Three new graduate programs, first doctoral program announced

St. Edward’s University is unveiling new, online graduate school programs, including its first doctoral degree. Students can now receive a Master of Science in Accounting Analytics, Business Analytics and Organizational Leadership. The university’s graduate school currently offers several other master’s degrees — including Master of Education in Applied Behavior Analysis, Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Digital Marketing and Analytics. Students can also earn a Doctorate of Education in Leadership and Higher Education, an entirely online program.

“Expanding the graduate programs offered is both a timely and pragmatic effort to provide opportunities for students to receive graduate degrees from the highly qualified faculty at this institution,” Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs Glenda Ballard said.

The university hired new faculty for these added graduate programs, according to Marianne Ward-Peradoza, the university provost. The MEd in Applied Behavior Analysis, MS in Business Analytics and the EdD gained another faculty member.

According to university administration, all online graduate programs require at least one synchronous meeting with faculty in order for students to receive live interactions.

“The content (of these programs) lends itself to online delivery and allows for students to have access to the content from anywhere,” Ballard said. 

Last year, more than 500 people enrolled in a graduate program at St. Edward’s. 

“Graduate school is all about integration and synthesis. It can feel overwhelming at first but earning a graduate degree is one of the best investments you can make for yourself,” Dave Bralower, senior director of admission for graduate and transfer students, said.

The new Master of Science in Organizational Leadership integrated two previously- offered master’s programs: Master of Science in Leadership & Change and Master of Arts in Educational Innovations.

“(The MSOL) combines the content and provides opportunities to learn leadership skills that may be applied in a variety of settings, including higher education,” Ballard said.

After earning the MSOL, students have the option to pursue the university’s new doctoral degree. 

“The opportunity to offer the first doctoral program is an opportunity for us to extend our educational mission to a new degree level,” Ward-Peradoza said.

The online-only EdD is a 60-hour degree that can be completed in 39 months.

In comparison to other programs, this practice-focused doctoral degree has students take coursework while writing their dissertation. Working on their dissertation while completing their coursework helps put together pieces of the “dissertation puzzle,” education and ethics professor Kris Sloan said.

“The distinguishing factor of why they’re here and not other EdD programs is the Holy Cross mission,” Sloan said.

According to Ward-Peradoza and Ballard, these new graduate programs, including the EdD, have been made with the university’s Holy Cross values in mind.

The EdD program’s first cohort will graduate this December. From there, graduates will be able to enter roles in higher education such as president or provost.

“Programs are developed to prepare students for professional advancement in high demand fields,” Ward-Peradoza said.

While these new programs are the latest changes to the graduate program at St. Edward’s, they are not expected to be the last.

“As part of Strategic Plan 2027, we anticipate that we will continue to expand programs in Health Sciences, and some of these programs will likely be graduate programs,” Ward-Peradoza said.