Higher education administrators set the tone for and make decisions on every aspect of the college or university they manage – from academic affairs and student services to faculty research and development.

Education requirements vary by position, but college and university administrative positions require a master’s or doctoral degree, especially in senior leadership positions.

If you are considering an advanced degree program or certificate in higher education, here’s a helpful guide outlining the difference between three options.


Interested in an advanced degree in k-12 education? Here’s a quick guide to K-12 focused EdS, EdD, and PhD degrees available at Capella University.


Post- Master’s Certificate EdD Degree

Doctor of Education

PhD Degree

Doctor of Philosophy in Education

WHY WOULD I GET THIS CREDENTIAL?    
You’re an education professional who wants to change career direction, broaden your knowledge, or pursue further leadership opportunities. You’re an experienced education professional who wants a leadership role in higher education or related settings, with a focus on professional practice. You’re an experienced educational professional who wants to advance in a leadership role in higher education or related settings, with a focus on teaching or conducting research.
AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION  
College Teaching

Post-Secondary and Adult Education

Professional Studies in Education

Leadership and Accountability

Leadership for Higher Education

Adult Education

Curriculum and Instruction

Performance Improvement Leadership

Reading and Literacy

Educational Leadership

Postsecondary and Adult Education

Leadership for Higher Education

Nursing Education

Instructional Design for Online Learning

Leadership in Education Administration

YOU ARE INTERESTED IN:  
Teaching at the secondary, postsecondary, college, or university level

Administration at the college or university level

Affecting policy related to education issues

Administration at the college or university level

Affecting policy related to education issues

Teaching at the college or university level

Administration at the college or university level

Conducting research or affecting policy related to education issues

Teaching at the college or university level

CAPELLA PREREQUISITES  
Master’s Degree Master’s Degree Master’s Degree
QUARTER CREDITS NEEDED TO GRADUATE FROM CAPELLA  
20-28 70 92
IS A FINAL PROJECT REQUIRED?  
NO YES

Doctoral Capstone

YES

Dissertation

DEGREE ADVANTAGES    
May be able to transfer credits to an EdD or PhD program

Professional uses are not limited to education

Focus on real world problem solving

Professional paths are not limited to education

Desired by Tier 1 research institutions

Strong foundation in multiple research methodologies

Learn more about Capella’s online doctoral programs in education.