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.
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Your cohort will bring together experienced leaders with different backgrounds – academic, ethnic, professional, and international – to form a diverse and dynamic learning community. This experience will broaden your perspective and change the way you lead.
Leveraging the resources of the Lynch School's prestigious Center for International Higher Education, the program brings together cohorts of experienced administrators from across the US and around the world to study with BC’s internationally-recognized faculty.
Our curriculum prepares you to make strategic decisions with data-informed insights to provide socially just leadership and design higher education institutions and systems that work better for everyone.
The program pairs online learning with weeklong summer residencies in two of the world’s most dynamic cities, Boston and Dublin. Online courses are offered in a variety of formats during the academic year, and 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 will 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.
The cohort will travel to Ireland for this residency. Students gain a comparative perspective on critical higher education issues in the Managing Change in Higher Education course, meeting with university and corporate leaders, as well as policymakers and government officials. The second 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 program focuses on developing capacities for data-informed decision-making for social justice and human advancement."
“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.”
“The diverse cohort - geographically, but also institutionally, really stands out about the program.”
“The most important parts of selecting a program were academic rigor and a focus on educating practitioners to become better thinkers and practitioners.”
“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."
“The summer residencies were attractive to me because I wanted to have a sense of connectedness to the Boston College campus plus global experiences to learn about institutional structures beyond the U.S.”
“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 $8.4 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 or a higher education-adjacent field.
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.
Three letters of recommendation are required with at least one required from an academic source. Applicants may submit one additional recommendation of their choice. Academic letters are a better indicator of your qualifications for doctoral work as compared to professional letters. Ideally, academic letters should be as recent as possible, and from faculty who are in fields related to education.
Transcripts from all college/university study are required.
Applicants who have received degrees from institutions outside the United States should view the "International Students" section for additional credential evaluation requirements.
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.
The EdD program does not require the GRE for admission. You may submit GRE scores, but applicants are not required to do so.
For more information about the GRE exam, including test dates and testing sites, visit https://www.ets.org/gre.
Lynch School of Education and Human Development GRE Code: 3218
Please view the "International Students" section for information on English Proficiency test requirements.
To be uploaded to your online application.
A writing sample from the applicant’s current or former position is required. The writing sample should showcase the applicant’s analytic thinking and writing skills. It can be any written product from your current or former job in which you were the primary author, such as an academic paper, a proposal, a report, an evaluation, etc. Applicants are welcome to preface the sample with a brief summary that explains the background of the paper to provide context for the Admissions Committee. There is no word limit for this submission.
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.