Higher Education, Ph.D.

At the doctoral level, Boston College offers the doctorate of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Higher Education. The doctoral program is designed to prepare experienced practitioners for senior administrative and policy-making posts, and careers in teaching/research in the field of higher education. The program has several specific programmatic foci that permit students to specialize in an area of interest. Among these are:

  • Administration and policy analysis in higher education
  • Student development and student affairs
  • International and comparative higher education
  • Historical and philosophical foundations of higher education
  • Finance and economics of higher education
  • Organizational culture and change
  • The academic profession

In addition, students may choose other topics which are relevant to the administration of post-secondary education and to research. A special feature is the Center for International Higher Education, linking the Lynch School higher education program with Jesuit colleges and universities worldwide. This initiative, as well as other international efforts, provides a significant global focus to the higher education program.

Financial Assistance

Education should level the playing field – we feel the same way about financial aid.

The Lynch School of Education provides more than $7.5 million in financial aid to students each year. As a result, the quality of BC’s instruction, the benefit of our alumni network, and the impact a BC degree will have on your employment options is both affordable and invaluable. Here’s why:

At a Glance

How many courses?

This program consists of 19 courses for a total of 54 credits. 


How long will it take?

Full time students will typically complete the program in 4-5 years.
Part time students can take 4-6 years to complete the program.


When can I start?

Students can begin the program only in the fall semester.


Program Faculty & Expertise

What will I study?

Curriculum

  • Courses: 19
  • Credits: 54
  • Comprehensve Exam
Course Course Title Credit
ELHE 7101

Higher Education in American Society

An introduction to higher education in America, this course focuses on the complex relationships between colleges and universities, and the political and social systems of society.

3
ELHE 7103 Organization and Administration of Higher Education

Focuses on how the American university is organized and governed. Examines basic elements as well as structure and process of the American university. Considers such topics as models of governance, locus of control, leadership, and strategic environments for the American university.

3
ELHE 9501 

Doctoral Proseminar in K-16 Administration

This seminar is a required cornerstone course for doctoral Ph.D. students in the Educational Administration Program and the Higher Education Program. In addition to orienting students to doctoral studies and research, the course is designed to develop students' critical analysis of theoretical and empirical literature in their field, and to advance their knowledge of key concepts, issues, and theories in the field.

3
ELHE 9502 

Doctoral Research Seminar in K-16 Administration

This seminar considers a variety of research issues in higher education. Each year, the topic of the seminar will be announced by the faculty member who will be teaching the course. Students enrolled in this seminar are expected to write substantive papers that might lead to actual research products.

3

Where do our graduates work?

Merrimack College

Resident Director

The Legal Aid Society

Education Attorney

Princeton University

Communications & Outreach Coordinator

Fordham University

Admission Counselor

 

University of Connecticut

Career Consultant

Kyung Hee University

Policy Analyst

Monsignor Haddad Middle School

Guidance Counselor

Brown University

Study Abroad Advisor

University of Miami

Director of Enrollment Marketing and Operations

Elms College

President

Career paths chosen by previous graduates of the ELHE Department.

Application Information

Print

Click on each box below to find additional details on each item.

 

Deadlines

Regular Decision
December 1

Application Form

To be eligible for the doctoral program, applicants must already hold a master's degree.

 

Apply Now

A non-refundable application fee of $65 is required, however, this fee is waived for select applicants. To view the list of approved waivers, view the fee waiver form below.

Fee Waiver Form

Résumé

To be uploaded to your online Application Form

In addition to your academic history and relevant work experience, please include any licenses currently held, any social justice-related experience, any language skills other than English, and any research experience or publications.

Personal Statement

To be uploaded to your online Application Form.

In 1,000-1,500 words, describe your academic and professional goals, any experience relevant to this program, and your future plans, expectations, and aspirations.

Letters of Recommendation

Identification of recommenders/instructions to recommenders are outlined in the online Application Form.

Three letters of recommendation are required with at least one required from an academic source. Applicants with significant relevant professional experience may submit additional recommendations from supervisors.

Transcripts

Unofficial transcripts may be uploaded to your online Application Form for purposes of application review. However, official transcript(s) must also be submitted upon acceptance/matriculation. Both undergraduate and graduate transcripts are required.

Official transcripts should be sent to the following address:

Boston College, Lynch School of Education
Data Processing Center
P.O. Box 8027
Portsmouth, NH 03802

For FedEx or UPS shipments, please use this address:

Boston College, Lynch School of Education

Office of Graduate Admission, Financial Aid, and Student Services
Campion Hall 135
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Standardized Tests

An unofficial score report may be uploaded to your online Application Form; however, an official score report – sent directly from ETS – must also be submitted by the application deadline.

  • This program requires all applicants to have taken the GRE in a maximum of 5 years prior to application being submitted, regardless of previous academic coursework, previous degrees/credentials earned, and/or professional experience. No exceptions will be made.

  • The GRE is the only exam that is acceptable for this program; the MAT, LSAT, MTEL, GMAT, and other exams may not be substituted for the GRE.

 

For more information about the GRE exam, including test dates and testing sites, visit https://www.ets.org/gre.

Lynch School of Education GRE Code: 3218

Writing Sample

To be uploaded to your online Application Form

All applicants to this program are required to submit one piece of work that demonstrates graduate-level writing ability. This document may be an academic term paper, a published work in which you are the primary author, a training manual or curriculum that you have created, a clinical case formulation, or another representative sample of your writing. The document should be approximately 15-25 pages.

International Students

An international applicant is defined as any person that requires a student visa in order to study in the United States. International applicants are eligible to apply to any graduate program in The Lynch School, provided they have successfully completed the equivalent of a United States bachelor degree and have the appropriate diplomas and/or satisfactory results on transcripts or leaving examinations from the country in which the degree was earned. International applicants must complete all program-specific application requirements as well as additional requirements outlined below.

Transcripts

Applicants that have completed a degree outside of the United States must have a course-by-course evaluation of their transcript(s) completed by an evaluation company approved by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). Click HERE for a complete list of NACES-approved evaluators. Submission of falsified documents is grounds for denial of admission or dismissal from the University.

English Proficiency

All applicants whose primary language is not English (or for whom English is not one of their primary languages) are required to submit proof of satisfactory English proficiency. At this time, the only acceptable forms of proof for English proficiency are the TOEFL and IELTS exams (certificates of completion from English-language schools are not currently accepted). Below are the minimum scores required.

TOEFL iBT = 100 minimum

IELTS – 7.0 minimum

An official score report must be sent directly from Educational Testing Services (TOEFL). TOEFL School Code: 3240.

Exemptions

Applicants that meet either of the criteria below do not need to submit proof of English proficiency.

  • Applicants who completed an undergraduate OR graduate degree from a regionally-accredited institution within the United States

  • Applicants who completed an undergraduate OR graduate degree at an institution outside of the United States where the language of instruction was English

Conditional Acceptance

The Lynch School offers Conditional Acceptance to applicants that fulfill all academic requirements for admission to and are accepted to the program, but whose level of English proficiency does not meet the minimum requirements. In these cases, admitted students will be granted conditional admission, but will have to retake the TOEFL or IELTS exam and submit an official score report that shows the minimum score has been met no later than six weeks prior to the start of the semester in which the student’s program will begin. If a student with conditional admission does not submit a passing TOEFL or IELTS score within the allotted time frame, he/she will be granted a deferral to start in a future semester, no later than one year from the original start term. Due to this policy, we strongly encourage international applicants to apply as early as possible in order to ensure that these conditions can be met.