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Education (Ed. D.)

The Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership and Practice (HELP) at UNG is tailored to the needs and interests of higher education administrators and professionals seeking to expand their professional knowledge and career opportunities. The cross-disciplinary structure of the HELP program is committed to educational equity, a deep integration of theory and policy with practice, and the cultivation of a scholarly community that supports constructive conflict, encourages novelty and creativity, and questions prevailing norms in higher education. The Ed.D. has been approved by the Board of Regents and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Application & Supporting Documents Deadline

Fall - March 1
Note: All application materials are to be received prior to the deadline. The EdD Higher Education Leadership and Practice program will review all completed applications after the application deadline.

Higher Education Leadership and Practice (Ed.D.) Program Quick Facts

  • All applications reviewed after March 1 deadline
  • Online program; Optional on-campus orientation
  • Program length 60 credit hours
  • May be completed within three years
  • Cohorts begin fall semester
  • Prepare for a position in higher education

How to Apply to the Doctor of Education Program

Select Your Student Type for Requirements and Application Steps

Degree Seeking Regular


  • Master's degree from a regionally accredited institution with at least a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 (4.0 scale) calculated in accordance with Graduate Admissions procedures.
  • Required Supplemental Documents
    • Three professional letters from past or current employers, educators, colleagues or supervisors (in any capacity)
    • Resume/vita highlighting the personal and professional achievements of the applicant, including experience working and/or teaching in higher education
    • A five to ten page writing sample that demonstrates scholarly writing
    • Personal statement describing your doctoral educational and research goals. This statement should identify your general area(s) of interest, outline potential research problems and specify your career objectives. Include in your research statement your purpose for pursuing a doctoral degree. Your statement should be well organized and concise, and be no longer than five-pages in length. In your statement, please address the following proposed questions:
      • Why is pursuing a doctoral degree in Higher Education important to you? Share personal and professional goals you hope to achieve through participation in UNG’s Higher Education doctoral program.
      • Earning a degree online requires self-discipline and motivation. Give an example from your life that illustrates your commitment to continued intellectual and professional development. 
      • Share an experience you possess conducting research and your potential to contribute to the field of Higher Education. 
      • Discuss a tentative higher education topic you would like to research in this doctoral program. Keep in mind that you are not committed to studying this topic exactly, but demonstrate to the admissions committee that you have a clear direction in mind. 
      • Participation in a doctoral program is a significant commitment in time and cognitive energy. Address how will you prepare for and address the challenges to obtain a School-Work-Life balance.

Applying to UNG

Submit the online application for Graduate Admissions.

Please allow three business days after submitting your application for processing. You will receive an email from after your application has been reviewed for accuracy and updated with submitted documents. Please do not check your application status prior to receiving an email from this office as your online application checklist will not accurately reflect the required items for your program of interest.

  • Non-refundable application fee of $40.
  • Pay with a credit/debit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express) or electronic check (U.S. banks only) when completing the online application.
  • Include a check or money order payable to UNG when submitting a paper application.
  • Required supplemental documents may be uploaded with your application or emailed to

Submit one set of official transcripts from each institution attended for all course work, undergraduate and graduate level.

  • Transfer credit posted on records of other institutions is not accepted in lieu of transcripts from original institutions. Please request a transcript from each institution attended.
  • Transcripts that have been opened, scanned or forwarded by email are not official and will not be accepted.
  • Official paper transcripts are accepted if submitted from the issuing institution and mailed to University of North Georgia Admissions Imaging Center, P.O. Box 1358, Gainesville, GA 30503-1358. Student paper transcripts are accepted only when issued to the student in a sealed envelope and submitted to Graduate Admissions unopened.
  • Official electronic transcripts are accepted if submitted from the issuing institution to Depending on the transcript service you are using, may not be an available option. You may then select any admissions or undergraduate admissions address. Electronic transcripts forwarded via email from the student are not accepted.
  • International transcripts must have a course-by-course credential evaluation by an independent evaluation service that is a member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services, Inc. (NACES). Official evaluations must include certification that the applicant's course work and degrees earned are equivalent to course work and degrees earned from a regionally accredited institution of higher education in the United States and include a cumulative grade point average. Evaluations should be submitted from the evaluation service to Graduate Admissions. Evaluations must include certification that the applicant has received a baccalaureate from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum grade point average of 2.75. 
  • Graduate Admissions will retrieve transcripts of coursework completed in-residence at UNG. You do not need to order official transcripts from UNG.

Board of Regents’ policy requires all applicants accepted for admission or readmission to UNG seeking in-state for tuition classification provide validation of residency and lawful presence in both the state of Georgia and the United States.

Submit a birth certificate or Georgia driver’s license to enable UNG to determine eligibility.
  • Must be a resident of Georgia and 62 years of age or older at the time of registration.
  • May enroll as a regular or auditing student in courses on a “space available” basis without payment of fees, except for supplies, laboratory or shop fees.

Degree Seeking Provisional

Students who do not meet the regular admission criteria may be granted provisional admission pending a successful admission appeal. See Appeal of Graduate Admission.

Provisional degree-seeking students:
  • may register for a maximum of six semester hours of graduate credit.
  • will be reviewed to determine eligibility for regular admission following completion of six hours.
  • are not eligible for federal financial aid while enrolled in courses as a provisional student.
  • will not be allowed to continue in the program if a grade of C or lower is earned in any graduate course.
  • may apply for readmission after three semesters from the date removed from the program because of a deficient grade by submitting a new application to Graduate Admissions with a letter addressed to the program coordinator requesting readmission.


The EdD program does not permit non-degree students.


The EdD program does not permit transient students.

All International

International applicants who must be issued an F-1 visa by UNG to enter the United States to attend school may not apply for completely online programs. The Ed.D program does not permit F-1 visa student admission.

Appeal of Graduate Admission

A candidate whose application is denied has the right to appeal the decision. A written letter of appeal must include strong evidence to support the basis for your appeal. The appeal should consist of information beyond what was previously submitted in your admissions file and detail your ability to be successful in graduate studies.

  • Students whose appeals are granted will be admitted as provisional students.
  • Students are not eligible for financial aid while taking courses under a provisional admission status.
  • Students may not appeal for regular admission.

Email your letter of appeal as a pdf attachment to

Learn More About the Program

Vision, Objectives, and Goals of the HELP Program

The vision of the Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership and Practice (HELP) at the University of North Georgia is comprised of three tenets: 1) a commitment to educational equity; 2) a deep integration of theory and policy with practice; and 3) the cultivation of a scholarly community that supports creative conflict, encourages novelty, and questions prevailing norms in higher education.

The HELP program links research and higher education leadership as the core. It also utilizes a cross-disciplinary approach to bridge faculty and staff from a multitude of departments across campus -such as the College of Education, Research and Engagement, Institutional Effectiveness, Student Affairs, and the Office of the General Counsel - to support curriculum development and dissertation research. 

The Ed.D. program is delivered completely online through asynchronous courses, including 45 semester hours of higher education leadership, practice, and research coursework, and 15 dissertation hours. Individual meetings with faculty for advising, research, and mentoring occur face-to-face, synchronously online, and through regular asynchronous online interactions. 


Program Alignment for the HELP Program 

The Ed.D. curriculum in Higher Education Leadership and Practice (HELP) is scaffolded to match specific dissertation milestones. Coursework in the first year fosters the development of a dissertation topic, as well as the supporting theoretical framework and methodology. During the second year, students utilize classroom readings and assignments to complete their dissertation prospectus and receive institutional approval for their research. The third year focuses on data collection and analysis related to the dissertation, as well as the successful completion of the written dissertation and subsequent oral defense. Therefore, through the inherent synergy between coursework and dissertation research, students work closely with faculty to complete the Ed.D. program within a three-year time frame.

Program Questions?

College of Education Graduate Office

Where Could This Program Lead You?

Notice Regarding Online Offerings

In compliance with state authorization for the delivery of distance education, UNG online courses, degrees and certificate programs are not available in some states. If you are not a Georgia resident, email to check program availability in your state. This email address is exclusively for questions regarding state authorization of online offerings. Other inquiries should be directed to the academic department offering the online program or to Graduate Admissions.

International applicants who will require F-1 status to attend UNG may not apply for part-time programs (less than nine hours fall and spring semesters) and are allowed only one on-line class per term to count towards full-time enrollment.

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