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Students are organized into learning cohorts which progress through the program together. Discipline-based learning objectives are integrated and reinforced through rigorous coursework that is tied to real-world applications. Highly interactive classes are characterized by small and whole group discussions, case studies and group projects.

Program Format

Year One

During the first year of the program, students complete foundational courses providing a strong knowledge base in the principles and practices of doctoral study, educational leadership and organizational change. Work begins on the dissertation from the first year so that students may complete requirements in 42 months. 

Year Two

In the second year, study advances to current topics and trends in leadership, technology, student services, curriculum, teaching, learning and resource and people management. The major theme is leading organizations through constructive change. 

Year Three

Dissertation preparation and research extend throughout the program. By the third year, students are actively engaged in completing a dissertation. Related to the student's specialized interests, the study is expected to constitute a significant contribution to knowledge in the field of educational leadership and change. Candidates are expected to relate this knowledge to the theories, concepts and methodologies of their study in educational leadership, and include implications for further research and theory development. The dissertation is presented and defended at the final oral defense.


The American Council on Education is the premier organization in the field of higher education and its membership consists of presidents and chancellors from all types of institutions across the United States and globally. This organization provides a venue for leaders in the field to grapple with key issues in higher education.

Although attendance at one of the American Council on Education national meetings is not a requirement for our Ed.D. students, it is strongly encouraged since it allows our students to leave thinking differently about the state of higher education and further motivated to explore innovative ways to address many of the challenges facing higher education today. Students are also expected to leave the American Council on Education conference with potential research topics that may evolve into highly relevant and evocative dissertations.

The Academy of Management is the preeminent professional association for management and organization scholars and provides another opportunity for our students to network and engage with scholar-practitioners from across different disciplines. AOM's global members are professors and doctoral students in a variety of social sciences and practitioners who value knowledge creation and application.


Tuition is determined by credit hour and set and published by the University each academic year. Tuition does not include books, fees, or expenses for required conferences or seminars.


  • Each course is offered over an eight week block. Out-of-class activities are required and guided through our learning management system, Desire2Learn (D2L). New cohorts are formed annually.
  • Only one class can be taken at a time.
  • The expected time to degree for students is 36 to 42 months.

Program completion and doctoral maintenance fee

The University requires doctoral students to earn their degrees within six years from initial enrollment. After that a student must start the program over. In addition, students who do not complete requirements and earn the degree within the time scheduled for their cohort are assessed a doctoral maintenance fee until they do complete.

Program Description

The Ed.D. program provides both the perspective and the tools to anticipate and lead change in a variety of settings. Coursework is topical in nature, interdisciplinary in focus and grounded in an inquiry-driven methodology characterized by critical thinking, analysis and self-reflection. The program readies students for the rigors and challenges of developing and implementing strategic plans, improving learning, managing resources, leading personnel, developing and implementing policy and orchestrating successful change within an organization.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Ed.D. program is to prepare professionals with the knowledge, skills and abilities to lead their organizations and institutions in an era of unprecedented change.

Methodology and Purpose

The Ed.D. promotes interaction and collaboration among peers. Students demonstrate, share and develop intellectual and personal skills and aspirations as educational leaders. Content is presented, managed and facilitated by professionals seasoned in their fields of higher education. Program faculty, advisors and visiting scholars enrich and extend the range and depth of intellectual exploration and personal development that form the basis of the Ed.D. program.

The Ed.D. degree requires knowledge of theory and extensive practice in the essential subjects affecting higher education. The program asks students to reflect upon their own unique values, ethics and professional commitments and to consider them in the context of those represented by Benedictine University. Overall, the program seeks to develop engaging and effective practitioners who are able to use their attributes and knowledge to achieve best practice in their areas of service and can guide the critical changes necessary to keep higher education in the United States the best in the world.

College of Education and Health Services
Benedictine University

Christopher Duffrin, Ph.D.
 Dean of the College of Education and Health Services

Erica George
Assistant to the Dean

Phone: (630) 829-6084

Hours: 8:30 a.m. -  4:30 p.m.

By Mail:
Benedictine University
5700 College Road
Kindlon Hall, Room 258
Lisle, IL 60532

Fax: (630) 829-6281