Ph.D. in Higher Education and Student Affairs Leadership

Program Description

The Higher Education and Student Affairs Leadership (HESAL) Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree is a blended 64 credit hour program designed to equally prepare doctoral students for administrative and academic careers. Graduates may pursue positions as senior-level administrators, institutional researchers, policy analysts, or faculty members in higher education. The Ph.D. program builds on the foundation of a master's degree by expanding and deepening students' understanding of scholarly writing, research design and methodology, leadership, policy, student development, and social justice.

For specific details on program requirements, curriculum, and course descriptions, please consult the University of Northern Colorado's Graduate Catalog.

The Ph.D. program is offered at two locations. Full-time students pursue their studies at the main campus in Greeley, CO. Part-time students may choose to matriculate at either the main campus or the University of Northern Colorado's Lowry Center located in Denver, CO. While the learning environments are designed to provide equivalent experiences with the same faculty, the Denver program is administrated through the Office of Extended Studies.

Program Approach to Doctoral Study

The doctoral program begins with a cohort including 8-12 students that collectively complete a research and writing core. The model encourages a mutually supportive environment that facilitates collaborative learning and establishes lasting personal relationships that aid in career development and ongoing professional growth. The program also encourages and accommodates the specific academic and professional goals of each student through the development of an individualized learning plan with the assistance of a faculty advisor.

Commitment to Diversity

The HESAL Program is committed to social justice in an atmosphere of social care. Specifically, we are committed to creating an atmosphere which supports multiple perspectives and diverse students, both in the pursuit of individual research and as a community of scholars. In addition to specific courses dedicated to the topic, multicultural perspectives are woven throughout the curriculum. Space is created for multiple voices through the use of literature, activities, and dialogue that challenge traditional paradigms and explore more inclusive perspectives regarding research, practice, and leadership. Additionally students are encouraged to approach the dissertation in ways that both contribute to the scholarly literature and are culturally congruent with who students are and how they make meaning of the world.

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