Pat Neff Hall

PhD in Higher Education Studies & Leadership (HESL)

The Baylor HESL Ph.D. program is one of the top higher education programs in the nation. In fact, based on Academic Analytics, Baylor’s HESL faculty place among the top 5% of scholars in their discipline.

Thus, HESL is an ideal full-time, residential program for those who desire to have a meaningful, lasting influence on higher education. The program offers a blend of research, academic rigor, and hands-on professional experience to prepare scholars and practitioners for careers in leadership. A master’s degree is required to apply.

The program offers:

  • Small enrollment numbers in cohorts which begin each fall
  • Focus on great mentorship
  • Support, camaraderie and debate as students come together from across the nation
  • 20-hour per week apprenticeships that give students hands-on experience in higher education
  • Integration of faith and learning into the curriculum

Financial Assistance:
The PhD program offers full tuition coverage and a stipend for the 20-hour per week apprenticeship.

Applications are due Feb. 1 for fall admission. However, applicants are strongly encouraged to fill out the initial application (statement of purpose, etc.) immediately, and then work toward filling in the rest of the application (test scores, letters of recommendation, etc.). Because GRE scores and letters of recommendation can be "plugged into" the application at any time, applicants do not need to have all parts complete before applying.

Typical time to completion is 3 years of coursework and 1-2 years for the dissertation. The total hours of courses required is 72, including

  • Higher Education core: 15 hours
  • Studies and Leadership in Higher Education: 18 hours
  • Research and Statistics: 15 hours
  • Electives or Independent Studies: 8 hours
  • Cognate or Independent Studies: 6 hours
  • Research Internship: 3 hours
  • Dissertation: 7 hours


Perry L. Glanzer, PhD
Professor of Educational Foundations
One Bear Place #97312
Waco, Texas 76798-7312