The mission of the Higher Education program is to prepare individuals for researching, analyzing, and managing the critical problems in postsecondary education.

David GuthrieI am not exaggerating when I say that I am reminded every week—typically more than one time—about how delighted I am to work within and to explore the field of Higher Education. Such delight may be prompted by a conversation with a student or faculty colleague, a provocative classroom discussion, perusing a news story on the web, reading an essay, attending an event, or any number of other things. In each case, these experiences persuade me of the complexity and dynamism of this area of life that I have had the privilege to be a part for well over 25 years now.

From this context I encourage you to examine a career in Higher Education and, more specifically, to consider graduate study of this field at Penn State University.  

As you will see on these webpages, two doctoral options are available—Ph.D. and D.Ed.—and two methods of achieving our master’s degree are available—traditional and online.  Students in all of these programs will testify clearly to their relevance for bolstering one’s readiness for and effectiveness in a wide variety of careers.

The faculty of the program are highly-respected scholars within and beyond the field, and with expertise that spans numerous research arenas such as access and success of vulnerable student populations, educational policy and institutional impact, social stratification in education, equity and inclusion, financial sustainability challenges, campus climate, globalization, religion and higher education, and more.  And, as classroom teachers in both traditional and online platforms, they are fully invested in preparing students to understand and to address the complexities, challenges, and opportunities that attend contemporary colleges and universities. 

With these things in mind, it should come as little surprise that Penn State’s program is perennially ranked among the best higher education programs in the country.  It is my sincere hope that it will find its way onto your list to investigate further.  Its combination of compelling academics, premier university context, verdant geographical location, culture of camaraderie and mutuality, and gifted faculty and student colleagues provides a terrific backdrop for graduate study. 

David Guthrie, Co-Professor-in-Charge, Higher Education