Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership for Changing Populations

The world is changing, with dramatic demographic shifts in not only the population of the United States as a whole, but also in the world of higher education. Now, become the most effective leader possible for these new populations with the online Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership for Changing Populations from Notre Dame of Maryland University. You’ll gain hands-on experience with education practice and policy as you enhance your management and organizational experience. And when you graduate, you’ll be prepared to address the needs of colleges and universities with increasingly diverse populations.

  • 100% online with no residency requirement
  • Affordable tuition and values-based curriculum
  • Rolling admission and multiple start dates
  • University administration
  • Dean
  • Education researcher
  • College professor
  • Nonprofit director
  • Chief academic officer/Chief learning officer


Changing Populations Core Courses (12 credits)
  • EDU-615 Educator as a Change Leader (3)
  • EDU-672 Changing Populations in Historical Perspective (3)
  • EDU-675 Democracy and Education: Three Philosophical Perspectives (3)
  • EDU-697 Language and Intercultural Communication for Changing Populations (3)
Higher Education Courses (18 credits)
  • EDU-622 Education and Policy Analysis (3)
  • EDU-802 Organization and Governance in Higher Education (3)
  • EDU-803 Assessment, Evaluation, and Accreditation (3)
  • EDU-804 Finance, Philanthropy, Budget, and the Strategic Planning Process in Higher Education (3)
  • EDU-805 Curriculum Development for Changing Populations (3)
  • EDU-665 Digital Game-Based Learning and Design (3)
Research Core Courses (9 credits)
  • EDU-695 Research Design (3)
  • EDU-701 Methods of Quantitative Research (3)
  • EDU-703 Methods of Qualitative Research (3)
Dissertation Courses (12 credits)
  • EDU-705 Dissertation Seminar (3)
  • EDU-706 Dissertation Methodology (3)
  • EDU-801 Dissertation (6)

Comprehensive Examinations

Prior to undertaking the dissertation, candidates must pass oral and written comprehensive examinations demonstrating knowledge both of the broad conceptual and procedural aspects of instruction for changing populations and in-depth knowledge in the area of specialization in which the candidate proposes to undertake the investigations that will result in the doctoral dissertation.

The comprehensive exam experience requires students to write essay answers demonstrating proficiency in writing, critical thinking, and holistic perspectives, and to demonstrate their ability to articulate their perceived roles as agents of change in education.


The dissertation is the culmination of the candidate’s doctoral studies. In this extended work of original and independent research, the candidate addresses a problem or issue relevant to education, conducts research that is quantitative or qualitative (depending on the chosen subject), and develops a dissertation that adds to knowledge in the field. After identifying the research topic and receiving approval from the dean of education, the candidate works closely with a dissertation advisor to complete each stage of the dissertation process. The candidate defends the dissertation before a committee formed by the dean of education in consultation with the advisor and the candidate. The committee includes faculty from the School of Education. Where relevant to the student’s research topic, the committee may also include a faculty member from a complementary discipline.

Admissions Requirements

  • Completed Ph.D. application
  • Official transcript(s) – Please provide all official transcripts from undergraduate, graduate and/or community college course work. Students with degrees from universities outside of the United States should submit an official translated transcript. For information about a World Education Services (WES) course by course evaluation, please visit
  • Two letters of recommendation (see recommendation forms)
  • Personal statement
  • GRE or Miller Analogy Test Scores (if needed – please consult with your enrollment manager)

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Tuition And Financial Aid

  • Tuition: $500 per credit*
  • Registration/Technology Fee (nonrefundable): $130 per term

Financial Aid

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Take the first step towards your new career!