Doctor of Education
The program is designed as a highly personalized experience, focusing on each student’s specific needs and aspirations. It provides a thorough grounding in the major areas of knowledge relating to higher education as a field of study as well as a broad familiarity with the theory, practice, and scholarship of higher education.
The curriculum may include both cognitive and experiential components as well as structured and independent course work. A strong interdisciplinary element provides flexibility and a broad knowledge base. In many instances, students will complete some of their course work in other fields within or outside the Division of Education.
Admission is based on a total profile of the applicant’s educational and professional background. It is expected that applicants have professional work experience. GRE requirements reflect the November 2011 Guide of the Use of Scores. Unconditional admission requirements include the following:
- Master’s degree or equivalent in a related field from a regionally accredited institution, official transcripts required
- Cumulative Master’s degree GPA of 3.5
- GRE scores:
- A score of at least 450 (old GRE score)/153 (new GRE score) on the Verbal section is required.
- A score of at least 450 (old GRE score)/144 (new GRE score) on the Quantitative section is required.
- A score of at least 4.0 on the Analytical Writing section.
- Three years of successful professional experience, or equivalent, in an area related to the degree program
- Biographical data form
- Interview with and approval of the Higher Education faculty
Conditional admission requirements include the following:
1. A master’s degree with a graduate GPA of 3.25 or above (required standard);
2. A score of 400 (old GRE score)/146 (new GRE score) or above on the Verbal section of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE);
3. A score of 450 (old GRE score)/141 (new GRE score) or above on the Quantitative section of the GRE;
4. A score of 3.5 or above on the Analytical Writing section of the GRE.
Additional documented evidence of a student’s ability to succeed in graduate-level work, research or publications may be required. Program faculty may request documentation, including the following: official transcripts from all post-master’s studies, successful graduate course work from an accredited university, examples of academic and professional work, writing samples, statements of purpose, and letters of support from faculty members or others familiar with the applicant’s capability for doctoral-level work.
The Higher Education Program Admissions Committee will review and evaluate the documentation. Conditionally admitted students will be allowed to enroll in up to 12 semester hours. Upon completion of 12 semester hours in the program, the Admissions Committee will review the work completed up to that point by the applicant as part of the overall admissions application to determine if the student will be granted regular admission to the program. Changing admission to regular status will be contingent upon the student successfully completing course work to be determined with Higher Education Program Advisor with a minimum 3.5 GPA.
Conditional admission does not guarantee regular admission to the Ed.D. program in Higher Education. Students who are not granted regular admission to the doctoral program will not be permitted to enroll in Higher Education courses beyond the prescribed 12 hours of conditionally admitted course work, but may be allowed admission to the M.A. in Higher Education.
The higher education doctorate degree requires a minimum of 99 graduate hours, usually 63 to 69 hours beyond the 36-hour master’s degree. (Most students will complete more than the minimum 99 hours.) The requirements include 21 core hours (research competencies, education and higher education competencies), 27 specialization area hours, 15 dissertation hours, and a comprehensive examination as well as fulfillment of the residency requirement. Students develop, with their committees, a program of study that addresses their individual interests and needs.
Students are expected to develop a thorough grounding in the major divisions of knowledge relating to higher education as a field of study (e.g., history, administration, law, student affairs). In addition, they develop a broad familiarity with the theory, practice, and scholarship of higher education.
The written comprehensive exam is taken after completion or during the final semester of course work and is followed by an oral comprehensive exam. Following successful completion of both components of the comprehensive exam, students develop a proposal for their dissertation. The required dissertation and oral defense develops research capacity and a working familiarity with research in the student’s specialization area. Research competency and literacy are demonstrated in the design and conduct of a study that makes a substantive contribution to the field.
All requirements for the doctoral degree must be completed within seven consecutive years of enrollment in the program. Each Ed.D. student must file a residency plan for fulfilling a residence requirement that demonstrates a commitment to the program through continuous and intensive enrollment at UALR.
Students consult with their advisors to choose one of three residency options at least twenty class days before the end of the first semester of the planned residence period. Residency hours must be in degree-related graduate courses. Requirement options are:
- Nine hours in each of two consecutive semesters, fall-spring or spring-fall
- Nine hours in a spring or fall semester and nine hours in adjacent summer terms
- Six hours minimum in each enrollment period over four consecutive semesters with 24 total hours over 24 consecutive months (summer enrollment is not required but if it is included the student must enroll in at least six hours of course credit.)
- Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on an approved program of study as outlined above
- Successfully passing the comprehensive examinations
- Successful completion and oral defense of an acceptable dissertation
Education/Higher Education Core
Doctoral Concentration Areas and Requirements
Concentrations are offered in higher education administration, student affairs administration, two-year college leadership, and faculty leadership. Each student will be assigned to work with an advisor to design a plan of study that reflects previous studies and professional experience, while focusing on discrete areas of study that serve the student’s intellectual and professional needs and interests.