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University of Pittsburgh    
2021-2022 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
  Jul 22, 2024
2021-2022 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Higher Education, PhD

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The PhD in Higher Education is committed to advancing scholarship, research, and practice in the field of higher education. Students have research interests ranging from student access to student outcomes, diversity and equity, international and comparative education, student affairs and administration, and policy studies. The program is focused on critical scholarship and centers equity and justice.

The PhD degree program in higher education includes a core set of courses designed for students to gain an understanding of historical, political, philosophical, and social elements that shape and continue to reshape higher education. The curriculum is designed to ground students in the study of higher education as a discipline and critical scholarship within the field. Students develop an area of research specialization. The curriculum in higher education is complemented by courses within other programs in the Educational Foundations, Organizations, and Policy Department and School of Education. Students also take courses outside of the School of Education for their supporting field (per University guidelines). In addition, through a strong focus within the program on rigorous methodological training, students gain competency in both quantitative and qualitative research methods and take advanced courses in the methodological approaches they plan to utilize in their research.

90 credits are required for this degree program.

The PhD degree in Higher Education requires an approved plan of studies and the following milestones (common to PhD degree programs in School of Education): preliminary exam (proposal for an independent supervised research project), supervised research project, comprehensive examination, dissertation overview, and dissertation


Required Courses (21 credits)

Electives (18 Credits, 9 Required from List)

Supervised Research (6 credits)

Supporting Field (9 credits)

For students with an undergraduate degree in a discipline outside education, 9 credits of graduate coursework are required outside of the School of Education. In this case half of their elective units should be taken outside of the School of Educatoin. If a student has an undergraduate degree in education the requirement is 18 credits outside of School of Education; in other words, they will take all of their elective credits outside of the School of Education.

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