Overview

The Executive EdD program is designed to meet the unique needs of experienced professionals seeking a doctorate in higher education. The program helps students develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to advance in leadership positions by combining theoretically-rich studies with an applied research approach. The Executive EdD program is based on a cohort model that allows students to build an immediate network of colleagues. Intensive coursework and a carefully-structured dissertation process allow students to complete the degree in nine semesters and maintain their busy professions. Executive EdD students engage in six core areas of knowledge essential to higher education: 1) theoretical foundations of higher education; 2) research in higher education; 3) administrative issues; 4) student issues; 5) teaching and curricular issues; and 6) problem solving in professional practice.

Executive Ed.D. students are typically working higher education professionals who have completed a master’s degree (not necessarily in Higher Education) and are pursuing doctoral study to learn more about the field and advance their careers. Executive Ed.D. students often serve in varied positions at all types of higher education institutions and may also be employed in the non-profit, governmental, or corporate sectors.

Annually, 12-15 students are admitted and complete coursework requirements in lockstep. Faculty lead cohort members through course requirements while students learn more about one another’s professional experiences. Students benefit from the support system that emerges from their cohort colleagues and alumni comments rank the cohort learning community as one of the top features of UA’s Executive Ed.D. program.

Program Coordinator:  Dr. Arleene Breaux 

Admission Requirements

Prospective students should apply to both the UA Graduate School as well as the department. For information about applying to the Graduate School and to submit your Graduate School Admissions Application online, visit the Graduate School Online Application Center. When applying to the Graduate School, select the desired degree program as well as the campus location/mode of delivery.

The following materials need to be sent to the Graduate School.

  • Standardized test scores. You should demonstrate satisfactory performance on an up to date (within the last five years) standardized test. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is the preferred test, but Miller’s Analogies Test (MAT) scores will also be considered for MA and EdD applicants only. To be considered for regular admission, you should have an acceptable entrance score, no lower than 300 NEW (1000 OLD) on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or 50th percentile on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT).
  • Transcripts. You should submit all transcripts from postsecondary institutions attended. Prospective students should have maintained an undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, or a 3.0 average for the last 60 semester hours in a degree program.

The following departmental requirements should be submitted to Graduate School’s Managing Supporting Documents portal.

  • HEA Application
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • A one-page statement of purpose for pursing the degree (you can use the same for the graduate school application)
  • Vita or resume
  • Writing Sample:  A five-page writing sample describing a problem that faces higher education today (nationally), analyzing salient points of the issue, and evaluating potential solutions. The sample should demonstrate formal writing and should include appropriate citations.  Applicants may submit an academic paper in lieu of the five-page essay, preferably on a recent topic related to higher education.

Questions concerning the application process should be directed to:

Higher Education Program (EdD Executive Cohort)
Dr. Arleene Breaux
EdD Executive Cohort
205.348.1169

Tuition Costs

http://bamabydistance.ua.edu/tuition-financial-aid-scholarships/tuition.php

A limited number of scholarships are available for admitted Executive Ed.D. students through the College of Education and the College of Continuing Studies. Please visit their websites for eligibility requirements and application deadlines.

For financial aid assistance, please contact The University of Alabama- Office of Student Financial Aid.

Program Requirements

The Executive Ed.D. program requires 66 credit hours for degree completion: 54 hours of coursework and 12 hours of dissertation study. It is an accelerated program designed to be completed in 3 academic years (9 semesters). Students enroll in 9 hours of coursework per semester for 6 semesters and 12 dissertation hours during the final year.

Classes meet Thursdays 4:30 – 9:00 pm, Fridays 8:30 am – 9:00 pm, and Saturdays 8:00 am – 2:30 pm once a month, year round for two years. Breaks for meals are included in these timeslots. Over the course of a weekend, students participate in instructional time with (3) faculty members teaching the (3) different courses that they are enrolled in for that semester.

Executive Ed.D. students take a comprehensive exam during the summer of their second year.

Executive Ed.D. students complete a dissertation, with the guidance of a faculty chair during the third year of the program. EdD students take a minimum of 12 dissertation hours. A student should ask a faculty member to chair and secure her/his/their agreement to do so prior to signing up for that faculty member’s section of AHE 699, Dissertation Research. Once a student begins taking dissertation hours, he/she/they must maintain continuous enrollment in Fall and Spring semesters until the dissertation project is completed and approved by the Graduate School. Students should not enroll for hours during the summer without having gained prior approval from the dissertation chair.

The dissertation committee consists of five faculty: a dissertation chair and four members.  While currently, the dissertation chair may be a member of another program in the College of Education, students are encouraged to work with a Higher Education faculty member when possible. At least three members of the committee (can include chair) must be Higher Education Faculty members. At least one member must be from outside of the Department of Educational Leadership, Technology, and Policy Studies.

The dissertation proposal generally comprises the first three chapters of the dissertation. The student works carefully with a dissertation chair and submits work to a committee for review. The committee must have 10 working days prior to the proposal defense to review the document. An oral defense follows, with all committee members present to review and critique the proposal.

The dissertation defense comprises all chapters of a dissertation. The committee must have 10 working days prior to the dissertation defense to review the document. An oral defense follows, with all committee members present to review and critique the proposal.

FAQs

Describe the typical Executive Ed.D. Cohort student.

Executive Ed.D. students are typically working higher education professionals who have completed a master’s degree (not necessarily in Higher Education) and are pursuing doctoral study to learn more about the field and advance their careers. Executive Ed.D. students often serve in varied positions at all types of higher education institutions and may also be employed in the non-profit, governmental, or corporate sectors.

What is a cohort learning community?

The Executive Ed.D. Program is based on a cohort learning community model. Annually, 12-15 students are admitted and complete coursework requirements in lock-step.  Faculty lead cohort members through course requirements while students learn more about one another’s professional experiences. Students benefit from the support system that emerges from their cohort colleagues and alumni comments rank the cohort learning community as one of the top features of UA’s Executive Ed.D. program.

How many hours does the program require and how long will it take to complete it?

The Executive Ed.D. program requires 66 credit hours for degree completion: 54 hours of coursework and 12 hours of dissertation study. It is an accelerated program designed to be completed in 3 academic years (9 semesters). Students enroll in 9 hours of coursework per semester for 6 semesters and 12 dissertation hours during the final year.  Please see the Graduate School catalog for more information on time limits and continuous enrollment requirements.

Is the program online?

No, the Executive Ed.D. Program is a hybrid program where students primarily meet with faculty on the Tuscaloosa campus, once per month (Thursday evenings through Saturday afternoons) and complete assignments during non-residency weeks. Some courses are occasionally offered online, depending on faculty availability. Student and alumni comments rank the on-campus experience with faculty and the learning community as an integral feature of UA’s Executive Ed.D. Program.

How often do classes meet and what does the weekend schedule look like?

Classes meet Thursdays 4:30 – 9:00 pm, Fridays 8:30 am – 9:00 pm, and Saturdays 8:00 am – 2:30 pm once a month, year round for two years. Breaks for meals are included in these timeslots. Over the course of a weekend, students participate in instructional time with (3) faculty members teaching the (3) different courses that they are enrolled in for that semester.

How often do I need to be on campus for class?

Attendance at all weekend sessions over (6) semesters is mandatory and strictly enforced since classes only meet (4) times per semester.

Where do students stay during the weekend?

Students not living in the area stay at a local hotel of their choice. Most students elect to stay at Hotel Capstone because we have negotiated competitive room rates for our students and it is located on campus. It also saves them parking pass fees. Other Tuscaloosa options close to campus include: Holiday Inn Express, The Hampton Inn, and The Hilton Garden Inn.

How do students typically travel to campus?

Many students from within the state or from the surrounding states drive in for class. Others fly into the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport and drive one hour to the Tuscaloosa campus. Students use ride-sharing and airfare sales to keep their costs down.

How many students travel to campus from out-of-state?

Recent cohort members have traveled from Florida, Michigan, Illinois, North Carolina, Arkansas, Virginia, Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, and other Alabama regions.

Where do students dine during the weekend sessions?

During on-campus instructional weekends, the Executive Ed.D. program staff provides snacks, coffee, and other beverages in the classrooms.  Students are responsible for their own meals and many of them take advantage of local meal delivery services or walk to nearby restaurants for quick take-out orders.

Can you give me more information about the International Trip?

The International Trip is a unique aspect of The University of Alabama Executive Ed.D. Program. Students enroll in a (3) credit hour Comparative Higher Education course and spend one week studying higher education in other countries. Recent locations have included the Netherlands, Belgium, Britain, and Chile. Most lodging and meal expenses (except airfare) are covered by the Executive Ed.D. Program through students’ summer tuition and fees.

Do Executive Ed.D. students take a comprehensive exam?

Executive Ed.D. students take a comprehensive exam during the summer of their second year.

Do Executive Ed.D. students complete a dissertation?

Executive Ed.D. students complete a dissertation, with the guidance of a faculty chair during the third year of the program.

May I visit classes on campus to learn more about the Executive program?

Yes, we welcome and recommend campus visits for prospective students. It gives you an opportunity to meet our faculty and students, ask them questions about the program, and find out why students chose UA for their doctoral studies.

On-campus weekend session dates can be found on the Executive Ed.D. Program’s website. Go to hea.ua.edu/execed or contact our Program Specialist, Marylee Freeman via phone at 205-348-3828 or email at msfreeman@ua.edu

Applying

When are applications due?

Applications are due February 15th for admittance to the Fall semester. We recommend starting the application process with the Graduate School as early as possible.

When can I start the program?

Students are admitted only once per year and admitted students begin classes the following Fall semester.

Do I need a GRE (Graduate Record Examination) or MAT (Millers Analogy Test) score to apply?

Yes, you must have an acceptable GRE or MAT (Millers Analogy Test) score that is less than five years old.  Acceptable scores are a minimum of 300 on the combined verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE or a score above the 50th percentile on the MAT.

Who should my Letters of Recommendation come from?

Applicants should submit at least (3) letters of recommendation as part of their application with the Graduate School. Letters addressing your ability to succeed in a doctoral program should be from current and former colleagues and/or professors.

Are we required to submit a writing sample?

Prospective students must submit a five-page writing sample describing a problem facing higher education today, analyzing salient points of the issue, and evaluating potential solutions. The sample should demonstrate formal writing skill and include appropriate citations.

Costs and Funding

How much does the program cost?

The total cost of the program is $47,124*. The Executive EdD Program costs are broken down into two parts: Tuition and Program Fees.

Cohort XII Program Costs:

  • Tuition: $394*/credit hour
  • Program Fees: $300*/credit hour
  • College of Education Fees: $10/credit hour
  • Technology Fees: $10/credit hour
  • *Tuition Rates are determined by the UA Board of Trustees and may increase annually.
  • *Program Fees are subject to change annually.

Cost Breakdown by Semester:

Semester              Hours per Semester            Total Cost Per Semester

Semesters 1-6           9 credit hours/semester                 $6,426

Semester 7                6 credit hours                                   $4,284

Semesters 8-9           3 credit hours/semester                 $2,142

Total Cost of Program                                                $47,124

Are scholarships or financial aid available for Executive Ed.D. students?

A limited number of scholarships are available for admitted Executive Ed.D. students through the College of Education and the College of Continuing Studies. Please visit their websites for eligibility requirements and application deadlines.

For financial aid assistance, please contact The University of Alabama- Office of Student Financial Aid. Scholarships are offered through both The College of Education and The College of Continuing Studies.