.

Financial Aid

At Widener, opportunities for financial aid extend to graduate students. Discover how Widener can help make obtaining your degree possible.

Next steps to apply

We’re glad you made the decision to apply. All applications and supplemental materials are submitted through the online application system.

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