Educational Studies, Ph.D. Higher Education Concentration



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The Ph.D. in Educational Studies with a concentration in Higher Education (HED) is a vibrant program preparing future higher education faculty, administrators, researchers, and leaders committed to advancing higher education research and transforming practice to build more equitable postsecondary environments. As such, we are committed to advancing students’ knowledge and developing proficiency in critical inquiry, inclusion and social justice, organizational transformation, and making research contributions to higher education. Our program faculty research expertise is extensive and centers on the experiences of populations impacted by structural inequality. Areas of expertise include issues of race and racism in higher education, Black P-20 student experiences, Latinx college student experiences, first-generation college student experiences, housing and residential life, LGBTQ+ issues in higher education, and parent and family engagement in college.

Program Distinctions

  • Our 60 credit program sets itself apart as one of two Ph.D. programs in Higher Education in North Carolina.
  • Our program is known for our commitment to advancing students’ knowledge and developing proficiency in critical inquiry, inclusion and social justice, organizational transformation, and making research contributions to higher education.
  • Students in our program have opportunities to develop and enhance their teaching practice by engaging in instruction of graduate level courses alongside program faculty.  These experiences strengthen students’ preparation for developing and delivering curriculum post-graduation and sustain their success in the program.
  • Given the extensive professional networks and research productivity of our award winning program faculty, students in our program have opportunities to engage in scholarly activities, including conducting research, conference presentations, and co-authoring publications alongside program faculty. These experiences lead to opportunities to present in academic forums and to publish their research .

The Student Experience

  • Our program offers opportunities for students to complete the degree full-time or part-time. Full-time students are eligible to serve as graduate research assistants while pursuing their degree. Degree completion ranges between 3-5 years based on the level of enrollment.
  • Program course delivery in an online format allows for more flexibility and supports students to pursue their doctoral studies remotely. This means students who are not located in North Carolina are still eligible for enrollment. Each course offered in the program focuses on diversity, equity, and inclusion within higher education institutions.
  • Program of study core courses (15 credit hours) include:
    • Professional Seminar in Higher Education Research
    • Higher Education: Equity, Inclusion and Learning
    • Critical Theory in Higher Education
    • Organizational Theory in Higher Education
    • Seminar in Literature Review and Research
  • Additionally students are required to take research methodology courses (18 credit hours), concentration courses (15 credit hours) and dissertation credits (12 credit hours), for a total of 60 credit hours to degree completion.
  • Our program’s distinctions align seamlessly with UNCG’s mission as a learner-centered institution focused on intellectual inquiry to prepare engaged leaders committed to addressing social challenges in the region, North Carolina, and beyond.

Admission Requirements

  • Personal Statement
  • Resume or CV
  • Writing Sample
  • Three letters of recommendation: one letter must be from a current/former professor.

Program FAQs

Yes, students may complete the program part-time. Typically part-time students take 1-2 classes per semester (~6 credit hours).

9 credit hours is the required enrollment per semester.

Time to completion varies for each student but on average, students complete the program in four years enrolled full-time or five years enrolled part-time.

Yes, there are opportunities for full-time students to be offered a graduate assistantship. Graduate assistantships allow students to work with program faculty and provide a tuition waiver and a monthly stipend.

Yes, based on funding availability.

Currently, the program delivers courses in an online format.

Yes, please visit the Graduate School website for information on admissions for international requirements.

After Graduation

Graduates of our program pursue positions including vice president of student affairs, university faculty, and director roles in orientation, academic affairs, academic advising, international programs, and diversity and inclusion, to name a few.

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Program Details

Degree Type: Doctoral

College/School: School of Education

Program Type: Majors & Concentrations

Class Type: In Person,Online

Contact Us

Dr. Delma Ramos
Program Director