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Doctor of Education, Leadership for Educational Equity

Higher Education concentration


You have a passion for educational access, equity and social justice in higher education and you want to be empowered with tools for positive change to impact student success. You’re ready to pursue your doctorate in order to join leadership discussions and actions at the highest level in colleges and universities to grapple with what educational equity really means. CU Denver’s Doctor of Education in Leadership for Educational Equity with a concentration in higher education (HED) is designed to empower leaders in higher education in urban and rural communities.

The three-year cohort-based program provides an online format that’s accessible for working professionals. Students will meet in person for one week in the summer and one week in the winter, and will engage in collaborative online courses in between. This structure helps accommodate people’s working lives and allows them to practice and apply the concepts they are learning.

Topics of study include:

  • A focus on leadership skills to improve access, equity and success for college and university students
  • Law and ethics
  • Organizational cultures
  • Finance and strategic resource allocations
  • Power and privilege
  • Predictive analytics

The HED concentration offers a unique support service through which students can receive executive coaching for up to a year after graduation.


Approximate completion time:  The program requires a total of 54 credit hours and can be completed in three years.

Mode of study: Primarily online. Students will meet in person in Denver, CO for one week in the summer and one week in the winter, and will engage in collaborative online courses in between. The third summer is also face-to-face intensive. SEHD administrators are working with CU Online and the new Office of Digital Education to construct an online format for the program that maximizes meaningful learning experiences and faculty interactions along with convenience.

Faculty Spotlight:

Linda Bowman, clinical professor in the Leadership for Educational Equity program and interim vice provost for student access and achievement at CU Denver, has spent a career leading community colleges in Colorado—three of them as president and more than 25 years in leadership in the Colorado Community College System. It is also where she developed her passion for educational access, equity and social justice in higher education. 

Choose CU Denver’s School of Education & Human Development:
You can trust CU Denver to provide an education that will prepare you for excellence in your career as a higher education leader. The University and school are recognized for preparing leaders of distinction who value educational excellence and social justice. Additionally, CU Denver’s School of Education and Human Development is counted among U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools,” making us one of the top education schools in the country.​​​​

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
    •  The Statement of Purpose is five to seven pages in length, detailing your professional background, relevant personal interests, commitment to access and educational equity, and short- and long-term professional goals. Please discuss your assessment of the three most critical issues for higher education leaders and how you wish to contribute to meeting these challenges. Illustrate 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. Further, demonstrate in your Statement of Purpose that you have the written communication skills to successfully obtain the degree of Doctor of Education.
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae
  • Professional artifacts
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions

​​For more information, email  or call 303.315.6300.


The 54-credit program begins each Summer with a one-week, intensive face-to-face course, preceded by online preparation to enable you to meet the members of your cohort who will share this three-year journey, and to help you prepare for this innovative experience. The intensive face-to-face sessions will be followed by two, online, consecutive, eight-week courses in the fall. In winter, the group comes back together for a another one-week intensive followed by two, online, consecutive, eight-week courses in the spring. Year two will follow the same course pattern. Along the way, you will be introduced to research strategies, topical themes, and our partners, via one-credit seminars that count toward your Doctoral Research Project credits. And then, before you know it, it will be year three, when you will take your final face-to-face intensive course in the summer and then complete your Doctoral Research Project, the culmination of your work and interests.

Years One and Two
Summer: one week intensive partnered with one course
Fall: two courses, each 8-weeks online, consecutive
Winter: one week intensive partnered with one course
Spring two courses, each 8-weeks online, consecutive

Year Three
Summer: one online course
Fall and Spring: Doctoral Research Project

The program offers a unique feature, executive coaching for a year following graduation.


Summer 2019 Intensive F2F

Fall 2019

Winter Intensive

Spring 2020*

EDUC 7100: Leadership 
In Education 

EDUC 7600: Higher Ed Policy & Governance EDUC 

EDFN 7410: Power & Privilege: The Social Construction of Difference

EDUC 7620: Contemporary Issues in HED

DSEP 8994 DRP Design (1 cr)

7640:  HED Finance & Strategic Resource Allocation

RSEM 7001: Applied Research Methods I 

DSEP 8994 DRP Design (1 cr)

DSEP 8994 DRP Design (1 cr)

Summer 2020 Intensive F2F

Fall 2020

Winter Intensive

Spring 2021*

RSEM 7002: Applied Research Methods II

EDUC 7230:  Organizational Performance in Educational Contexts

PUAD 5440:  Negotiation & Conflict Resolution 

EDUC 7650: Data-Informed
Decision-Making &
Predictives in HED

7610: Strategic Enrollment Management in Higher Education

DSEP 8994: DRP Design (1 cr)

RSEM 7003: Applied Research Methods III

DSEP 8994 DRP Design (1 cr)

Summer 2021 Intensive F2F

Fall 2021

Winter Intensive

Spring 2022

COUN 5070:  Law & Ethics

DSEP 8994: DRP (5 Credits)


DSEP 8994: DRP (4 Credits)


CU Denver School of Education &
Human Development

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