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.

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.

  • Application Deadlines
    Starting SemesterPriority DeadlineFinal Deadline
    Fall Dec 1Jan 10
    December 1 is the priority funding deadline for the Dean’s Fellowship and University Graduate School diversity fellowships
    International students are encouraged to apply early to allow extra time for their materials to arrive.
  • Admissions Requirements

    In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Graduate Studies Office will accept unofficial transcripts and self-reported test scores for admission reviews. Any admission made with these documents would be conditioned on receipt of official documents, which should be provided as soon as possible.

    Note: If you are currently enrolled or have applied in the past year, you should qualify for an application fee waiver. Click here for criteria and how to obtain the waiver.

    1. Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
    2. Minimum graduate GPA of 3.50 out of 4.00
    3. Completed online application that includes:
      • Transcripts
      • Personal statement
      • Resume (required from international students only)
      • Two letters of recommendation
      • GRE scores (required only if applicant does not have an undergraduate or graduate degree from an accredited U.S. institution) (those who wish to be considered for fellowships are encouraged to submit GRE scores)
      • Minimum 79 TOEFL score or minimum 6.5 IELTS score (international students only)
      • Writing sample

    Learn more about how to apply

  • Program Requirements
  • Tuition and Fees
  • Funding
    • Learn about the variety of fellowships and assistantships 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.
  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Why earn your doctorate at the IU School of Education? Ph.D. or Ed.D.—which is right for you? Get answers to these questions and more.

    Read the FAQ
  • Advising

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

HESA Doctoral Programs Virtual Visit

Find valuable information about our program, including video introductions from our faculty, a virtual tour of the IU campus, and ways to connect with faculty as a prospective student.

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Our Faculty

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Professor

Research Areas:
Higher Education Institutional Research, Assessment, and Evidence-Based Practices
Email:
vborden@iu.edu
Phone:
(812) 856-0855
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Assistant Professor

Research Areas:
College impact: (1) influence of high-impact educational practices on college students' learning and development, (2) minoritized students' collegiate experiences, (3) institutional change toward more inclusive and just campus environments
Email:
cakilgo@iu.edu
Phone:
(812) 856-8391
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Professor; Director, Center for Post Secondary Research

Email:
tflaird@indiana.edu
Phone:
(812) 856-8366
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Associate Professor

Email:
llepeau@indiana.edu
Phone:
(812) 856-8392
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Associate Professor; Senior Associate Director, Center for Postsecondary Research

Research Areas:
Student engagement in college, evidence-informed improvement of colleges and universities, higher education accountability
Email:
amcc@indiana.edu
Phone:
(812) 856-4435
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Associate Professor

Research Areas:
Faculty, Faculty Development, Medical Education
Email:
mmpalmer@indiana.edu
Phone:
(317) 274-5231
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Assistant Professor

Research Areas:
Critical Race Theory, Resilience, Social Identities, Student Success
Email:
opatron@iu.edu
Phone:
(812) 856-8388
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Assistant Professor

Research Areas:
College Student Persistence and Completion, Access and Equity, Underrepresented Student Outcomes
Email:
maushirl@indiana.edu
Phone:
(812) 856-8387
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Executive Associate Dean

Research Areas:
Student Success in Higher Education, Identity Development in College, Community Colleges
Email:
vatorres@iu.edu
Phone:
(812) 856-8022
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Associate Professor

Email:
andwalto@indiana.edu
Phone:
(812) 856-8358

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