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Higher Education, Ph.D.

The Ph.D. program in Higher Education prepares graduates to address the complex and interconnected issues facing higher education around the world through deep foundational knowledge and integrated practical experiences.

This program in the Department of Higher Education focuses on application of theory and research to the study of higher education. Giving the increasing diversity of college student backgrounds, critical reforms are needed in higher education to develop diverse curriculum, practices, policies, and pedagogies that embrace and build upon students’ talents, experiences, and potential to help them learn, develop, and success. Students analyze higher education at various levels, including individual students, student populations, institutions, and systems of higher education.

Our partnership with the Syracuse University Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience, as well as colleges and universities throughout the Central New York area, helps provide immersive field placements and assistantships for our students. In particular the Laboratory in Learning Communities course — the only of its kind in the nation — uniquely preparing students to leader initiatives that blur the lines between academic and student life issues to promote learning on college campuses.

A hallmark of our programs is the collaboration and community developed amongst a cohort of scholars. Many of our courses require group work to prepare students for the collaborative environment of higher education administration. The Higher Education programs and department also encourages research and project partnerships between students, faculty, and administration.

Expertise in teaching and instruction is also developed with the department and with participation in the Future Professoriate Program. This includes orientations, year-round services for teaching assistants, and opportunities to co-teach with fellow doctoral students and department faculty, guest lecture, and independent instruction.

Our department and our faculty have a national reputation that leads our graduates to be embraced by a vibrant job market offering a wide variety of opportunities and positions. Our graduates work across higher education administration, university faculty and teaching positions, research and writing, educational policy, and professional development work.

Program Contacts

Dawn Johnson, Chair of Higher Education; Associate Professor
drjohn02@syr.edu|315.443.3130
Dawn Johnson
Lisa Battalino, Office Coordinator
lbattali@syr.edu|315-443-4763
Speranza Migliore, Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions and Recruitment
smiglior@syr.edu|315.443.2505