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

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

This program will prepare you for senior administrative and policy-making posts, and careers in teaching/research in the field of higher education. With its specific programmatic foci, you can specialize in a variety of areas such as administration and policy analysis in higher education, international and comparative higher education, and the academic profession as a whole.

At a Glance

How many courses?

Most students take 18 courses (54 credits total). 

How long will it take?

Full-time students typically finish in 4-5 years.

When can I start?

You can begin the program only in the fall semester.


During this four-year research program, you are required to complete a dissertation reflecting individual research as well as a doctoral comprehensive exam. This competitive program is a full time, in-person program. 


  • Courses: 18
  • Credits: 54


Financial Aid

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

The Lynch School of Education and Human Development provides more than $8.4 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. 



  • Dean of Students
  • Director of Assessment and Planning
  • University President
  • Senior Director of Program Design
  • Policy Analyst
  • Director of Enrollment Marketing
  • Assistant Professor
  • Associate Professor


  • Harvard Unversity
  • University of Houston
  • Salve Regina University
  • uAspire
  • Kyung Hee University
  • University of Miami
  • University of Connecticut
  • Merrimack College
  • Elms College



Application & Deadlines

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Prerequisite Information: To be eligible for the PhD program, applicants must already hold a Master's degree.

A non-refundable application fee of $75 is required. The fee is waived for select applicants.

Fall 2023:

  • Deadline: December 1
    This program does not offer rolling admission after the deadline.


To be uploaded to your online application.

In addition to your academic history and relevant volunteer and/or 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.

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

Three letters of recommendation are required with at least one required from an academic source. Applicants may submit one additional recommendation of their choice. Academic letters are a better indicator of your qualifications for doctoral work as compared to professional letters. Ideally, academic letters should be as recent as possible, and from faculty who are in related fields. 


Transcripts from all college/university study are required.

Applicants who have received degrees from institutions outside the United States should view the "International Students" section for additional credential evaluation requirements.

Please begin your online application before submitting your transcripts. Details on how to submit transcripts and international credential evaluations can be found within the application. In order to ensure your transcript reaches our office, it is important to review and follow the instructions.

Standardized Tests

The Higher Education PhD program will not require the GRE for admission for 2023. You may submit GRE scores, but applicants are not required to do so.

For more information about the GRE exam, including test dates and testing sites, visit

Lynch School of Education and Human Development GRE Code: 3218

Please view the "International Students" section for information on English Proficiency test requirements.

Writing Sample

To be uploaded to your online application.

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

Applicants who 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). Submission of falsified documents is grounds for denial of admission or dismissal from the University.

Applicants who are not native speakers of English and who have not received a degree from an institution where English is the primary language of instruction must also submit a TOEFL or IELTS test result that meets the minimum score requirement.

Please click the link below for full details on these requirements.

Requirements for International Students

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