Grand Canyon University

Ed.D in Organizational Leadership: Higher Education Leadership (Qualitative Research)


3300 W Camelback Rd

Phoenix, AZ 85017

United States



Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Ed.D in Organizational Leadership: Higher Education Leadership (Qualitative Research)

Format: Online

Program Description:

Pursue a Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership for Higher Education

Prepare to lead postsecondary institutions into the future effectively and ethically by turning challenges into opportunities using research-driven strategies. Earn your EdD in higher education online at Grand Canyon University and accelerate your learning while cultivating an intelligent leadership style. The Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership with an Emphasis in Higher Education Leadership is designed for active and aspiring leaders in teaching and postsecondary administration.

The College of Doctoral Studies has designed a rigorous curriculum that blends governance, fiscal management and strategic planning with cultural sensitivity and corporate social responsibility. Graduates are prepared to evaluate and address complex challenges from a leadership standpoint. By exploring leadership styles and ethical practices in higher education, learners are equipped with the high-level decision-making capabilities that are required for 21st century postsecondary education institutions.

What Is a Qualitative EdD for Higher Education?

This qualitative program allows you to directly contribute to the wealth of knowledge in the field of educational leadership. Through both classwork and the completion of an original research study, you will generate new insights into organizational leadership within the education field.

A qualitative program involves analyzing important patterns and identifying key trends that can have great impacts on your greater industry. It contrasts from GCU’s quantitative EdD in Organizational Leadership with an Emphasis in Higher Education Leadership, which involves performing a statistical, data-driven research study.

Develop Skills in Higher Education Leadership

The landscape of higher education is dynamic and continually evolving which requires careful decision-making through the lens of ethical practices and standards. The curriculum at GCU stands out for its focus on ethical dilemmas and stewardship. Graduates emerge with a renewed sense of purpose for becoming agents of positive change in their fields.

Join online or evening classes and engage in stimulating discussions with faculty members and peers with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Learn to evaluate qualitative and quantitative data and apply research-driven strategies for the future. The doctorate in higher education requires a minimum 60 credits for completion. Most online courses are eight weeks in length.

The Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership for Higher Education program begins with an intensive exploration of scholarly research and academic writing. From the first course, learners will begin the dissertation process. After covering literature reviews and research questions, students move on to explore the development and evolution of leadership theories. Other core topic areas include the following:

The history and politics of higher education, with an examination of the political landscape and relevant ethical issues

The internal and external governance and structures in higher education

The creation and maintenance of a diverse learning infrastructure through faculty professional development, alumni relations and the building of a scholarly community

The establishment of a shared mission, vision and goals among stakeholders for the purpose of long-range strategic planning

However, learners are expected to participate in two or three five-day residencies on campus. These are conducted to enable learners to benefit from networking opportunities, peer feedback and intensive mentorship from faculty members.

Advance Your Higher Education Career with an EdD in Organizational Leadership with an Emphasis in Higher Education Leadership

Doctoral programs in higher education leadership prepare graduates to bring their vision for their schools into reality. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, undergraduate enrollment is on an upward trend. Between 2000 and 2018, total undergraduate enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions increased by 26 percent (from 13.2 million to 16.6 million students). By 2029, total undergraduate enrollment is projected to increase to 17.0 million students.1 A growing and increasingly diverse student population raises the need for strategic thinkers among school leadership. Some career options that may be related to this degree may include the following:

    Academic dean

    Chief academic officer

    Financial director

    Postsecondary administrator

Some graduates may choose to pursue a career in consulting, learning advocacy or government policymaking.

1 Retrieved from National Center for Education Statistics, Undergraduate Enrollment, in May 2022.

If seeking licensure or certification, applicants to the program are responsible for contacting their state department of education for licensure requirements and program approval. In addition, fingerprint/background clearance is required.


North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

Facts & Figures

Classification: Master's College or University I

Loans Offered: Perkins Loan, Stafford Student Loans, PLUS Loans, Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP) State Grant, Arizona Post-Secondary Education Voucher Program State Grant, Federal Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

Locale: Large City

Size & Settings: 0-999

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