Adult & Higher Education Ed.D.

The hybrid Ed.D. degree in Adult & Higher Education has a newly updated curriculum designed for students interested in advancing in leadership positions in higher education. The curriculum has been updated to better meet the current needs of leaders at technical colleges, community colleges, and 4-year colleges and universities. 

The Ed.D. program is offered in a hybrid format for the first two years with a learning cohort both in-person and online. Classes are held two weekends each term at the OSU Portland Center. Cohort meetings are half-day Thursday, all day Friday, and half-day Saturday.  As a member of an active learning community, students collaborate with working professionals in higher education settings from throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

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Announcement: check mark

The Ed.D. application is now closed for Fall 2024. It will reopen in September for a Fall 2025 start date. Email [email protected] with any questions.  

  • Equity-based research in practice.
  • All classes are developed and taught by OSU's renowned faculty and higher education leaders who bring real-world experience to the classroom.
  • Admitted students to the Adult & Higher Education Ed.D. program hold a variety of administrative positions including directors, deans, and vice presidents.
  • Students accepted to recent cohorts hold between 4-25 years of higher education experience.
  • All AHE programs are rooted in equity and social justice. Equity is intentionally embedded throughout all of the coursework.
  • Research interests of the AHE faculty are focused on equity and social justice.
  • Classes taught by program faculty and higher education leaders with content expertise related to the subject matter.



Graduates of AHE are now serving or have served as institutional presidents across 2-year, 4-year, and technical colleges and universities across the country


Average number of students per cohort


Average number of students per class


Cohort meetings in-person two weekends per term in Portland and online


Years to complete the program

What to Expect

Classes include a blend of applied research, leadership, and higher education. The program offers a 5-part research series, including Needs Assessment and Program Evaluation. Other notable courses include Higher Education Administration I and II, Contemporary Issues, Policy Issues, Organizational Development & Change, and Legal Issues.

The program offers hybrid learning with a cohort of 12-15 students. Classes meet twice per term at the OSU Portland Center in Portland, Oregon, otherwise fully online and asynchronous. In-person class sessions are Thursday-Saturday.

Students who have graduated from this program are prepared for careers in higher education upper administration. Career titles include college of university president, chief diversity officer, associate vice provost, and associate dean. 

The Ed.D. requires at least three years of full-time professional experience in a two-year or four-year higher education organization (i.e. college or university.

On average, students entering the program hold a variety of administrative positions including directors, deans, and vice presidents. Students accepted to our recent cohort hold between 4-25 years of higher education experience.

In addition to the Graduate School requirements, the program requests a resume/cv, writing sample, and three letters of recommendation. The GRE is not required for admission. 

Writing sample prompts: Formatting guidelines: Each prompt should be no longer than one-page, single spaced (500 words). In total, your statement should be no longer than three pages single spaced.

  • Prompt 1: What is your immediate and long-term career trajectory? Why do you want to pursue a doctoral degree in Adult & Higher Education at OSU to advance in that trajectory? 
  • Prompt 2: How have you impacted change as a leader on your campus? How will the experiences in this program contribute to your growth as an equity-minded leader? 
  • Prompt 3: Please tell us about a localized issue that produces inequity in your field of work that may be of interest as a scholar practitioner. 

A new cohort of students will begin Fall term. The priority deadline for the program is February 1st. Applications accepted after this date will be reviewed on a space available basis. 

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