Doctor of Education in Leadership for Educational Equity, Higher Education

School of Education & Human Development


Degree: EdD

Classroom Type: Fully Online

Enables leaders in higher education to continue their work while completing doctoral degrees. Graduates are effective leaders, passionate about educational access, equity, and social justice in diverse settings in higher education worldwide.

Application​ deadlines

December 16, 2024

Program Details

Interest Categories: Higher Education Leadership

Campus: CU Denver Online

Empowering you for a rewarding career 

Through this program, students are empowered to join leadership discussions at the highest level in colleges and universities. Amid an ever-changing sociopolitical climate and a growing diverse student population, there is a dire need of futuristic thinkers. Colleges and universities require leaders prepared to effectively advance institutions of higher education. 
Students in this concentration have a strong passion for educational access, equity, and social justice. They want to be empowered with tools for positive change to impact student success. 
Graduates of CU Denver’s Doctor of Education (EdD) concentration in higher education will be effective leaders who are passionate about educational access, equity, and social justice in colleges and universities worldwide.

The 54-credit program begins each summer. 

Topics of study include the following elements: 

  • Leadership and equity 
  • Finance and strategic resource allocation 
  • Policy, governance, law, and ethics 
  • Power and privilege 
  • Organizational culture and performance 
  • Predictive analytics 
  • Research methods 
  • Decision-making and conflict resolution 
  • Strategic enrollment management 

Mode of study 

The 54-credit, three-year cohort-based program includes online courses and in-residence intensive courses. Two campus visits are required each year. The semester breakdown is as follows:

  • July - one-week intensive course including pre- and post-session online activities 
  • Fall semester - consecutive eight-week online courses 
  • January - one-week intensive course including pre- and post-session online activities 
  • Spring semester - consecutive eight-week online courses. 

Choose CU Denver's School of Education & Human Development 

Students trust CU Denver to provide an education that will prepare them for excellence in their career as a higher education leader. CU Denver's School of Education & Human Development (SEHD) is recognized for preparing leaders of distinction who value educational excellence and social justice. Additionally, SEHD is counted among U.S. News & World Report's “Best Graduate Schools,” making us one of the top education schools in the country.

Why the Doctor of Education in Leadership for Educational Equity, Higher Education program at CU Denver?


Program designed for working professionals in higher education or closely related field

The program is designed to support students balancing many professional and personal responsibilities. Most are working full-time in higher education, contributing critical leadership expertise to the community. The cohort-based program combines asynchronous online instruction with face-to-face intensive coursework. The case-based curriculum allows for collaborative learning and applied problem-solving. This 54-credit-hour plan of study is completed through eight-week online courses, and two one-week sessions per year. Faculty provide on-going personal advisement and support for career development. 


EdD students culminate the program with an equity-focused dissertation-in-practice. During this final phase, you’ll partner with faculty and aligned organizations on problems of practice and policy. This provides opportunities to learn and engage with the support of higher education leaders and faculty as you work with real data and conduct authentic inquiry. We prepare you to problem-solve, innovate, and improve practices and outcomes for higher education environments.

Commitment to diversity and social justice

CU Denver resides in the center of a thriving urban setting, creating a diverse university community. Our EdD students are prepared for the real world. This program partners with a multitude of diverse partners and community organizations. This knowledge and skills enhance our students’ ability to serve and champion culturally diverse and historically excluded individuals and communities.

Executive coaching

Our alumni receive executive coaching services for up to one year after graduation for a reasonable fee delivered by executive-level practitioners focused on your success after program completion

Helpful Links & Documents

Attend an Application Support Session

Sample Courses

  • EDFN 7410 - Power and Privilege: The Social Construction of Difference 3 credits
  • EDUC 7100 - Leadership in Education 3 credits
  • EDUC 7230 - Organizational Performance In Educational Contexts 3 credits
Course Catalog

Recommended Completion Time:3 years

Required Credits for Completion:54

Admission Requirements

Application Dates

Application Opens: July 1, 2024
Application Deadline: December 16, 2024

The EdD in Leadership for Educational Equity, Higher Education concentration, is a three-year, online (with in-person intensive sessions) cohort program, designed in an executive format for working professionals, and has the following application requirements:

  • Master's degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Written Statement of Purpose, five to seven pages in length, that includes the following:
    • A summary of your professional background, relevant personal interests, commitment to access and educational equity, and short- and long-term professional goals.
    • An assessment of the three most critical issues for higher education leaders and how you wish to contribute to meeting these challenges.
    • An illustration of how your commitment is demonstrated in your past experiences and how this educational journey, shared with doctoral student colleagues, will enhance your ability to contribute in the future.
    • A demonstration that you have the written communication skills to successfully obtain the degree of Doctor of Education.
  • Resume/CV
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals who can best attest to your leadership, professional accomplishments, academic skills, and career goals.
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended.

The application materials are reviewed by faculty in the concentration area. A faculty review team will conduct a remote interview for applicants who reach the semi-finalist stage of the process. 

For more information, email or call 303.315.6300.

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