The Executive Ed.D. in Higher Education develops agile leaders for an era of rapid change. The innovative curriculum emphasizes global and international perspectives, socially just leadership, data-informed strategy, and iterative design thinking to reimagine the future of higher education.
Looking to elevate your leadership?
Talk with our team to learn about the program, the application process, and how we prepare executives to lead change.
Join a cohort of experienced leaders from various academic, institutional, and professional backgrounds in a diverse and dynamic learning community.
Expand your perspectives by engaging leaders in the US and around the world, leveraging the resources of the Lynch School's prestigious Center for International Higher Education.
Develop strategic skills to drive change at your institution through data-driven insights and equity-minded leadership.
Engage online while working full-time, connecting in person during weeklong summer residencies in Boston and Santiago. Live online meetings are scheduled at times that allow you to grow in your current role while completing the program.
While on Boston College's beautiful Chestnut Hill campus, students attend the Doctoral Proseminar and Law, Policy, and Politics of Higher Education in the (Inter)National Context. The dynamic city of Boston serves as a backdrop for cohort-building and networking activities. The first residency is the first full week in June each year. Tuition is inclusive of accommodations and most meals for all three summer residencies. Students are responsible for airfare and any costs associated with visas.
In the second year of the program, the cohort travels to Chile for an immersive international experience. Students gain a comparative perspective on Managing Change in Higher Education. Students meet with university leaders, policymakers, and government officials to discover strategic approaches to managing change. The international residency is the second full week in June each year.
Students visit Boston College’s picturesque Connors Center located in Dover, MA. In this retreat setting, students complete the course Strategic Problem Solving through Design Thinking. Catholic Higher Education concentration students also participate in the Institute for Administrators in Catholic Higher Education. The third residency is in mid-July each year.
This experience will broaden your perspective and change the way you lead. Tailor the curriculum to match your professional goals and interests. Watch our video to learn more.
"As a first-generation college student, I understand the transformative power of higher education. This program adds tools to my leadership toolbox to navigate change and challenges with greater ease – and collaborate for greater impact."
"The opportunity to learn not only from internationally-recognized faculty but also from highly accomplished peers has broadened my perspective and added new depth to my leadership."
"I love being part of a cohort that shares my commitment to lifelong learning and service. As someone who believes in the power of community, this program is fueling my passion for leading change in higher education."
“The integration of global higher education in the program, the tight-knit cohort community, as well as the extraordinarily supportive, accessible, and world-class faculty members, stands out.”
“I was very attracted to the practice-based nature of this program, particularly the discussions about contemporary concerns, conflicts, and trade-offs that underpin its delivery.”
“I wanted a program that was a cohort model so that I could build a community inside the ‘virtual classroom’ that could transcend into our professional lives.”
“I chose this program primarily for the quality of the faculty and flexibility of the learning format (hybrid-online) and curriculum."
"I was looking for a program that had a real in-person component (like the summer residencies) and a global or international outlook, given my desire to contribute to change in India and internationally.”
“I have been involved in every aspect of international higher education for almost 25 years. This Ed.D. program gives me the opportunity to be a part of BC’s, Lynch’s, and CIHE’s academic and research communities. It is ALL suddenly available at our reach in just one place!”
“In an era of increased disruption and rapid change, higher education needs a new kind of leadership. This program will help participants reimagine institutions, execute difficult decisions, discern whether traditional ways of conducting business are still relevant, and attend to issues of justice and purpose. ”
Students learn in an executive-style format that involves case studies and research-based discussions that develop the skills, mindsets, and knowledge needed to address complex issues facing higher education in the United States and around the world.
As an extension of Boston College's scholarship in Catholic education, students also have the option to pursue a concentration in Catholic Higher Education – currently the only graduate program in the United States with this unique degree concentration.
The goal of this optional concentration is to engage students in articulating, animating and assessing the characteristics of a vibrant 21st-century Catholic college or university. Students will join in formative activities including opportunities for communal prayer and liturgy, meals and dialogue with relevant leaders, and ongoing professional development on current topics in Catholic Higher Education.
The optional concentration will consist of 3 courses (9 credits) taken as electives. Students will also attend the annual Institute for Administrators in Catholic Higher Education during their final summer residency, providing an opportunity to network with a broad international Catholic administrator community.
The Lynch School of Education and Human Development provides more than $10.8 million in financial aid to students each year. As a result, the quality of BC’s instruction, the benefit of our alumni network, and the impact a BC degree will have on your employment options is both affordable and invaluable.
To be eligible for the doctoral program, applicants must already hold a master's degree and have 7 years or more of professional experience in higher education, including colleges, universities, non-profit organizations, government agencies, consulting firms, and education technology companies that work with higher education institutions.
Prerequisite Information: To be eligible for the EdD program, applicants must already hold a master's degree and have 7 years or more of professional experience in higher education or a higher education-adjacent field.
A non-refundable application fee of $75 is required. The fee is waived for select applicants.
To be uploaded to your online application.
In addition to your academic history and relevant volunteer and/or work experience, please include any licenses currently held, any social justice-related experience, any language skills other than English, and any research experience or publications.
To be uploaded to your online application.
In lieu of a traditional personal statement, we ask for responses to each of the following questions. Please number the questions and limit your response to each question to 500-750 words.
Please submit three letters of recommendation with at least one from an academic source. Together, these letters should comprehensively address your academic achievements, analytic writing, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, as well as your capacity for senior leadership roles, professional accomplishments, and ability to collaborate effectively on diverse teams.
Transcripts from all college/university studies are required.
Applicants who have received degrees from institutions outside the United States should view the "International Students" section for additional credential evaluation requirements or talk to a member of our team.
Please begin your online application before submitting your transcripts. Details on how to submit transcripts and international credential evaluations can be found within the application. In order to ensure your transcript reaches our office, it is important to review and follow the instructions.
GRE scores are not required. If you wish to send GRE scores, the Lynch School GRE code is 3218.
Please view the "International Students" section for information on English Proficiency test requirements.
To be uploaded to your online application.
Submit a writing sample that demonstrates your analytical thinking and writing skills. The sample can originate from your graduate program or any stage of your professional career, such as an academic paper, a report, a proposal, an evaluation, or any comparable written work. You are invited to preface the submission with a brief introduction that provides the background and context for the admissions committee. The writing sample should be a minimum of 3 pages with no maximum page limit, and you should be the sole or primary author of the work.
Applicants who have completed a degree outside of the United States must have a course-by-course evaluation of their transcript(s) completed by an evaluation company approved by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). Submission of falsified documents is grounds for denial of admission or dismissal from the University.
Applicants who are not native speakers of English and who have not received a degree from an institution where English is the primary language of instruction must also submit a TOEFL or IELTS test result that meets the minimum score requirement.
Please click the link below for full details on these requirements.