Higher Education Program

Higher Education Doctoral Program Information

PHD cohort and faculty posing for group photo


PhD Program in Higher Education

The PhD program in Higher Education is a 60 credit-hour program that operates in a cohort model. The program culminates with the completion of original dissertation research focused on a higher education issue. Applications for the Fall 2026 Cohort will become available in the future. Individuals interested in the PhD program can contact the Higher Education program by filling out the request information form linked below.

Request Information


Students interested in this higher education Ph.D. program must satisfy requirements set forth by the College of Graduate Studies as well as fulfill the admission requirements listed below:  

  • 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
  • A statement of purpose indicating your commitment to pursuing a career in the field of higher education, and a description of your potential research topic for dissertation study
  • A sample graduate paper (or essay, article, etc.) demonstrating conceptualization and writing skills
  • Two letters of reference, including at least one from a faculty member who can speak to your ability to conduct research and to write at the graduate level
  • Current employment in a higher education environment and at least 3 years of work experience in higher education



Program highlights

  • Blended Course Format: Classes follow a hybrid format combining weekend in-person meetings, WebEx meetings, and online modules, all offering you both flexibility and opportunity to build a close network of colleagues.
  • Caring Community: The program follows a cohort model and cultivates a network of colleagues with whom to work through issues, share ideas, and collaborate for the rest of your career.
  • Devoted Faculty: The faculty involved with the program have devoted their research and professional life to studying higher education and contributing to the training of doctoral students.
  • Research Support: The Higher Education program is home to the John H. Russel Center for Educational Leadership. The center promotes the development of higher education leaders and scholars. The Russel Center Scholarship is geared to support the research activity of all students in the Higher Education program.
  • International Exposure: The PhD program offers opportunities for international travel and experiences of other countries’ higher education systems, policies, and practices.
Last Updated: 11/1/23