Higher Education & Student Affairs (Ed.D.)

Requirements and Details


Complete admission and program requirements are found in the University Catalog.

The Higher Education & Student Affairs Ed.D. program begins a new cohort each Fall semester.



When applying for a doctoral program, the School of Graduate Studies serves as a liaison between the applicant and the doctoral program. Application materials are completed online and processed by the School of Graduate Studies.

Once all application materials are received, Graduate Studies will forward materials to the doctoral program for review and an interview will be scheduled. Thereafter, an admission recommendation will be forwarded to Graduate Studies for a final decision and notification to the applicant.

Application Instructions

For all students:

  • Apply for admission to graduate study
  • Application and application fee
  • Statement of Intent
  • Resume/curriculum vitae
  • Writing sample, such as thesis, research paper or professionally written document
  • Submit 3 recommenders who rate applicant's skills using a likert scale
    • There is no need for a traditional letter of recommendation
    • Add the recommender's name and contact within the online application
    • The recommender clicks on e-mailed link and rates the candidate in about 2 minutes
    • Let your recommender know to watch their email for this
    • Remind your recommenders to complete prior to application deadline
  • Unofficial transcripts

For international students:

Program Admission Requirements

For admission consideration, Ed.D. applicants must meet minimum Graduate Studies admission requirements, plus the program requirements below: 

  • Completion of a bachelor's and master's degree.
    • Your degree does not need to be in the Higher Education Administration field. 
  • Submission of a professional writing sample, such as master’s research or a master's thesis, published article, paper prepared for a professional conference, research paper or written analysis of a professional article.

Applicants participate in an interview with doctoral program faculty after all other application materials are received. A holistic review of the application and required documentation will be completed.  Application criteria and review procedures give significant advantage to applicants who have work experience in higher education organizations or other professional work experience.

Competition for limited places in the HIED program may require a wait list. Wait-list decisions are complete no later than Aug. 15 but notifications are sent out earlier as an opening occurs.

Priority Deadlines

The priority deadline for applications is Jan. 15 with an additional deadline of March 15. Applications received after March 15 will be accepted and considered on a space-available basis.

Applications will be reviewed and admission interviews conducted following each deadline date. Students applying for graduate assistantships and international students are strongly encouraged to apply by the Jan. 15 and March 15 deadline.  Apply early to prevent being on a wait list.

Prior Courses

Prior credits may be applied toward your doctor of education elective credits. The program will determine your credits shortly after program admission.

No more than a total of 27 credits may be accepted as Advanced Standing via a combination of credits from your Master's (12 credits max.), Post-Master's, Specialist or Doctoral degree.

At least 45 credits of a student's doctoral program must be completed at St. Cloud State University.


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