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University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

Higher Education (HI ED)

Program Home Page (Opens New Window)

DANA MITRA, Director of Graduate Studies
302A Rackley Building
814-863-7020
sgb13@psu.edu

Degrees Conferred:

Ph.D., D.Ed., M.Ed.

The Graduate Faculty

Higher Education

Higher Education (World Campus)

 

The Program

The graduate program in Higher Education has as its goal the preparation of individuals who will pursue careers and exert leadership in postsecondary education as administrators, faculty, or researchers in the nation's colleges and universities and in a variety of public and private agencies and associations in the United States and other nations. With emphasis on the systematic study of higher education, the program builds on the scholarly and scientific disciplines offered throughout the University and applies these studies to the professional functions and responsibilities that its graduates will assume, and to the knowledge of the field of higher education.

The Higher Education program offers the Ph.D. and D.Ed. at the doctoral level, and a M.Ed. at the master’s level, and a minor in Higher Education in residence at the University Park campus. The Higher Education program also offers the M.Ed via World Campus.

With mounting awareness of the changes occurring in various academic and professional fields, of the need for higher education reform, and of the need for improved articulation among the various levels of education, higher education faculty cooperates with other departments of the University on research projects, assistantships, internships, and professional development experiences.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the GENERAL INFORMATION section of the Graduate Bulletin. Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission.

Doctoral applicants must submit test scores from either the GRE, GMAT, or LSAT, taken no more than 5 years prior to the application date. Master’s applicants must submit test scores from either the GRE, GMAT, or LSAT, taken no more than 5 years prior to the application date. At the discretion of the head of the graduate program, an applicant may be admitted without these scores. Test scores are not required for M.Ed. applicants who have either: 1) completed three years of full-time professional experience in higher education; 2) a Master’s degree in another field; or 3) completed the Institutional Research Certificate Program at Penn State.

Applicants must also submit a resume, a statement of purpose, and three letters of recommendation.

Students in the M.Ed., D.Ed., and Ph.D. programs may begin the program in either the fall or spring semester, or in the summer session.

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the DEGREE REQUIREMENTS section of the Graduate Bulletin.

A minimum of 66 credits is required:

  • Core Courses (15 cr.): HIED 548 Curriculums in Higher Education (3 cr.); HIED 552 Administration in Higher Education (3 cr.); HIED 554 History of American Higher Education (3 cr.); HIED 556 Higher Education Students and Clientele (3 cr.); and HIED 562 Organizational Theory and Higher Education (3 cr.).
  • Specialization in Higher Education (12 cr.): 12 credits in additional HIED course work.
  • Research Requirements (12 cr.): HIED 585 Research Design: Implications for Decisions in Higher Education (3 cr.); HIED 586 Qualitative Methods in Educational Research (3 cr.); Statistics (e.g. STAT 500; EDPSY 406) (3 cr.); and 3 additional credits approved by the program to fulfill this requirement.
  • Advanced Research Skills (9 cr.): Determined in consultation with student’s adviser and approved by the program to fulfill this requirement.
  • Cognate or Minor (15 cr.): A list of acceptable cognate areas and their required courses is maintained by the program. A graduate minor can be taken in any approved graduate degree program offered at Penn State, or in one of the approved stand-alone minors.
  • Proposal Course (3 cr.): HIED 594 (3 cr.).

Doctoral students must pass a candidacy examination, a comprehensive written and oral examination, and a final oral examination (the dissertation defense). To earn the Ph.D. degree, doctoral students must also write a dissertation that is accepted by the doctoral committee, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School.

D. Ed. Degree Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the DEGREE REQUIREMENTS section of the Graduate Bulletin.

A minimum of 90 credits is required, of which at least 30 credits must be earned in residence at University Park campus. A maximum of 30 credits from a completed master’s degree earned at an institution that does not grant a doctorate in Higher Education may be accepted towards this minimum, subject to limitations listed in the Transfer Credit section of the Doctoral Degrees Bulletin page. A maximum of 60 credits beyond the baccalaureate may be accepted towards this minimum, subject to limitations listed in the Transfer Credit section of the Doctoral Degrees Bulletin page.

Of the 90 required credits, 72 credits must be earned in the following:

  • Core Courses (15 credits): HIED 548 Curriculums in Higher Education (3 cr.); HIED 552 Administration in Higher Education (3 cr.); HIED 554 History of American Higher Education (3 cr.); HIED 556 Higher Education Students and Clientele (3 cr.); and HIED 562 Organizational Theory and Higher Education (3 cr.).
  • Specialization in Higher Education (12 cr.): 12 credits in additional HIED course work.
  • Research Requirements (12 credits): HIED 585 Research Design: Implications for Decisions in Higher Education (3 cr.) and HIED 586 Qualitative Methods in Educational Research (3 cr.). Students choose the remaining research credits with the approval of their adviser (e.g., EDPSY 406 Applied Statistical Inference for the Behavioral Sciences (3 cr.), EDPSY 505 Statistical Applications in Educational Research (3 cr.), STAT 500 Applied Statistics (3 cr.), STAT 501 Regression Methods (3 cr.), or RSOC 573 Methods of Survey Data Analysis (3 cr.)
  • Minor or General Studies Group (15 cr.): A graduate minor can be taken in any approved graduate degree program offered at Penn State, or in one of the approved stand-alone minors. A general studies group may include up to 6 credits taken as part of previous master’s degree, and must be approved by the doctoral committee.
  • Proposal Course (3 cr.): HIED 594 (3 cr.).
  • Dissertation (15 cr.): HIED 600 or 610.

In addition, the program may require a 9-credit Internship depending on students’ previous professional experience in higher education administration. If the 9-credit internship is required, then 9 credits of electives may be chosen from a list of approved electives maintained by the program office, to reach the minimum total of 90 required credits. If the 9-credit internship is not required, then 18 credits of electives may be chosen from a list of approved electives maintained by the program office, to reach the minimum total of 90 required credits.

Doctoral students must pass a candidacy examination, a comprehensive written and oral examination, and a final oral examination (the dissertation defense). To earn the D.Ed. degree, doctoral students must also write a dissertation that is accepted by the doctoral committee, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School.

M. Ed. Degree Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements stated in the DEGREE REQUIREMENTS section of the Graduate Bulletin.

A minimum of 30 credits is required, with at least 18 at the 500 or 800 level, and at least 6 at the 500 level. The 30 required credits must include:

  • HIED 490 Professional Seminar in Higher Education (3 cr.)
  • HIED 545 Foundations of Higher Education and Student Affairs (3 cr.)
  • HIED 552 Administration in Higher Education (3 cr.)
  • HIED 556 Higher Education Students and Clientele (3 cr.)
  • Either HIED 504 Research and Assessment in Student Affairs or HIED 801 Foundations of Institutional Research or (3 cr.)
  • Emphasis Area in Higher Education (6 cr.): Students will choose an emphasis area to tailor a program of study to fit an intended career path, in consultation with their adviser. A list of acceptable emphasis areas and their required courses is maintained by the program.
  • Elective Courses (6 cr.): Students will choose from a list of approved electives maintained by the program office, in consultation with the student’s adviser.
  • Culminating Experience in Higher Education (3 cr.): HIED 596 Individual Studies (3 cr.) This course provides students the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and skills they have developed during the program in a culminating project that, in turn, may showcase their interests and abilities as they seek employment beyond graduation. In addition, students will self-assess their relative progress towards the intended learning outcomes of the program

Dual-Title Ph.D., D.Ed., and M.Ed. in Comparative and International Education

Admission Requirements

Students must apply and be admitted to the graduate program in Higher Education and The Graduate School before they can apply for admission to the dual-title degree program. After admission to their primary program, students must apply for admission to and meet the admissions requirements of the Comparative and International Education dual-title program. Refer to the Admission Requirements section of the Comparative and International Education Bulletin page. Doctoral students must be admitted into the dual-title degree program in Comparative and International Education prior to obtaining candidacy in their primary graduate program.

Degree Requirements

To qualify for the dual-title degree, students must satisfy the degree requirements for the degree they are enrolled in Higher Education, listed above. In addition, students must complete the degree requirements for the dual-title in Comparative and International Education, listed on the Comparative and International Education Bulletin page. Some courses may satisfy both Higher Education and Comparative and International Education degree requirements. Final course selection must be approved by the student's doctoral committee.

The candidacy examination committee for the dual-title Ph.D. degree will be composed of Graduate Faculty from Higher Education and must include at least one Graduate Faculty member from the Comparative and International Education program. Faculty members who hold appointments in both programs’ Graduate Faculty may serve in a combined role. There will be a single candidacy examination, containing elements of both Higher Education and Comparative and International Education. Dual-title graduate degree students may require an additional semester to fulfill requirements for both areas of study and, therefore, the candidacy examination may be delayed one semester beyond the normal period allowable.

In addition to the general Graduate Council requirements for doctoral committees, the doctoral committee of a Higher Education and Comparative and International Education dual-title Ph.D. student must include at least one member of the Comparative and International Education Graduate Faculty. Faculty members who hold appointments in both programs’ Graduate Faculty may serve in a combined role. If the chair of the doctoral committee is not also a member of the Graduate Faculty in Comparative and International Education, the member of the committee representing Comparative and International Education must be appointed as co-chair. The Comparative and International Education representative on the student’s doctoral committee will develop questions for and participate in the evaluation of the comprehensive examination.

Students in the dual-title program are required to write and orally defend a dissertation on a topic that is approved in advance by their doctoral committee and reflects their original research and education in Higher Education and Comparative and International Education. Upon completion of the doctoral dissertation, the candidate must pass a final oral examination (the dissertation defense) to earn the Ph.D. degree. The dissertation must be accepted by the doctoral committee, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School.

Joint Degree Program between Penn State Law (J.D.) and the Higher Education Program (M.Ed., D.Ed., Ph.D.)

Penn State Law (PSL) and the Higher Education (HIED) Program offer a joint degree program leading to a Juris Doctor (J.D.); and either a Master of Education (M.Ed), a Doctor of Education (D.Ed), or a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Higher Education.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the joint degree program must apply and be admitted first to Penn State Law, and subsequently to the Higher Education graduate program. Admissions requirements and applications for admission for Penn State Law are listed in the J.D. Admissions section of the Penn State Law website. The admission requirements for the Higher Education graduate program are listed above. When applying to the Higher Education graduate program, applicants must include two letters of recommendation from Penn State Law faculty members and a career statement. Applicants to the joint degree program may submit LSAT scores instead of GRE scores. Students must be admitted to the program prior to taking the first course they intend to count towards the graduate degree.

Residency

Students will normally spend four semesters in residence at PSL and as many additional semesters in residence as needed to complete the additional requirements for the pertinent HIED degree. Ph.D. candidates must arrange the sequence of semesters to ensure that they are in residence as full-time students in the HIED program for at least two consecutive semesters (Fall-Spring or Spring-Fall) excluding summer in a single twelve-month period.

Degree Requirements

Students must fulfill all requirements for each degree in order to be awarded that degree, subject to the double-counting of credits as outlined below. Degree requirements for the J.D. program are listed on the Penn State Law website. Degree requirements for the Ph.D., D.Ed., and M.Ed. degrees are listed above.

PSL: A maximum of twelve credits for HI ED course work may be double-counted for credit toward the J.D. degree at PSL. Students must obtain a grade satisfactory to PSL for the course work to be credited towards the J.D. degree. The following HI ED program may qualify for credit in PSL: (1) HI ED 545 (Higher Education in the United States); (2) HI ED 552 (Administration in Higher Education); (3) HI ED 560 (Legal Issues in Higher Education); (4)HI ED 546 (College Teaching) and (5) HI ED 587 (Education Policy and Politics).

HI ED: The courses that may be double-counted will be determined by the student's degree program. Normally a maximum of twelve credits of PSL course work will be counted for credit for the minimum requirements for a master's degree, subject to approval by the student's advisory committee. Normally, a maximum of 30 credits from a master's degree program will be counted for credit for the minimum requirements for a Ph.D. or D.Ed. degree.

Sequence: The sequence of courses will be determined by the students and their advisors.

Recommended Program of Study and Advising: All students in the program will have two advisers, one from PSL and one from HI ED. Periodic interaction between the two advisors is encouraged.

Tuition: Students will be charged the applicable PSL tuition to cover the J.D. program and the applicable graduate tuition to cover the HI ED degree program. PSL tuition will be paid for the semesters in which the student is registered for PSL courses, and graduate tuition will be paid for the semesters in which the student is registered for graduate courses. A student may take up to one course (3 credit hours) per semester in the program where the student is not primarily registered without any change in tuition, but must pay additional tuition to the program that the student is not primarily registered if he or she wishes to take additional course work pursuant to that program during the semester.

Financial Aid and Assistantships: Decisions on financial aid and assistantships will be made by each school according to that school's procedures. Generally, assistantships and financial aid granted by HI ED will not apply to time spent at PSL.

Fulfillment of Degree Requirements and Graduation: All courses in one program that will count toward meeting the requirements of the other program must be completed before the awarding of either degree. If students accepted into the joint degree program are unable to complete the J.D. degree, they are still eligible to receive the Higher Education degree if all Higher Education degree requirements have been satisfied.

Student Aid

Graduate assistantships available to doctoral students in this program and other forms of student aid are described in the STUDENT AID section of the Graduate Bulletin. Students on graduate assistantships must adhere to the course load limits set forth in the Graduate Bulletin.

Courses

Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

HIGHER EDUCATION (HI ED) course list

Lasted Revised by the Department: Spring Semester 2017

Blue Sheet Item #: 45-06

Review Date: 4/4/2017

Faculty links inserted: 6/10/15

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