Doctoral Degree: Educational Policy and Leadership Specialization in Higher Education

The Specialization in Higher Education within the Educational Policy and Leadership concentration prepares students for careers as faculty, administrators, and policy analysts and is designed to develop student’s ability to understand and conduct high quality research aimed at improving professional practice, policy, and/or academic scholarship. For more information,

Highlights/Points of Pride

Our alumni serve as College Presidents, Faculty, Vice Chancellors of Student Affairs, and well as in other midlevel and entry-level higher education positions.

Our recent publications have appeared in the Journal of Higher Education, Research in Higher Education, The Review of Higher Education, The Journal of College Student Development, The Journal of College and Character, The Journal of American College Health, NACADA Journal, The International Journal of Doctoral Studies and the Journal of Further and Higher Education.

Our research topics include higher education access, millennial students, doctoral education, the nature of student affairs at community colleges, collaboration, adult learners, faculty life, research methods employed by higher education scholars, social-sexual norms and behaviors, and political economy and critical social theory in higher education.

Required Courses

The program requires a minimum of 42 course credits plus 18 dissertation credits for graduation.  Students take a year-long Doctoral Seminar in Higher Education, a core of foundation courses, relevant specialization courses, a series of research methodology courses, a comprehensive examination, and a dissertation.

In summary, all doctoral students in the higher education concentration must complete the following:

Introduction To Inquiry (3 credits)
Doctoral Seminar I, II (6 credits)
Education, Policy and Leadership CORE COURSE (one of six courses) (3 credits)
Research Courses (12 credits)
Specialization Courses (15 credits)
Elective (outside of College of Education) (3 credits)
Dissertation (18 credits)

TOTAL CREDITS: 60 credits

For more information,

Concentration Coordinator:  Ryan Wells (Associate Professor)

Associated Faculty
Benita J. Barnes (Associate Professor), Joseph B. Berger (Professor), Chrystal George Mwangi (Assistant Professor), Katherine Hudson (Lecturer), Ezekiel Kimball (Assistant Professor), Gary Malaney (SAREO Coordinator and Adjunct Associate Professor), Ryan Wells (Associate Professor), Elizabeth Williams (SAREO Associate Coordinator and Adjunct Assistant Professor)