About the Higher Education Research Doctoral Program
The Higher Education program is a competencybased program for those who wish to lead, change, and reform higher education settings. It is designed to develop scholarly and theoretical practitioners and researchers who understand the importance of equity and social justice. Graduates of the program are equipped to apply theories and practical research as tools to name, frame, and solve problems of practice, using empirical evidence to evaluate impact and develop innovative solutions for colleges and universities.
The Higher Education program is committed to excellence in preparing and supporting administrative and instructional leaders for higher education, generating and supporting research in the field of higher education, and delivering public service to the practice of higher education. The program delivers teaching, research, and professional services to students, institutions of higher education, and other academic disciplines.
Students working on a master’s degree may pursue either non-thesis or thesis options. The master’s program requires completion of 36 semester credit hours for non-thesis students. Students completing a thesis will complete 39 semester credit hours. During their second semester, students must declare a thesis or non-thesis option. Later, if desired, they may switch from the thesis to the non-thesis option (or vice versa) with the permission of their advisor. However, thesis credit hours they have earned will not count toward the non-thesis degree. Each option has a set of required core courses that are selected in consultation with the student’s advisor.
The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) is designed for advanced scholarly practitioners who wish to achieve a superior level of competency in their professional field with emphasis on practice and leadership. Under the direction of their advisor, students may select a focus in community college administration or general higher education administration. The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is designed for advanced theoretical practitioners and researchers who want to acquire the ability to contribute to the knowledge base of research, education, and leadership through a thorough grounding in the conduct of research. The Ph.D. will prepare students for professional careers as institutional researchers and planners; higher education administrators with an orientation towards research, sponsored programs, or grant proposal writing; program assessment-evaluation specialists; research associates; and faculty members.
The Ed.D. in Higher Education requires completion of 90 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate. The Ph.D. in Higher Education–Higher Education Research requires 96 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate. As part of the credit hour requirements, candidates for both the Ed.D. and the Ph.D. are required to demonstrate proficiency in independent research in higher education culminating in the completion of a dissertation. For further information, see the program website at https://www.depts.ttu.edu/education/graduate/psychology-and-leadership/higher_education/doctor_of_philosophy_research.php.