The PhD in Higher Education is a research-focused degree designed to prepare you to
contribute to the field of higher education as an administrator, scholar or policy
analyst. We use existing theory and research to enhance administrative practice in
diverse and complex higher education settings. Our graduates go on to conduct research
that explores the historic, contemporary and/or emerging issues in higher education
policy and practice and hold higher education leadership positions across the country
and around the world.
This 63-credit hour program includes course delivery designed for both working professionals
and full-time students. We generally follow a cohort model, allowing you to progress
to graduation with a peer support group. Successful degree completion includes a minimum
of 15 hours of doctoral dissertation and completion of a professional development
sequence. All students are advised by full-time program faculty, and most coursework
is taught face-to-face or through hybrid delivery formats.
We offer an international higher education class that may include overseas travel.
Our dual degree master’s and doctoral programs with the Universidad Popular Autonoma
del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP) in Puebla, Mexico, allow students to take coursework
from both OSU and UPAEP and earn either a master’s or doctoral degree from both institutions.
We also have a strong international focus demonstrated through additional international
collaborations, centers and global internship opportunities.
Our student-oriented faculty are grounded in the history and mission of higher education,
as well as attuned to emerging trends in global higher education. We focus on equipping
contemporary professionals for the diverse context of today’s world.
Faculty research expertise includes:
Hidden college student populations and higher education institutions (R is for Thursday)
Socially just education
Diverse student-learning outcomes
University and community engagement
Organizational issues in higher education
International issues in higher education and student affairs
Applications are accepted once per year by April 1 for the fall semester. Alternative entrance times may be available; please email
firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Our PhD students are admitted annually at our main OSU-Stillwater
campus and, typically, every three years at an off-site location in the Oklahoma City
To apply for the PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, option in Higher
Education program, complete the following:
Please note: Due to demand, we will be accepting applications for a special admissions window for
prospective students wishing to begin their PhD studies at our main OSU-Stillwater
campus in spring 2022. Spring coursework will begin in January 2022. The deadline
for application materials is 5 p.m. CST on Wednesday, November 10, 2021. All materials must be received by the deadline in order to be considered for spring
admission. Incomplete applications may be held and completed by April 1, 2022, for
the regular fall 2022 admissions window.