This program is committed to preparing and supporting administrative leaders in higher education in their development of research that informs the field and provides service to the practice of higher education.

The doctoral program is designed to prepare administrative leaders for positions in community colleges, two- and four-year colleges and universities. Graduates will complete the program with a better understanding of higher education leadership and management, improved research skills, and exceptional multicultural competencies. 
The program consists of 54 semester hours beyond the master’s degree inclusive of the dissertation. The Ed.D is a practitioner’s degree designed for the advanced student who wishes to achieve a superior level of competency in his/her professional field with emphasis on practice and leadership in an urban setting. The degree requires students to demonstrate proficiency in independent research in higher education and make original contributions to the body of knowledge related to higher education. 
More information about this program can be found in the UMKC Catalog.


  • The program admits a cohort of students every three years in the Summer. 
  • The next cohort will begin Summer 2023 with applications due by February 15, 2023. 
  • Applications are completed online. All other supplemental application materials should be sent to: 
    • ELPF Division Office 
      615 E. 52nd St., Suite #328 
      Kansas City, MO 64110 

Application Procedure

In addition to the completing the online application, as stated above, please send the following materials to the program coordinator. 

  • Submit your support materials to the program coordinator:
    • A letter of intent including a statement of the reason for pursuing a doctoral degree in Higher Education and a brief discussion about the match between the applicant’s needs and the program offering.
    • A vita or resume providing a summary of leadership activities, work experiences, and scholarly activity.
    • Two letters of recommendation are required. At least one letter should be a professional reference. The letters should speak to the applicant’s ability to complete the program successfully. (A recommendation form is provided in the program handbook and may be mailed directly to Dr. Riggers-Piehl.)
  • Await scheduling of an interview with at least two faculty members as the final step in the admission process. Interview topics will be wide-ranging, including personal goals and objectives, current issues in education, and successful college experiences. The interview is designed to acquire information concerning the applicant’s oral skills and critical thinking skills. 

Program Coordinator

Tiffani Riggers-Piehl, Ph.D.

Program Coordinator 
#342 Education, 615 N. 52nd Street,  
Kansas City, MO 64110