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EdD in Educational Studies, Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA)

The EdD in Educational Studies in Higher Education and Student Affairs prepares you for leadership roles in a variety of higher education and student affairs administrative contexts. The program develops scholarly practitioners who understand the importance of equity and social justice and can respond effectively to the problems and issues of contemporary practice in higher education and student affairs.


Higher education professionals who pursue an EdD from Ohio State will acquire the skills to reform higher education organizations, improve student learning and the ability to evaluate and assess practice.

You will become a change agent in the field by recognizing, leading and influencing collaborative efforts among the higher education community.

Coursework is rigorous with an emphasis on practical application of scholarship. Students from a variety of professional backgrounds will be able to connect and learn from each other in a classroom setting that encourages connections to professional experiences.

When you graduate from the EdD program, you will be able to:

  • Comprehend and apply foundational and contemporary theories to scholarly questions and issues in the field of higher education and student affairs (Theoretical Foundations)
  • Evaluate and understand various research approaches and to answer critical questions in postsecondary education. Graduates can apply research methodologies to the analysis of empirical data and evaluation to facilitate change in higher education contexts (Assessment, Research and Evaluation)
  • Understand and appreciate equity and inclusion and apply principles of equity and inclusion in professional practice (Equity and Inclusion)
  • Translate theories into effective educational practice and elevate your role as a scholar-practitioner contributing to the improvement of professional practice (Translation and Professional Practice)

Career Paths

The EdD prepares educational leaders in higher education who understand organizations, can lead organizational change, utilize global perspectives, demonstrate expertise in student development and learning, and apply research to issues faced by institutions of higher education in rapidly changing environments. Professionals with an EdD will go on to have careers in a variety of leadership roles including:

  • Director of Student Affairs or Academic Unit
  • Dean of Students
  • Vice President for Student Affairs
  • University President
  • Higher Education Consultant
  • Policy Analyst
  • Non-profit Leader

Program Requirements

Deadline to apply: February 1
Program start: Autumn semester
Prerequisites: Master's degree
Minimum semester hours to degree completion: 80 (up to 30 credit hours can transfer)
Coursework: Student development theory, assessment, finance, college impact, higher education law, higher education institutions and academic issues
Other requirements: Professional doctorate examination
Unique HESA Opportunities: Study abroad, service-learning, student leadership development

View the EdD Curriculum


Amy Barnes, EdD, Clinical Assistant Professor & EdD Program Director
Rebecca Crandall, PhD, Senior Lecturer
Marc P. Johnston-Guerrero, PhD, Assistant Professor
Susan Robb Jones, PhD, Professor
Anne-Marie Nunez, PhD, Associate Professor
Matthew Mayhew, PhD, Flesher Professor
Tatiana Suspitsyna, PhD, Associate Professor

Affiliated Faculty

Michael V. Drake, President, The Ohio State University
Cheryl Achterberg, Dean, College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University
Javaune Adams-Gaston, Vice President for Student Life, The Ohio State University
Robert Holub, Ohio Eminent Scholar in Germanic Languages; Former Chancellor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst