Develop skillsCurriculum Content

The curriculum is a set sequence of highly relevant courses with no electives.  The global context of the program is emphasized in experiential summer seminars at domestic and international sites. Face-to-face instruction is provided by the nationally and internationally recognized faculty of the Institute of Higher Education.

In the first semester, students are exposed to the range of research and potential research topics in the field of higher education and to basic research. Students are also introduced to the Institute of Higher Education faculty and their research expertise and interests.

Beginning in the second semester, students are introduced to the basic research skills needed to pursue doctoral research. Students are assisted as a group and individually in developing these skills throughout the entirety of the program from research questions, to literature reviews, to research design and methodology, through data collection, and finally to the defense of the dissertation.

Administrative Leadership Hour

Each weekend session includes a discussion hour with a noted figure in higher education. Serving as discussants, these speakers bring career insights that add additional depth to students’ classroom discussions and professional development for becoming leaders in higher education administration.

Dissertation Research

Dissertations are embedded in the six-semester curriculum and designed to be completed within the two years of study.  Students are paired with a major professor by the end of their first summer in the program and are encouraged to follow their own areas of expertise and ongoing interests in the selection of a dissertation topic.

Program of Study

(52 total credit hours)

First Semester (Spring)
Higher Education in the U.S.                     
Introduction to Research in H.E.
Second Semester (Summer)
Organization and Governance in H.E. 
Quantitative Methods in H.E.  
Comparative Higher Education (Europe)
Third Semester (Fall)
Qualitative Methods in H.E.
Finance of Higher Education
Doctoral Research
Fourth Semester (Spring)
Academic Programs
College Access & Success
Doctoral Dissertation
Fifth Semester (Summer)

State and Federal Systems
Strategy and Management
Policy Studies (Washington DC)
Doctoral Dissertation
Sixth Semester (Fall)
Law and Higher Education
Leadership in H.E.
Doctoral Dissertation


Example of a typical weekend meeting schedule:

  Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
8:30a – 12:00   Marketing/ Higher Ed. Finance Finance
12:00 – 1:00p Opening lunch & discussion Lunch Lunch  Finance
1:00 – 3:00p Marketing/Higher Ed. Marketing/ Higher Ed. Finance  
3:30 – 5:00p Lessons in Leadership Marketing/ Higher Ed. Finance  
6:30 – 8:00p Group dinner at restaurant Dinner at hotel Dinner at hotel  

Student handbook for program of study