Graduate Programs


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Educational Studies

The PhD in Higher Education is for post-Master’s degree students who are interested in preparing for service and leadership in a broad range of roles in Colleges and Universities. Program graduates will understand the administrative, political, financial, legal, and socio-cultural aspects of higher education and be prepared to be change agents in 21st century institutions of post-secondary education, including community colleges, 4-year degree granting institutions, and comprehensive graduate and professional degree granting universities. In addition to core coursework, students will have the opportunity to specialize by taking a minimum of 6 credit hours of coursework in an area of professional interest. Additionally, focused internships working with professionals in their field of interest will provide students with mentorship and real-world experience.

March 30th is the deadline for consideration for Fall admission. Incomplete applications are not reviewed.



How to Apply


Request Information

Application Requirements

View Application Requirements

For more information please see Purdue’s full application instructions.

To complete the application you will need:

  • Transcripts (copy) – Official transcripts will need to be submitted before the end of the first semester.
  • Statement of Purpose – 300 – 500 word essay. Articulate how this program will help you obtain educational and career goals
  • Resume
  • 3 letters of recommendation – Name and email addresses.
  • Writing sample
  • GRE or approved standardized test scores required
  • Credit card – application fee

Program Requirements

View Requirements

A total of 60 credit hours (in addition to 30 credit hours from a Master’s degree) is required for completion of this degree. The Master’s degree need not be in the field of Higher Education. Students in the PhD in Educational Studies with a Concentration in Higher Education degree program attend courses both in person and online via WebEx.

Core Courses (36 credit hours)

  • Organization & Administration of Higher Education
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Economics and Finance of Higher Education
  • Human Capital & Talent Development
  • Quantitative Data Analysis Methods in Education I
  • Quantitative Data Analysis Methods in Education II
  • Politics & Policy in Higher Education
  • Higher Education Law
  • History of the American College & University
  • International & Intercultural Education
  • Cultural Engagement in Communities and Workplaces
  • Study Abroad for Educational Leaders

Elective Courses (6 credit hours)

For the remaining 6 credits, you and your advisor will work to develop a plan of study that matches your individualized interests and career goals. One suggestion would be Research Procedures in Education.

Higher Education Internship (3 credit hours)

Students will work with faculty advisors to identify internship opportunities with Higher Education professionals working in students’ area of interest. The internship will provide students with “real world” experiences that put into action what they have learned in the classroom.

Thesis (15 credit hours)

Tuition and Fees

View Tuition and Fees
Current Tuition Rates and Fees * In-State Out-of-State
Tuition Rate $631.20 $681.20
Technology Fee $7.55 $7.55
Repair and Rehabilitation Fee $11.25 $11.25
Purdue Online (PO) Fee $50.00 $50.00
Total Cost Per Credit Hour $700.00 $750.00
Total Credit Hours 90 90
Total Program Cost $63,000.00 $67,500.00

* Tuition and fees are charges on a per credit hour basis and are subject to annual increase. Annual increases may change the total program cost.
* Notes: Purdue faculty and staff fee remissions may not be applied to this program. Partial tuition scholarships may be available for Purdue employees.


View Faculty
Assistant Professor Educational Leadership and Policy StudiesEducational Studies
Work Phone: (765) 494-9731


View FAQ
  1. How long is the program?
    The program is designed to take 4 years (Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters).
  2. Is the GRE required for admission? Are GRE waivers available?
    Yes, the GRE is required for all students. There are no GRE waivers for this program. However, you can submit GRE scores that are up to 5 years old.
  3. Is a Masters degree required for admission?
    Yes. All applicants must have a masters degree from an accredited College or University.
  4. Are there funding opportunities available?
    Students can apply (by December of the year prior to the start of the cohort) for competitive fellowships through the College of Education and the University. Please note that the fellowship application deadline is much earlier than the regular application deadline. Fellowship students come and work either as teaching assistants or graduate assistants at Purdue.
  5. Is it possible to work full time and complete the PhD?
    Yes. However, students must be available to take classes (either in person or live via WebEx) from 6 – 9 p.m. EST two weeknights each week (days may vary).
  6. How much is tuition?
    Tuition is $700/credit hour for in-state students and $750/credit hour for out-of-state students. Purdue employees are eligible for tuition remission.
  7. How many courses do PhD students take each semester?
    Standard load is two three-credit courses each semester. In addition to these two classes, depending on the semester, students may also register for 1 hour of internship, or dissertation research. Students will not take more than 7 credit hours in a semester unless special arrangements are made in advance.
  8. What is the study abroad component of the program?
    The study abroad program will take place during the summer after students’ second year of coursework. We will travel abroad for approximately 7-10 days to collaborate with other Higher Educational Institutions. Specific details will be forthcoming. (The first study abroad experience will take place in Summer 2021 for the current cohort).
  9. What does the dissertation for this PhD look like?
    The dissertation requires that students author (with program faculty) at least three peer-reviewed scholarly articles of appropriate length and subject matter during their doctoral studies. The dissertation consists of an introductory chapter, reprints of these three (or more) articles, and an analysis/conclusion chapter.
  10. What does the internship involve?
    Internships are individualized and are designed to give students experience in areas of a college or university that they are interested in exploring. The internship is not a “job shadowing” experience and students are not required to be physically present in West Lafayette to complete an internship at Purdue. Instead, the internship is project based, allowing students to gain important experience with “real world” higher education issues and challenges.
  11. What does it mean to be a “hybrid” doctoral program?
    Students are required to come to West Lafayette for an intensive class once per semester. Students are encouraged to attend class in-person each week as they are able. However, for students who live some distance from Purdue, they can access the weekly courses in real time via WebEx each week. The only requirement is that students must be available to be “at” classes from 6 – 9 p.m. EST two nights each week.
  12. When is the application deadline?
    March 30th (note that students interested in fellowships must apply by December of the previous year)


Course Content Information or Blackboard:
Contact Dr. Christine Kiracofe
Course Registration, payment, drops/withdraws, and removing holds:
Purdue Online
Career accounts:
ITaP (765) 494-4000