Higher Education Administration and Policy Ph.D. Program

The Higher Education Administration and Policy doctoral program is ideal for those who want to engage in higher education policy research or have a deep desire to improve their administrative practice. With its rigorous immersion in theory and methodology, this program will provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to research and understand the complex challenges facing higher education administration and policymakers today. You will be a part of a small group of doctoral students who work closely in an apprentice-style relationship with faculty on funded research projects. Among our students are faculty members, deans of community colleges, and administrators at state colleges and universities from throughout California.

years to complete
unit minimum
students receive multi-year fellowships

Program Overview

Student reading

Some of the courses, based on your selected strand, could include:
EDUC 241B: Introduction to Qualitative Methods
EDUC 248E: Demographics and Diversity in Higher Education
EDUC 248F: Financing Higher Education
EDUC 248I: Critical Issues in Higher Education
EDUC 248: Higher Education Policy
EDUC 248W: Whiteness, Power and Privilege

The full-time program is offered on a quarter calendar beginning in Fall, and requires a minimum of 60 units of course work. In consultation with the faculty advisor, a student selects the Quantitative or the Qualitative Methods strand to complete, plus one course from the strand they did not select. Students will also take 2 or more electives, and a required teaching and professional development course.

See our full curriculum overview

Students in the program follow these steps to degree completion:

  1. Complete coursework
  2. Written qualifying exam
  3. Oral qualifying exam/pre-proposal
  4. Proposal approved by dissertation committee
  5. Dissertation/Final defense

Recent graduates are:

  • Faculty
  • Researchers
  • Policy analysts in postsecondary institutions and public or private agencies
  • Senior-level higher education administrators

Meet the Higher Education Administration and Policy Faculty

We encourage prospective students to reach out to faculty whose research interests align with their own.

Related Research

Faculty research areas include:

  • Athletics
  • College access
  • Critical race theory
  • Diversity & inclusion
  • Faculty
  • Governance
  • Leadership
  • Racial equity
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