The online Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership for Changing Populations prepares effective leaders for increasingly diverse populations in higher education. The curriculum provides hands-on experience with education practice and policy with a focus on organizational management. The program requires coursework, comprehensive exams, and a formal dissertation.
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Program Location
  • 100% online coursework with no residency requirement
  • Affordable tuition and values-based curriculum
  • Rolling admission and multiple start dates

Learn More at NDMU Online

The program requires elements common to all doctoral studies:

  • Research Methods
  • Comprehensive Examinations
  • Research Seminar
  • Dissertation

Introductory Course (must be taken in the first or second semester of the program)

EDU-XXX Research Writing for Doctoral Students (3)

Changing Populations Courses (12 credits)

EDU-697  Language and Intercultural (3)
EDU-715  Educator as a Change Leader (3)
EDU-772  Changing Populations in Historical Perspective (3)
EDU-775  Democracy and Education: Three Philosophical Perspectives (3)

Higher Education Core (9 credits)

EDU-722  Education and Policy Analysis (3)
EDU-802  Organization and Governance in Higher Education (3)
EDU-805  Curriculum Development for Changing Populations (3)

Research Core (9 credits)

EDU-695 Research Design (3)
EDU-701  Methods of Quantitative Research (3)
EDU-703  Methods of Qualitative Research (3)

Special Interest Area (6 credits)

Any 2 Higher Education 500 or 600 level courses, as approved by advisor, including:
EDU-677: Student Affairs:  Planning, Policy, and Practice
EDU-803 Assessment, Evaluation, and Accreditation (3)
EDU-804 Finance, Philanthropy, Budget and the Strategic Planning Process in Higher Ed (3)

Dissertation (6 credits plus dissertation continuation credits )

EDU-705  Dissertation Seminar (3)
EDU-706  Dissertation Methodology (3)
EDU-800  Dissertation Continuation (1.5 credits per semester up to 6 credits total)

*Students requiring EDU 800 beyond three semesters must request extension through their advisor.

Total Credits = 48

Occupational Therapy Track

For current Occupational Therapists looking to pursue teaching or program administration opportunities in higher education, our new track in Occupational Therapy can transform your career into a position of leadership with diverse professional capabilities. Curriculum for the Ph.D. program is the same, but those interested in this track will complete a dissertation that relates to the field of Occupational Therapy.

9 credits from previous coursework in occupational therapy from a master’s or doctoral program may be transferred.


The dissertation is the culmination of your doctoral studies. Through the Dissertation Seminar(s), you will receive assistance in the process of preparing your dissertation proposal.

In this scholarly work of original and independent research, you will:

  1. Address a problem or issue relevant to education;
  2. Conduct research that is quantitative, qualitative, or historical/philosophical (depending on the chosen subject); and
  3. Develop a dissertation that adds to the knowledge in the field.


Ph.D. Program Handbook (PDF)

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