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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.

Doctoral student Zayd Abukar
The HESA program at Ohio State is one of the best in the country. I think for anyone who wants to work in higher education or student affairs, coming out of HESA will leave you very well-prepared.
- Zayd Abukar
EdD student, 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


Deadline to Apply: 
December 1
Program Start: 
Summer semester
Prerequisites/Pre-major Requirements: 
Master's degree
Minimum Program Hours: 
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 Curriculum Sheet


Amy Barnes, EdD, Clinical Associate Professor
Rebecca Crandall, PhD, Clinical Assistant Professor
Marc P. Johnston-Guerrero, PhD, Associate Professor
Susan Robb Jones, PhD, Professor
Matthew Mayhew, PhD, Flesher Professor
Kristen J. Mills, PhD, Assistant Professor
Anne-Marie Nunez, PhD, Professor
Penny Pasque, PhD, Professor
Lori Patton Davis, PhD, Professor, Educational Studies Chair
Stephen John Quaye, PhD, Associate Professor
Tatiana Suspitsyna, PhD, Associate Professor

Affiliate Faculty
Kristina M. Johnson, PhD, President, The Ohio State University