Candidates most oriented toward research do well to consider a Ph.D. degree.

The Ph.D. degree is a competency-based degree, requiring that students fulfill a residency requirement of two consecutive semesters of full-time study, maintain continuous enrollment during the dissertation phase, and successfully demonstrate particular research competencies, most notably in their dissertations.

The Ph.D. degree includes a great deal of research methodology coursework in the interest of developing research competencies.

Ph.D. dissertations typically seek to produce generalizable knowledge of a particular aspect of higher education that may have particular relevance and significance for discovery-scholarship audiences.