Program Description


Executive Doctorate in Higher Education Management is an accelerated program offering advanced coursework for middle- and senior-level, post-secondary education administrators. 

The program offers an intensive management and international-focused curriculum with particular emphasis on commercialization and the entrepreneurial university in a global context. At each session an outside colleague, often a leading scholar from abroad, will serve as a discussant, thus broadening the perspective offered.  The curriculum is a set sequence of highly relevant courses with no electives.  Dissertations, addressing specific higher education management challenges, are embedded in the six-semester curriculum.  The global context of the program is emphasized with week-long summer experiences in Europe and Asia.

In the first semester, students are exposed to the range of research and potential research topics in the field of higher education. Students are also introduced to the Institute of Higher Education faculty and their research expertise and interests. Beginning in the second semester, students are introduced to the basic research skills needed to pursue doctoral research. Students are assisted as a group and individually in developing these skills throughout the entirety of the program from research questions, to literature reviews, to research design and methodology, through data collection, and finally to the defense of the dissertation.

The program is directed by Dr. Charles B. Knapp, former president of UGA, and assisted by Dr. Leslie Gordon, who earned her doctorate in linguistics.

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NOTE: Applications for Cohort 5 (January 2018-December 2019) of the Executive Ed.D. program will begin in spring 2017.

The Executive Ed.D. in Higher Education Management offers a comprehensive curriculum focusing on advanced management within the field. The program pays particular attention to the entrepreneurial university and commercialization in higher education, as well as internationalization and the global context.

The program schedule accommodates busy professionals, with eight meetings yearly in Atlanta (Thursday afternoon through Sunday afternoon) and two 8-day international trips (currently to the Netherlands and China) during summer sessions.

The majority of the curriculum addresses management topics, with extensive use of case studies drawn from practice to spur discussion. The leadership course convenes during most meetings, introducing participants each time to a significant figure associated with higher education. 

See course descriptions here.

Download the Executive Ed.D. Student Handbook

Example of a typical weekend meeting schedule:  

8:30–10:30aMarketing/Higher Ed.FinanceFinance
11a – 1pMarketing/Higher Ed.FinanceFinance
2 – 4:15pMarketing/Higher Ed.Marketing/Higher Ed.Finance
4:30 – 5:45pMarketing/Higher Ed.Finance
6:30 – 9:30pGroup dinner at restaurantDinner at hotelDinner at hotel

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How to Apply

NOTE: Applications are now being accepted for Cohort 5, beginning January 2018. For full consideration applications must be completed by October 1, 2017.


Applicants must hold a Master's degree from an accredited institution. The application process is done online through the University of Georgia Graduate School. The GRE is not required. You will need the following information to complete the application:

  • Degree Objective: Ed.D.
  • Major: Higher education management
  • Area of Specialty: Executive Program, Buckhead
  • Degree Objective/Major Code: EDD_EDHI_BKH

The following supplemental documents should be sent directly to the UGA Graduate School along with your application:

  • Current resume;
  • Three letters of recommendation, including one from the applicant's current direct supervisor;
  • Statement of objectives or statement of purpose of up to 750 words on what the applicant hopes to both achieve and contribute through participating in the program; and
  • Transcripts from all previously attended institutions.

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