Jun 17, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Higher Education Administration Major, PhD

The PhD with a major in higher education administration offers advanced graduate study to those students aspiring to enhance their leadership knowledge and skill for service in their current positions, to establish knowledge and skill bases for a more responsible executive leadership appointment, to build the capacity and inclination for active participation in policy dialogue related to the purpose and performance of higher education, and to prepare scholars for service in faculty and policy scholar roles.

Campus Code

Knoxville Campus

Admissions Standards/Procedures

  • Application Requirements and Materials to Submit
    • Combined Graduate School/Program Application for PhD in higher education administration
    • Three letters of recommendations.
    • Official transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate work.
    • A writing sample.
    • An overall GPA of 3.5 in previous graduate study is required.
  • Admission to the PhD program is a holistic decision based on an integrated review of the entire admissions credential file. The deadline for having a complete admissions credential file is January 1.

Credit Hours Required

72 graduate credit hours: to include minimum of 48 graduate credit hours beyond the master’s degree and 24 credit hours of course 600 dissertation.

Required Courses

  • ELPS Foundations (3 courses / 9 credit hours)
  • Research Core (6 courses / 18 credit hours)
  • Higher Education Core (5 courses / 15 credit hours)
  • Electives (2 courses / 6 credit hours)
    • Students must select at a minimum two graduate-level electives, in consultation with their advisor. The electives may be selected from outside the department.
  • Dissertation (minimum 24 credit hours)
    • ELPS 600  (minimum 24 credit hours required)
      • All students must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours of dissertation (ELPS 600) with a grade of Pass to earn the PhD degree. Once enrollment in ELPS 600 has begun, the student must continually register for a minimum of 3 credit hours every semester until the dissertation is defended and submitted.

Non-Course Requirements

  • The comprehensive examination is taken near or at the completion of coursework. The examination involves a written and an oral component. An overall GPA of 3.5 is required to take the comprehensive examination.
  • Successful completion and defense of a dissertation.
  • There are different schedule options available within this program for full-time and part-time students. Please contact Dr. Patrick Biddix (pbiddix@utk.edu) for more information.