Our doctoral program in higher education will prepare you for a variety of professional paths, including leadership positions in college and university administration, higher education faculty and policy research. Our program focuses on issues of concern to scholars and leaders in all types of higher education institutions. Given the variety of positions that you can pursue post-graduation, your advisor will work individually with you to craft a course of study and pursue experiences that will help you meet your individual goals.
The features of our program include:
|Academic credential granted||Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)|
|Credits required for completion||72|
|Time to completion||4 to 5+ years|
|Course delivery||On campus|
|Application deadline||Jan. 1|
ELP 501 Higher Education in the U.S.
ELP 502 Historical Bases of Higher Education
ELP 505 Organization and Governance
ELP 507 Financing of Higher Education
ELP 509 The American College Student
ELP 513 Cultural Diversity in Higher Education
A minimum of two courses is required in advanced quantitative research methods, preferably CEP 522 and CEP 523.
A minimum of one course is required in qualitative research methods.
At least one additional 3-credit advanced research methodology course in your dissertation area.
You are required to develop a minor area in consultation with your faculty advisor. Courses may be taken outside of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy or the Graduate School of Education.
You are encouraged to take electives in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy or in other departments. Electives change periodically, but may include:
ELP 500 Nature of Inquiry
ELP 503 Intercollegiate Athletics in Higher Education
ELP 508 Community/Junior College
ELP 510 College Access and Choice in the U.S.
ELP 511 Comparative Higher Education
ELP 512 Readings in Higher Education
ELP 514 Student Development Theory
ELP 528 Law and Higher Education
ELP 534 Critical Issues in Higher Education
ELP 566 Comparative and Global Studies in Education
ELP 686 Educational Transitions: P-20
ELP 687 Sociology of Higher Education
ELP 693 Multicultural Competence in Student Affairs
ELP 601 Higher Education Doctoral Qualifying Seminar
If you begin your doctoral program on or after fall 2019, you will take your comprehensive examination by enrolling in this course: a semester-long project related to your proposed dissertation topic.
ELP 702 Dissertation Research
You must continue to register for ELP 702 until your dissertation is complete. A minimum of 3 credits per semester is preferred. Consult with your advisor prior to registration.
ELP 501, ELP 502, and your quantitative and qualitative research courses should be taken early in your doctoral program.
Assistantships are available in a variety of areas that change from year to year. Compensation for positions ranges from hourly pay only to a stipend to tuition remission plus a stipend. Generally, assistantships require 20 hours of work per week.
The application process for assistantships is separate from the program admission process. Assistantship opportunities are posted for the following academic year in mid-January, from offices on campus such as Campus Living, Career Services, Student Engagement, Intercultural and Diversity Center, among others.
While assistantships are limited, new opportunities become available throughout summer and into the fall semester.
If you are accepted into the higher education (doctoral) or the higher education administration/student affairs administration (master’s) programs, check back here for updates on available positions and how to apply. Interviews for assistantships typically take place during the higher education program’s Open House and Assistantship Day (end of February/beginning of March). In addition to interviewing positions, you will have an opportunity to learn more about UB and the higher education program, network with current and accepted students, and meet program faculty. For those unable to come to campus for Assistantship Day, offices will conduct phone interviews, although we highly encourage you to attend in person, if possible.
In an effort to make the application process more equitable, the GRE/MAT is no longer required for admissions consideration for those applying to this program through the fall 2022 semester. If you still plan to take the GRE/MAT exam, you can send your scores through the testing agency, and they will automatically be added to your application; however, they are not required for admission consideration to this program.
You must have a bachelor's and master's degree.
Submit your completed online application, which includes:
Faculty Interview: After applications are submitted and reviewed, you may be offered an interview with the faculty.
Former/Maiden Name: Please provide us with your former/maiden name if you have one. When requesting transcripts, please ask the sending institution to indicate your current name and former/maiden name.
Admission Decision: The admission decision will be communicated to you as soon as review is complete. The decision is based on a number of factors and is the result of a thorough and deliberate process. All decisions are final and cannot be appealed.
All financial forms and supporting documentation with required signatures must be uploaded with your application, and must be dated within one year of your intended enrollment date.
If you are currently unable to take the IELTS, PTE or TOEFL tests because they are canceled due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the University at Buffalo will accept the Duolingo English Test (DET) for proof of English proficiency. This test can be taken online, in your own home. More information can be found on the Graduate School’s website.
The TOEFL iBT® Special Home Edition is a safe and convenient option for students who are unable to take the TOEFL iBT test at a test center due to public health concerns.