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Ph.D. in Higher Education

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my previous graduate course work count toward an Ph.D.?

After students are accepted into the program, they are allowed to transfer a limited number of hours with the approval of the doctoral committee and program officials. Acceptance of transfer credit is enhanced when courses have been taken at the advanced graduate level (i.e., post master’s degree) and completed recently at an accredited university with evidence of excellent performance. For further information, please check the student handbook.

What is the doctoral committee?

Doctoral students work closely with a mentor who serves as chair of a four-member committee. The committee is formed during the first semester of enrollment, approves the program of study and monitors the student’s progress through the entire program. The student’s committee plays a pivotal role in comprehensive examinations and the dissertation. Ideally, doctoral candidates are assigned a doctoral committee chair who has a line of research related to his or her research interests.

What can I do with an Ph.D. in higher education administration?

Our HIED Specialization Strands offer our students a track to whichever area of higher education they prefer. They include: Curriculum & Assessment and Academic Affairs, College Student Development, Administration, Organizations and Policy, and an Individualized Track in HIED. The Ph.D. program focuses on preparing future scholars, faculty, and policy analysts. 

Is it possible to complete the residency requirement for the Ph.D. while continuing to work full time?

Yes. The Ph.D. will be delivered as a hybrid program, allowing for flexibility for those working full time.

Are any courses offered online?

The doctoral program will follow a hybrid format, with some classes offered fully online, others offered as hybrid face-to-face and online, and the remainder offered in face-to-face format. Face-to-face classes will be conducted on weeknights or weekends, in order to accommodate the needs of students who may be traveling distances of three of more hours. Courses offered online as part of the HIED Master’s program will continue to be offered online, serving dual functions as M.A. and doctoral courses. Instructors will differentiate assignments to tailor learning activities for Masters and Doctoral students.

Do all students in the Ph.D. program take the same courses?

All students will take the HIED common core courses. HIED Master’s students will also take these core courses, but the curricula will be adjusted for doctoral students. Each student will have a HIED Specialization Strand in which they will have specific requirements.

Can I apply for a graduate assistantship?

Yes! Please visit the CEHS Graduate Assistantship Positions page for more information on open positions.