Ph.D. in Education (w/ spec. in Higher Education) (HE3)

(as of 11/08/2013)

Program Options/Extensions:
In addition to taking the core program outlined below, students may want to consider supplementing their program to achieve other goals and pursue additional certification. Each option enhancement has specific prerequisites and/or course requirements in addition to the requirements for the HE3 base program.

Additional Options & Certifications
  • Optional Advanced Certificate in Program Evaluation [EV1] (12 Additional Credits)
  • Advanced Certificate in Online Teaching [OT1] (15 Additional Credits)

Primary program course requirements

The primary program includes a total of 90 credits. The detailed HE3 Program of Study Form shows the additional requirements for the program option(s)/extension(s). When you meet with your advisor, you will complete a detailed HE3 Program of Study Form.

Entry Level Courses   

Enter up to 30 credits in entry level/advanced coursework in education or related field to be transferred or completed prior to matriculating into the degree program. If there are not 30 credits of eligible transfer courses, or required doctoral courses were taken as part of a Warner Master’s degree, the student must take additional electives to reach the 90 credits total for the doctoral degree.

Research Methods Courses   
ED506 Concepts and Issues in Social Science Research
ED504 Quantitative Research Methods
ED507 Qualitative Research Methods
ED528 Using Quantitative Data Analysis Software (1 credit)

Program Core   
EDU576 Contemporary Issues in Higher Education
ED437 Diversity and Equity in Higher Education

Choose three (3) from the following foundations of higher education courses:
ED430 College Retention: Theory, Research, and Practice
ED439 Policy Analysis in Education
EDU446 Entrepreneurial Skills for Educators
EDE451 Organizational Theory: Theoretical Traditions, Future Directions
ED485 College Students and Student Development Theory
EDU490 Higher Education Law
EDU492 Governance, Policy, and Administration of Higher Education
EDU493 History of Higher Education
EDU496 Fiscal Issues in Higher Education

Milestones and Dissertation Research   
EDE560 Portfolio Review: Ed Leadership
EDE553 Comprehensive Exam Research: Higher Education PhD
ED513 Academic Writing for Educators

At least one advanced research methods course, as most appropriate to support the chosen dissertation topic; eligible courses include, but are not limited to:
ED505 Advanced Quantitative Research Methods
ED527 Advanced Qualitative Research Methods
ED523 Mixed Research Methods

Choose a combination of ED 595: Ph.D. Research (Dissertation) (at least 15 credits recommended), ED 596: Research Apprenticeship (0-12 credits), ED 591: Independent Study, and/or other courses related to your dissertation, for a total of 27 credits.


Choose courses to help you develop content and research methods expertise to prepare for a dissertation on a topic addressing higher education (as needed to reach minimum of 90 credits total). (See note 3 for suggestions.)


1. 6 credits must be taken outside the Warner School. Advisor may make exception in rare circumstances for one of the two courses.

2. ED595: Ph.D. Research (Dissertation) can only be taken after completing the comprehensive exam.

3. Recommendation about electives: in addition to additional foundation courses in higher education, you may want to consider the following options, organized in categories for your convenience:

(a) Courses designed to provide practical knowledge and skills that can be useful to leaders and administrators in higher education settings as well as other helping professionals:
EDU416: Conflict Management in Schools and Universities
EDU432: Professional Writing and Communication
ED483: Communication and Counseling Skills
ED516: Designing and Evaluating Professional Development
ED470: Leading Effective Program Design

(b) Courses designed to provide knowledge and skills specific to various career options within higher education administration:
ED479: Human Resources Management in Higher Education
ED482: Technology and Higher Education
ED476: Administration of Student Affairs In Higher Education
ED433: Student Affairs Administration: Admissions and Financial Aid
ED434: Student Affairs Administration: Minority Student Affairs
ED467: Student Affairs Administration: International Student Services
ED484: Student Affairs Administration: Residential Life
EDU413: Student Affairs Administration: Academic Support Services

(c) Other higher education courses:
ED420: Learning and Assessment in Higher Education
ED485: College Students and Student Development Theory
ED486: Curricular Innovations in Higher Education

(d) Foundations of education courses:
ED411: Philosophy of Education
ED438: Sociology of School Organizations (New 2007-08)
ED428: Ethics of Education

4. Comprehensive Exam Registration:

Candidates may register for 0-6 comprehensive exam credit hours in a given semester. Candidates may not register for more than 6 total comprehensive exam credit hours during their program.

Candidates undertaking their comprehensive exam and who wish to maintain full-time enrollment can register for one of the following additional designations: ED999 or ED998.

Candidates cannot register for ED593 Ed.D. Research (Dissertation) or ED595 Ph.D. Research (Dissertation) until they have completed their comprehensive exams.

Advisors will record a grade of Incomplete "I" until the candidate has completed all requirements of the comprehensive exam. Advisors will record a grade of "S" when the candidate has passed, in full, the comprehensive exam. Advisors will record a grade of "E" when the candidate has failed the comprehensive exam. Candidates who earn a failing grade on the comprehensive exam will be withdrawn from their program.

5. By choosing electives appropriately, students can reduce the number of additional credits required to complete an optional Advanced Certificate as an enhancement to this degree. If interested, be sure to discuss options with your advisor early in your program.

Other Requirements:

In addition to the coursework indicated above, in order to graduate and to receive the certification(s)/licensure (if any) you are seeking this program has additional requirements. Please note that in some cases, while our program will provide you with all the academic experiences required for the certification you seek, there may be some additional requirements that you will have to complete independently and outside of our program in order to be granted that certification/licensure (ex: completing a certain number of years of mentored experiences). When that is the case, we have listed these requirements but also indicated that they are not a graduation requirement.

  • B.A. or B.S. Degree
  • Portfolio Evaluation Successful completion of a portfolio within the first two years in the program.
  • Research Apprenticeship
  • Comprehensive Exam (see program notes for how to register for exam)
  • Dissertation Proposal Exam (also referred to as "Qualifying Exam")
  • Dissertation Defense
  • Residency Year (i.e. two consecutive semesters full-time)