Compare Doctoral Programs

Ready to take the next step in your higher education career? Learn more about the distinctions between APU’s Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Higher Education Leadership and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Higher Education programs.

Discover Which Degree Aligns with Your Goals
Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership Ph.D. in Higher Education
Who is it For? Practitioners in higher education Faculty, researchers, and administrators in higher education
Emphasis The application of research The development of theory and practice via research
Target Group Primarily for consumers of research Primarily for conductors of research
Dissertation Action research involving a campus change project; work on the dissertation begins in the first year and is embedded in coursework throughout. Typically more complex in methodology, wider in scope, and contributes to theory building in the discipline; work on the dissertation begins in the first year and is embedded in coursework throughout.
Research Requirements Introduction to Action Research, Applied Action Research, Guided Inquiry Project, Dissertation Proposal, and Dissertation Research (11 units total) Research Design and Statistics, Qualitative Methods, Advanced Quantitative or Advanced Qualitative Research, 4 units of research team seminars, Dissertation Proposal, and Dissertation Research (22 units total)
Cohort Size No more than 15 admitted each June 12-18 admitted each July
Residency Requirement Each cohort is on campus for one full week each June and two days (9 a.m. Friday to 4 p.m. Saturday) per month for nine months of the year (not May or August). Twice-yearly intensive class sessions on campus (two weeks each in January and July)
Travel Requirement In May of the second year, students travel to an international location for intensive coursework, rather than attending in Azusa that week (included in tuition). As part of the Global Policy course, international travel in late May of the second year in the program is required (included in tuition).
Special Projects Guided Inquiry Project prepares students for the dissertation with its focus on development of the problem statement and research protocol. Three comprehensive examinations are required; these are a range of oral presentations, leadership portfolios, and institutional projects.
Electives None 2 units
Time to Degree Completion Three years of coursework inclusive of dissertation Four years, inclusive of dissertation
Total Units 51, inclusive of dissertation, taken in lockstep sequence with cohort, 17 units per year (3 terms per year) 60, inclusive of dissertation, taken in lockstep sequence with cohort (2 terms per year)

Note: This information is current for the 2020-21 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.

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