Frequently Asked Questions

Executive Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership Program

Department of Educational Leadership and Policy

For the entering 2024 cohort, the full-time course registration cost for the Executive Ed.D. in Higher Education program is $11,325 per semester or approximately $1,125 per credit hour. 

Furthermore, a mandatory program cost fee, not to exceed $1,200 per semester is required in addition to the $1,125 per semester credit hour. 

Please refer to the “Comparing the PHEL Ed.D. and Ph.D. Qualifiers” matrix on our main page that lists several key qualifiers for both Ph.D. and Ed.D. students. Please note these are only a starting point to distinguish candidates and are not mandatory.

The Executive Ed.D. will develop the skills necessary for higher education professionals to lead change and build consensus in their organization and make policy. The Ph.D. program develops faculty and researchers who expand the body of knowledge from which the practitioner draws insights.

You should choose the program that better meets your career aspirations. Students pursue the Executive Ed.D. because they aspire to higher levels of administrative authority and the Executive Ed.D. provides the skills to be a successful leader. Students pursue a Ph.D. because they aspire to join academia.

Students in the Executive Ed.D. are eligible only for federally guaranteed loans and some private-sector loans. Please refer to the Office of Student Financial Services for more details.

Registration, billing, and payment will conform to published university deadlines and follow official university procedures.

One hundred percent of the amount due is required by the official semester payment deadline.

All registered courses will be canceled through the automated process if payment is not made by the published deadline.

Students in Option III, which includes the Executive Ed.D. in Higher Education, programs are not eligible for Hinson-Hazlewood Act Exemptions (for Texas ex-servicemen and their children) but may be eligible for GI Bill benefits. Additional information may be obtained by calling the Veteran’s Services Office at 512-475-7540 or by email at

Option III is a category of degree program for the Executive Ed.D. This type of program is a non-formula funded program. Please refer to this page on the Graduate School’s website.

The Executive Ed.D. program adheres to the Graduate School transfer credit policy. Please refer to the transfer credit policy on our wiki.

Enrollment certification is verified by the Office of the Registrar and is determined by the number of hours for which a student is registered. Enrollment data will be obtained from official university records.

Refunds will be calculated according to standard university policies and procedures. Refunds for student withdrawal and dropped courses will be sent to the appropriate Option III program

No. In addition to the Executive Higher Education Leadership, we offer an Ed.D. for those interested in becoming a superintendent. Please see our Cooperative Superintendency Program (CSP) page for more information.

The program serves students who:

  • Are employed full-time with the ability to be a full-time student in order to participate and complete our 30-36 month program,
  • Have five to eight years of leadership working experience,
  • Have support and endorsement from their supervisors,
  • Have well-articulated career aspirations,
  • Have a strong commitment to social justice, inclusion, and equity, and the ability to demonstrate emotional intelligence and self-awareness.

Please note this is not an exhaustive list.  

We prefer and encourage doctoral students to thoughtfully commit to their admitted program of choice. Ultimately the decision rests on the student and the recommendation of their advisor.

No. The application processes and requirements are separate and distinct.

Our students, faculty, and curriculum will be practitioner-based with a focus on problem-solving. Students will need a rigorous foundation of research knowledge and skills as they must still have the capacity and skill to be analytical and ask the right questions. The profession requires solid investigative, exploratory, and analytical skills.

Our students will demonstrate an active practitioner-based scholarly and research agenda throughout the program. This will be evident in substantive classroom participation, analytical written papers, and with their participation on research teams, conference presentations, and scholarly activities.

Our renowned faculty design and provide primary instruction and advising. We also have guest scholars who provide instruction. Our guest scholars have many years of experience leading and holding prominent roles at institutions of higher education.

The Executive Ed.D. program in Higher Education Leadership is designed for working professionals in any area of higher education, from community colleges to 4-year research institutions, and prepares leaders in both the public and private sectors. This Executive Ed.D. degree accentuates sophisticated management skills where students are prepared for higher education leadership positions. The 30-36 month curriculum connects theoretical foundations to new knowledge in real-world situations. Students are prepared to achieve success in a wide variety of higher education institutions.

As an Executive Ed.D. student, your employer’s support is important. One of your recommendation letters must be a letter of support from your current employer. Ideally, the person you select should be a direct supervisor or from your leadership team who acknowledges, in writing, the time, energy, and discipline it will take to complete an executive program in 30 months.

Upon acceptance into the program, the department will provide you with a letter to present to your employer for signature and acknowledgment of their commitment to you as an Executive Ed.D. student and to your professional goals.