Students in the Higher Education Studies & Leadership Ph.D. program are given unique research opportunities. The students benefit from the resources available at a top-tier research institution. Throughout the course of the program, students will obtain in-depth skills to conduct both quantitative and qualitative research and have opportunities to study across disciplines.


In consultation with the program adviser, program students will be expected to complete at least one of the following tasks successfully: 1) write and submit a proposal to present a paper at a national conference (and if accepted present the paper), 2) attend a national conference in the students' area of specialization and make a presentation on sessions attended to other Ph.D. students, 3) author/coauthor and publish an article in an appropriate journal as outlined in the Department of Educational Administration's list of recognized journals (the coauthor could be a faculty member or other graduate student), and 4) work with a faculty member to write an external grant proposal. Through these activities, Ph.D. students will have opportunities to study higher education, produce high-quality research, engage in the various activities expected of higher education faculty members, network with other professionals in the larger national environment, and gain practical experiences performing tasks necessary to succeed as university administrators or faculty.

Interdisciplinary Research

Higher education is an interdisciplinary field. As a result, high-quality interdisciplinary coursework is crucial to this program. The program contains an interdisciplinary component, giving students the opportunity to take 6-12 hours of coursework outside of the department. Most students will likely choose a single subject-matter field in which to do their cognate work, but interdisciplinary cognates that combine one or more departments are possible as well (e.g., history, business, social science). Cognate area coursework will be designed through careful consultation between each doctoral student and his or her program/dissertation adviser.