Director of the Center for the Study of Higher Education: Dr. Gary Rhoades.
Established in 1977, the Center for the Study of Higher Education offers flexible, interdisciplinary, and individualized master of arts and doctor of philosophy degree programs with concentrations in comparative higher education, organization and administration, college access, and student affairs.
These distinctive characteristics go beyond individual faculty; they reflect a collective synergy and orientation of our faculty to scholarship and practice.
Each year we admit around ten (10) Ph.D. students and twenty (20) M.A. students. The life experience and perspectives of the 90-100 students enrolled here flavor our program. A high proportion of our students are accomplished professionals and we value the practical experience and organizational skills they bring.
Ours is a diverse, supportive, challenging intellectual community. Over half of our students are women, over 20 percent are students of color, and over 10 percent are international students. Many are first generation students. This diversity enriches our community and work.
In recognition for its commitment to diversity and inclusiveness, the Center for the Study of Higher Ed has been honored with the Peter W. Likins Inclusive Excellence Award in 2010.
We are supportive of each others' work and that of our students. Most of our students work, yet are fully engaged intellectually in a program that emphasizes a culture of research and reflective practice. Our aim is to bring theories and findings from the academic literature to bear on professional practice in ways that enhance students' abilities to understand, analyze, and act within postsecondary organizations and systems. We seek students who are deeply committed to the advancement and improvement of higher education as students, practitioners, scholars, and activists.
Most of our students advance into positions in various support professions and administration, but some also pursue faculty positions. Although most obtain positions on college and university campuses, we have also placed students in systemwide administration, policy agencies such as WICHE, and in private enterprise.
An important contributor to our intellectual community is the Higher Education Student Organization (HESO). It sponsors formal and informal annual functions and activities that are academic, professional, and social in nature and that address student needs as well as bring students and faculty together for supportive exchange.
The doctoral program integrates core courses in Higher Education, an area of concentration, and individually tailored courses of study that encourage students to undertake course-work with faculty in a variety of departments. The core course-work (Finance, Organization and Administration, History and Philosophy of Higher Education) provides a foundation enabling students to comprehend the central socio-political, cultural, organizational, and economic structures comprising and influencing American higher education.
The aim within each is for students to acquire a comprehensive understanding of concepts, theoretical frameworks, issues and practices in a particular area. Such work is organized to provide a solid foundation for students' doctoral dissertations as well as for their particular field of professional work. In addition to the concentration, doctoral students pursue a minor. The minor may be in higher education, in some other field (e.g. the student's area of master's work) or split between higher education and some other department.
The Department of Educational Policy Studies and Practice (EPSP) includes the Educational Leadership Program and the Center for the Study of Higher Education. The EPSP department combines the K-12 focus with postsecondary education to create a P-20 perspective that taps into the dominant discourse of education and policymakers today.
Both the Center for the Study of Higher Education (HED) and the Educational Leadership (EDL) program maintain their core functions and curriculum, consistent with professional career paths and state standards for certification leading to licensure. However, the combined unit more broadly facilitates and encourages research, instructional, and service and outreach initiatives consistent with a policy development and analysis focus.
A key departmental strength concentrates on how organizations, institutions (both formal and informal), official practices, and educational professions affect outcomes across local, national, and international contexts and how these entities are themselves affected by societal, economic, and political pressures.
EPSP prepares graduate students at the doctorate and master's levels. Graduate programs in HED include Ph.D. and M.A. degrees. Graduate programs in EDL include an Ed.D., Ph.D., Ed.S., and M.Ed. The M.Ed. degree is a standards-driven curriculum leading to both a degree and state certification for the principalship.
Graduate Record Exam (General GRE)
The Graduate Record Exam is part of the holistic application review and therefore there is no minimum score.
Other graduate entrance exams may be considered, with prior approval from the department.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS ONLY:
Minimum TOEFL: 79
Minimum IELTS: 7
The General Design of the Ph.D. Program in Higher Education
There is no specific program of study; a program is designed for each PhD student in collaboration with the student’s faculty committee. A student must count at least 36 units toward the major, at least 9 units toward the minor, and at least 18 dissertation units.
Essentially, there are no specific course requirements although there are content requirements. For example, the student is required to pass the commons portion of the preliminary examinations in three areas but need not necessarily take the courses connected to those exams. There are three “higher education course requirements” that students normally take but for which courses from other colleges may be substituted. Credits may be transferred in from other graduate programs.
Note: Students are strongly advised to take Quantitative Methods and Research Design from Higher
Higher Education Courses
Courses on which the commons portion of the Preliminary Examinations are based.
Courses in the Concentration
From 3 to 15 credits or more
From 0 to 9 credits or more
Note: Normally, but not always, the minor is taken in other departments/programs of the University. The most common pattern is to minor in the same area in which the master’s degrees was earned although the variation is very large. One option is for a “split minor,” whereby a student selects courses from two or more departments and minor committee member may come from one or more of these departments. Requirements for the minor, including specific courses, are strictly at the discretion of the minor advisor and department.
Minors may be declared in Higher Education, or outside of the program with approval from your advisor.
Students must complete the minor department requirements as stated by the minor advisor.
|Application Acceptance Rate||85%|
|Med. Time-to-degree (years)||3.50|
|Enrollment Percent Male||37%|
|Enrollment Percent Female||63%|
|Enrollment Percent International||3%|
|Enrollment Percent URM||39%|