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Doctoral Students

For your convenience, our program offers doctoral only classes on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings, in addition to graduate coursework throughout the week.

The doctoral program in Higher Education Administration and Student Personnel prepares administrators at college and university levels.  For most students, our PhD will be the "last degree" they will ever need.  The PhD program is academically rigorous and students are challenged to excel. Their doctoral experience enables them to serve as directors, deans, vice presidents and presidents at various institutions throughout Ohio, the U.S., and internationally. 

Graduates of the Higher Education Administration and Student Personnel program will provide leadership characterized by:

  • High-level analytic thinking
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Ethics-based decision making
  • Multicultural competence
  • Global perspective
  • Understanding of colleges and universities as complex organizations
  • Effective, persuasive, and inclusive written and oral communication skills
  • Comprehension of the impact of social, economic, political, and legal trends
  • Flexibility and confidence to provide leadership in times of change

PhD applications for 2014 fall admission are due February 1. Applications received after Feb1 will be considered on a space available basis. [Note, applicants for full-time status who wish to have a fall assistantship should apply by January 5.]

Current PhD students

Previous doctoral dissertations:

Doctoral level graduate assistants(GA) available for 2014-15. Apply Today.


The student’s program consists of a variety of academic experiences culminating in the dissertation. Aspects of the Plan of Study include:

  • The Core: a common core is required of all students in the Higher Education Administration and Student Personnel PhD program, addressing higher education law, employment law, business administration, curriculum, politics, and internationalization (18 credit hours)
  • Research Foundation: students select research courses to provide expertise in evaluating and conducting research in educational settings including statistics, qualitative research, and quantitative research among other courses to prepare students for research design (a minimum of 15 credit hours)
  • Elective coursework: students select elective courses designed to complement individual professional goals, needs, and interests (a minimum of 15 credit hours). Some students choose to focus their electives in pursuit of a specialization or certificate.
  • Dissertation: the dissertation structured to produce knowledge and solve problems with direct applicability to higher educational practice

Prior to the dissertation process, doctoral candidates should familiarize themselves with policies and procedures described in the Handbook for Ph.D. Students and Advisors and the Theses & Dissertation Formatting. The Office of Administrative Affairs and Graduate Education examines all College and Graduate School of Education, Health, and Human Services dissertations prior to filing with the University Libraries. We are fortunate to have many highly productive doctoral program areas which generate and produce a considerable number of dissertations. Doctoral candidates use guidelines from the Ph.D. Handbook in the completion of their dissertation.

Holmes Scholars Program

The Holmes Scholars Program provides mentorship, peer support, and professional development opportunities to doctoral students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds who are pursuing careers in education.  For more information on the program, how to become a Holmes Scholar, or upcoming events, please visit the Holmes Scholars Program website.