Higher Education Program

Doctoral Program in Higher Education


The Higher Education Doctoral Program prepares students to become leaders who will shape the future of American public and private higher education. The program is designed to prepare students for successful professional careers in diverse higher education settings, including public and private colleges and universities, government agencies, and professional associations.  The doctoral program focuses on Administration and Policy Analysis and is based on a cohort model.  Cohorts start every eighteen months, and alternate between a focus on Community College Leadership and a focus on Four-Year College and University Leadership.  The schedule and focus of our doctoral cohorts can be found below.

The PhD in Higher Education is a 61 semester hour program. Students take core educational courses along with courses selected with faculty based on the student's interests and goals. The program culminates with the completion of original research addressing a problem in higher education based on the student's area of interests and goals. Coursework can be completed on campus or through a combination of on-campus and online courses. 

Fall 2020 Cohort

  • Community College Leadership

Spring 2022 Cohort

  • Four-Year College and University Leadership



In addition to admission requirements of the College of Graduate Studies, admission to the doctoral program requires the following:

  • A master’s degree from an accredited college or university

  • A minimum GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale for all previous graduate academic work

  • Previous academic work necessary to successfully complete a doctoral program in the area of study

  • A statement of purpose indicating the applicant’s commitment to pursuing a career in the field of higher education, and a description of the applicant’s potential research topic for dissertation study

  • A 1,000-word essay that discusses the most critical issue facing higher education today, the reasons for choosing this issue, and the implications of the issue for the future of higher education

  • Two letters of reference, including at least one from a faculty member who can speak to the ability of the applicant to conduct research and to write at the graduate level

  • Current employment at a college or university


  • Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education

  • Statement of purpose

  • Essay on higher education issue (writing sample)

  • Two letters of recommendation 

  • A current resume or curriculum vitae


Last Updated: 12/2/19