2014-2015 Graduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 14, 2024  
2014-2015 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Higher Education, PhD

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Cathy Engstrom, Chair, 350 Huntington Hall, 315-443-4763, cmengstr@syr.edu

Higher Education focuses on issues of diversity and inclusion, as applied to both the theory and practice of student success, development and learning in higher education. Given the increasing diversity of college student backgrounds, critical reforms are needed in higher education in order to develop diverse curricular and non-curricular structures, practices, policies, and pedagogies that embrace and build upon students’ talents, experiences, and potential so they learn, develop, and succeed. Due to the complexity of the issues facing higher education around the world, students draw on resources in the School of Education and across the University to provide an interdisciplinary, foundational perspective supplemented by ongoing, integrated practical experiences. Students analyze higher education at a variety of levels, including individual students, student populations, institutions, and systems of higher education, and the policies and practices related to each that foster the success of all college students.

Major Requirements

Course offerings cover student development and learning, student attainment and retention; race and gender in higher education; student affairs administration; administrative theory and practice in higher education; learning communities; legal issues in higher education and history.

A hallmark of these programs and their coursework is community and collaboration. Many courses require collaborative group work that involves students as active learners in class and in our program learning community. At the same time, the program is structured to promote collaboration among students, faculty, and administrators. Whenever possible, students and faculty will work together on collaborative research and administrative projects.

The Doctoral degree program include coursework throughout the University so students can draw upon the expertise of faculty from departments in the School of Education (e.g., Cultural Foundations of Education) and a variety of schools including the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the School of Management. Both degree programs also offer field and internship experiences (required for all master’s degree students) which are available at the University and a diversity of neighboring institutions. Doctoral students specializing in higher education are required to have a minimum of three years of full-time experience in higher education. Because the department and its faculty have a strong reputation within the field, graduates of the program are typically embraced by a vibrant market offering a variety of positions.


No more than 6 credits may be taken prior to matriculating into the higher education M.S. degree program. No more than 9 credits post master’s degree may be taken before matriculating into the Ph.D. program. All master’s students must take a minimum of 9 credits per academic year. All doctoral students must complete 12 credits per academic year.

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