PhD in Educational Leadership & Research: Higher Education Administration

The Higher Education program prepares scholar-practitioners for leadership in colleges and universities as administrators and scholars. Through an examination of higher education theory and practice, the program helps students understand the diverse nature of higher education institutions and their participants. With this understanding, graduates are expected to develop individualized styles of leadership that encompass educational excellence, respect for others, and contextualized practices.

Students may be admitted to the on-campus program for fall, spring, or summer semesters.

Application deadlines are as follows:

  • Fall – April 15
  • Summer – April 15
  • Spring – November 15 (October 1 for International Students)

Only students already recommended for admission are invited to interview for graduate assistantships during the annual visiting days program (usually held late February/early March).

Admission Requirements

Since higher education is an interdisciplinary field, we accept students with master's degrees from a variety of disciplines into our PhD program. However, students with no background in higher education may be required to complete additional course work and/or outside experiences. 

Course Requirements

Fifty-two hours are required beyond the Masters of Arts degree.   

ELRC 7299 Introduction to Scholarship in Education (3)
EDCI 7910 Traditions of Inquiry in Education (3)

ELRC 7006 Educational Statistics (4)
ELRC 7241 Educational Research Methodology (3)
ELRC 7243 Qualitative Methods in Educational Research (4)

Additional research course selected with advisor’s approval

Examples of Higher Education Courses Recently Offered 

ELRC 7600 Issues of Race and Gender in Higher Education (3)
ELRC 7601 Foundations of Higher Education (3)
ELRC 7604 Politics and Policy of Higher Education (3)
ELRC 7607 Finance in Higher Education (3)
ELRC 7609 Strategic Planning in Higher Education (3)
ELRC 7610 Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education (3)
ELRC 7611 College Students in the United States (3)
ELRC 7612 Student Development Theory (3)
ELRC 7870 Legal Aspects of Education (3)
ELRC 7890 Seminar: Educational Administration (topics vary) (3)
ELRC 7602 Organization and Governance in Higher Education (3)
ELRC 7603 Leadership in Higher Education (3)
ELRC 7613 Community Colleges (3)
ELRC 7614 College Access and Choice (3)

All concentration courses must be chosen in consultation with and approved by your advisor.

Continuous enrollment is required beyond nine hours until completion of degree.


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Yu "April" Chen, PhD
113E Peabody Hall
(225) 578-6878