Introduction to the Doctoral Programs

Information about the Doctoral program provided by the Penn State College of Education.

The doctoral programs in Higher Education at Penn State are rated among the best in the country every year.  Not only is this the result of compelling and diverse coursework, but due to the exceptional caliber of the program’s faculty; they are leading scholars in the field (please refer to faculty pages for additional information).  In addition, exemplary doctoral programs have exemplary alumni, and the graduates of Penn State’s doctoral programs are second to none.  Positions of graduates range, for example, from Director of the ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education to a faculty member in the University of Michigan’s Higher Education Program, to Chair of the Educational Leadership Department at Florida State University.  Our graduates are college presidents, top administrators in state-wide coordinating agencies, and vice presidents and deans of colleges and universities.  Others are involved in national foundations and associations.  Additionally, the publication activity of our graduates is noteworthy and extensive, and more than a few are leading scholars in areas of higher education.

Current students are encouraged to pursue academic work through core and specialized higher education courses, as well as via a minor (or cognate) within other academic fields at Penn State, including policy analysis, marketing, organizational behavior, sociology, educational psychology, women’s studies, and the like.  A majority of doctoral students are also involved directly in extant research efforts being conducted by faculty members on a variety of topics.  All of these connections emerge at the intersection of students’ interests and faculty members’ tutelage, and contribute to a robust and engaging educational experience.