Ph.D. in Higher Education

Build the foundation for a research career in post-secondary education. At Morgridge, you will be highly involved in research from Day one. From day one you will begin working directly with a faculty member and continue throughout the entirety of your coursework; this includes engaging in faculty members’ research programs, presenting at national conferences, and publishing with faculty members.

Through knowledge sharing and experience, you will build cutting-edge applied research skills and strategies to address concerns of equity, social justice, and public good within the context of governance, policy, and outcomes in higher education. You will leave our program with deep expertise and a wide network of higher education professionals.


The program learning outcomes for the Ph.D. in Higher Education are as follows:

  • Articulate and apply primary theories and models of postsecondary education organization, governance, funding, access, and success.
  • Appraise how public policy and social/political contexts influence postsecondary education settings and outcomes for diverse individuals and groups.
  • Distinguish and appraise the significance of postsecondary education as a social institution in U.S. society.
  • Identify and critically analyze current trends and persistent problems in postsecondary education.
  • Demonstrate an area of expertise within the study of postsecondary education
  • Develop ability to conduct independent, original research on a higher education topic.
Program Requirements

To apply to our Ph.D. program, you must have a master’s degree or higher.

Once you are in the program, you will need to complete 90 quarter-credit hours and a comprehensive exam. You must also complete a dissertation. Your dissertation will give you the opportunity to contribute new academic research to a specific concern in higher education.

Approximate Completion Time

Four to five years with full-time enrollment


Department Chair
Dr. Bruce Uhrmacher
303-871-2483, KRH 344

Academic Services Associate
Anna Millies
303-871-2494, KRH 351

Admissions Contact
Rachel Riley
303-871-2509, KRH 110
Office Hours: By appointment only


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