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Higher Education (Ph.D.)

Degree Level: Graduate
College: Education
Major : Foundations of Education
Department: Educational Foundations & Leadership
Degree Earned: Doctor of Philosophy


Criteria for admission to the Higher Education Concentration in the PhD in Higher Education are as follows:

  1. A completed master's degree in an appropriate discipline from a regionally accredited university. Degrees that are equivalent to a masters degree such as L.L.B., J.D., and D.D.S. are also acceptable.
  2. A minimum GPA of 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) overall for the masters degree and in the major area of study in the masters degree.
  3. Minimum of 1000 overall total score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and a minimum of 500 on both the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE. Prospective students must score a minimum of 4.5 on the analytical writing portion of the GRE. GRE scores expire after five years. However, scores older than five years may be accepted if they come directly from the institution from which the applicant received his or her highest degree. A note from this institution's registrar must be included stating that these scores were sent to the institution directly from Educational Testing Services. While these scores are minimums, other portions of the total application package will be strongly considered to balance lower scores.
  4. Applicants whose native language is not English must submit a current score for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOFEL) of at least 550.
  5. Applicants must submit a 1500 word statement of their academic and professional goals with an emphasis on how the Ph.D. degree in Higher Education will contribute to the achievement of the stated goals.
  6. Three letters of reference from sources capable of commenting on the applicants' readiness for advanced graduate study. At least one of these letters must be from a senior-level administrator in a college or university.
  7. An interview with the Higher Education Program Committee. This committee will also review applications for admission.
  8. Prior course work is assumed in statistics, student development, and leadership theory. If this assumption is not met, then additional course work will be added to the candidate's graduate program of study.

Please Note: Full-time PhD students are awarded Graduate Assistantships within the Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership assisting faculty with their teaching and administrative responsibilities. These assistantships are awarded for two years. No additional interview beyond the admissions interview is required to be considered for one of these. Other assistantships are also available elsewhere around the university in administrative areas and may be awarded on admission or after the first or second year of study to assist with support during the dissertation stage of study. The Graduate Program Director makes the awards of Assistantships within the department and the administrative officers responsible for particular Assistantships outside of the department choose those GAs.

Application Dates

Fall Spring Summer Financial Assistantship
Deadlines February 1
International February 1


Tests GRE
Recommendations 3
Essay Yes, 1,500-word essay on your reason for entering program and plans post-graduation.
Transcripts From all prior institutions
Additional Instructions Interview also required.