Ph.D. in Higher Education

Higher Education and Student Affairs

Ph.D. in Higher Education

Prepare for a career as a college and university administrator, institutional researcher, policy analyst, and faculty member.

Coursework emphasizes research and theory including in-depth exploration of an academic discipline which is typically selected outside the School of Education.

The program has relatively few required courses, allowing you more freedom to specialize in areas of interest. There is also a strong set of inquiry (methodology) courses required. A strong background in inquiry is essential for careers in institutional research, policy analysis, or as faculty.

  • Application Deadline
    FallDec 1Dec 1
  • Admissions Requirements
    • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
    • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75 out of 4.00
    • Completed online application that includes:
      • Transcripts
      • Personal Statement
      • 2 Letters of Recommendation
      • GRE Scores:
        • Required for domestic students
        • Required for international students
      • Resume:
        • Not required for domestic students
        • Required for international students
      • TOEFL score from last two years*
      • Writing Sample Required

      *International students only

    Learn more about specific admissions requirements

  • Degree Requirements
  • Financial Aid
    • Learn about a variety of fellowships and travel awards that are available to graduate students.
    • Visit Student Central for information about financial assistance.
    • Consult your employer about the availability of tuition reimbursement or tuition assistance programs.
    • Active duty military, veterans, and military families should visit the Center for Veteran and Military Students to take full advantage of available financial assistance and educational benefits.
  • Degree Requirements

    Your program of study is planned with the help of an Advisory Committee composed of two faculty members from the higher education major including the faculty student's advisor, and one faculty member representing the minor field. A meeting with the Advisory Committee is required to approve the program of study.

Doctoral dissertations are required to have a strong theoretical orientation. Ph.D. students conduct dissertation research in a wide variety of topical areas, but many of them select research aligned with the strengths of the faculty. These areas of strength include:

  • Assessment
  • College choice
  • Economics and finance of postsecondary education
  • Retention
  • Student development
  • Student engagement
  • Teaching and learning

Students should anticipate spending an average of 4-6 years in the Ph.D. program to complete the coursework requirements and dissertation.