Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Higher Education

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

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

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Click the boxes below for additional details on each item

Deadlines

All applicants
December 1

Application Form

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

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A non-refundable application fee of $65 is required, however, this fee is waived for select applicants. 

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

Undergraduate transcripts are required as part of the application process and graduate transcripts are accepted, but not required. Please note the following:

  • Only official transcripts, bearing the official seal of the institution and the signature of the relevant administrator, are acceptable.
  • Copies and unofficial transcripts are not acceptable.
  • If you are a current student and have not completed your undergraduate degree at the time your transcript is sent, the most updated version of your transcript is acceptable.

 

Transcripts must be mailed to the following 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

International applicants are encouraged to apply to the Lynch School of Education. Learn about requirements for international students.