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University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

Higher Education (HI ED)

Program Home Page (Opens New Window)

DAVID GAMSON, Director of Graduate Studies
310D Rackley Building
814-865-2583
dag17@psu.edu

Degrees Conferred:

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

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. D.Ed., and M.Ed. in residence at the University Park campus. The Higher Education program also offers the M.Ed either in part or in full through World Campus.

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, MAT, or LSAT, taken no more than 5 years prior to the application date.

The requirement for test scores is waived for World Campus 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 curriculum vitae (CV), a statement of purpose, and three letters of recommendation.

Students in the M.Ed., D.Ed., and Ph.D. programs at University Park normally will begin the program in the fall semester. Students in the M.Ed. program through World Campus may begin the program in the summer, fall, or spring semesters.

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, and must include:

  • HIED 808 Pro-Seminar in U.S. Higher Education and Student Affairs (3 cr.)
  • HIED 545 Foundations of Higher Education and Student Affairs (3 cr.)
  • HIED 842 Administrative Leadership in Higher Education (3 cr.)
  • HIED 846 College Students and Their Success (3 cr.)
  • Either HIED 841 Research and Assessment in Student Affairs or HIED 801 Foundations of Institutional Research or (3 cr.)
  • HIED 596 Individual Studies (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.

Culmination Experience in Higher Education (3 cr.): HIED 596 Individual Studies (3 cr) Like other capstone courses, this course provides students the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and skills that 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.

D. Ed. Degree Requirements

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

The D.Ed. requires a minimum of 90 credits, of which at least 30 credits must be earned in residence at the 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.

Core Courses (12 cr.): HIED 501 Foundations in Higher Education (3 cr.); HIED 552 Administration and Organization in Higher Education (3 cr); HIED 556 Higher Education Students and Clientele (3 cr.); and HIED 502 Equity and Diversity in Higher Education (3 cr.).

Specialization (HIED) (9 cr.): 9 credits in additional HIED course work.
Theoretical/Conceptual (9 cr.): 9 credits

Methodological (12 cr.): At least (a) one quantitative course (e.g., STAT 500 or EDPSY
406) and (b) one qualitative course (e.g., HIED 586).

Proposal (3 cr.): HIED 594 Research Proposal Topics

Dissertation: (15 cr.)

In addition, the program may require a 9-credit internship depending on students’ previous professional experiences in higher education administration. D.Ed. students must pass a candidacy examination, a comprehensive written and oral examination, and a final oral examination (the dissertation defense). Their dissertation must also be accepted by the doctoral committee, the head of the graduate program, and the
Graduate School.

Ph.D. Degree Requirements

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

Ph.D. students must pass a candidacy examination, a comprehensive written and oral examination, and a final oral examination (the dissertation defense). Their dissertation also must be accepted by the doctoral committee, the head of the graduate program, and the Graduate School.

A minimum of 51 credits is required:

  • Core Courses (12 cr.): HIED 501 Foundations in Higher Education (3 cr.); HIED 552 Administration and Organization in Higher Education (3 cr.); HIED 556 Higher Education Students and Clientele (3 cr.); and HIED 502 Equity and Diversity in Higher Education (3 cr.).
  • Specialization (HIED): (9 cr.): 9 credits in additional HIED course work.
  • Theoretical/Conceptual (9 cr.): 9 credits
  • Methodological (18 cr.): At least (a) one quantitative course (e.g., STAT 500 or EDPSY 406) and (b) one qualitative course (e.g., HIED 586).
  • Proposal (3 cr.): HIED 594 Research Proposal Topics

Dual-Title M.Ed., D.Ed., Ph.D. and 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.

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 HIED 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 HIED program may qualify for credit in PSL: (1) HIED 545 (Higher Education in the United States); (2) HIED 552 (Administration in Higher Education); (3) HIED 560 (Legal Issues in Higher Education); (4)HIED 546 (College Teaching) and (5) HIED 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.

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 HIED. 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 HIED 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: Summer 2018

Blue Sheet Item #: 46-07

Review Date: 6/26/2018

Faculty links inserted: 6/10/15

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