The PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, option 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
COVID-19 Notice: We will continue accepting Ph.D. applications through October 31, 2020, for our OSU-Stillwater
campus and for a Ph.D. cohort with primary course delivery in Oklahoma City. In general,
applicants admitted during the fall cycle will begin coursework in January 2021. Get
all your questions answered and join us for an upcoming Zoom information session by
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:
Transcripts from all previously attended institutions (3.0 minimum graduate GPA required)
Three letters of recommendation (prefer at least one from a previous faculty member)
Career objectives and personal goal statement (1-2 paged total, double spaced)
GRE, MAT, GMAT or LSAT scores (within the last five years)
Academic or scholarly writing sample (optional)
Current TOEFL/IELTS scores for international applicants (required to establish English proficiency)
Interview: Program faculty may request an interview with the applicant.
Cost & Assistance
Graduate assistantships, as either a Graduate Teaching Associate (GTA) or Graduate Research Associate (GRA)
in on-campus departments and programs, may be offered on a competitive basis to full-time
Currently enrolled students are also eligible for scholarships offered through the College of Education and Human Sciences.