Ph.D. or Ed D. in Leadership for the Advancement of Learning and Service in Higher Education

The Doctorate in Leadership for the Advancement of Learning and Service in Higher Education (Ed.D. or Ph.D.) will prepare you to make significant contributions to your organization and will help you become a transformational leader in higher education. The program is designed for current and aspiring leaders working in two- and four-year colleges and universities and community and technical colleges who seek to be a catalyst for meaningful change within their organization.

The curriculum for the Doctorate in Leadership for the Advancement of Learning and Service in Higher Education focuses on contemporary leadership theories with a strong foundation in research. A broad understanding for the complex nature of higher education is woven throughout the curriculum, but the primary focus of the program is to prepare you to lead your organization through meaningful change and transformation. Rather than simply building your knowledge of higher education theory, you will learn to become a leader who will function effectively within your organization to create positive change.

Courses Are Available

Face to Face

Program Details

●  Credits (Ed.D.): 63
●  Credits (Ph.D.): 66
●  Cost per Credit: $775

Academic and Professional Requirements

Prior Education

  • A master's degree from an accredited college or university.
  • A grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale in master’s coursework is required, but a lower GPA can be considered on an individual basis.

Admissions Application and Transcripts

Complete the Admissions Application

  • Submit the admissions application which is free to complete online.
  • Applications for this program are reviewed on a rolling basis so allow sufficient time before the start of your program for consideration.

Request Transcripts
Have official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you have attended delivered directly to the Office of Admissions. We suggest that you request your transcripts as soon as possible. Your application cannot be reviewed until we have them in hand. It is not necessary to request transcripts for work that you completed at Cardinal Stritch University.

Information for International Students
If your prior education was not conducted in English, you must demonstrate proficiency with acceptable scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or an ESL program. Review the language and academic requirements to know if you are prepared for studying at Stritch. We can also help you obtain an F-1 student visa.

Three Letters of Recommendation


Three letters of recommendation and reference forms are required. Two letters should be submitted from professionals in your field, and one from a representative of a college or university. References should include their letters of recommendation with the reference forms.

Curriculum Vitae

  • Information on your formal education, major schools attended, degrees obtained, and dates.
  • All professional positions held.
  • Any relevant programs or additional informal education.
  • Any published professional articles (in journals, school/agency publications, organizational newspaper, etc): title, date, journal, page number, etc. Please attach a copy.
  • Any presentations made to organizations, associations, etc.
  • Honors/awards received.
  • Membership in professional and other organizations: offices held, dates of membership.
  • Significant/relevant experiences.
  • Community Service. 

Formal Essay Divided in Four Sections

  • Section 1: Leadership and Change
  • Section 2: Learning
  • Section 3: Service and Organizational Transformation
  • Section 4: Goals for Doctorate in Leadership

This essay is an essential aspect of the admission process and will be carefully evaluated in order to make a decision on your entry into the doctoral program. Follow the guidelines carefully, addressing all items. The essay will be evaluated based on:

  • Content relevance to topic proposed
  • Clarity of presentation
  • Maturity of style
  • Maximum of six double-spaced pages

Section 1 – Leadership and Change

  • Define and describe leadership.
  • Give an example of how you have functioned as a leader in your position.
  • Describe how you have participated in change. Describe inhibitors and facilitators of change as you perceived them.

Section 2 – Learning

  • Describe your interest in creating a "learning organization."
  • Describe what you have done to contribute to the creation of a "learning organization."

Section 3 – Service and Organizational Transformation

  • Define what you feel is the relationship among leadership, learning, and service.
  • Describe how your service has been applied to the transformation of an organization.

Section 4 – Goals for Doctorate in Leadership

  • Identify goals and expectations for pursuing a Doctorate in Leadership.
  • Describe how the attainment of this degree will enhance your ability to lead and transform organizations.


Please send all application materials to:

Cardinal Stritch University 
Office of Graduate Admissions, Box 437 
6801 N Yates Road 
Milwaukee, WI 53217-3985

Contact Your Counselor

Begin the admission process with Claire or contact her to follow-up on your current application.

Claire de Rochefort-Reynolds
 (414) 410-4856 or (800) 347-8822

Funding Your Education

Counselors in our Financial Aid Office know how to help doctoral students locate all options available for funding their education.


Alumni Network

Students, families, and employers know Cardinal Stritch University as a place that helps students find their mission, develop new skills, gain relevant career experience, and expand their professional networks. With a network of more than 34,000 graduates, our alumni are successful in their roles at nonprofits, schools, small companies, health care organizations, corporations, and entrepreneurial ventures.

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