- Course Requirements
- Comprehensive Examinations
- Transferring Units
- Sequence of Courses
- Additional Requirements
- Guided Inquiry Project and Dissertation Proposal
- Study Load
- Time to Degree Completion
The Ph.D. program requires 54 units beyond the master’s degree, not including the required dissertation units. Most courses are four units, with some two-unit courses. Some elective courses are offered in conjunction with travel to professional conferences or to international universities. The required research seminars each term meet between sessions, often in conjunction with professional conferences. Please read the complete course descriptions for more information.
|Required Courses||40 units|
HED 701Strengths-Oriented Leadership
HED 702The Nature of Inquiry
HED 704Ethical Issues in Higher Education
HED 721Diversity and Social Justice in Higher Education
HED 726Policy Analysis in Higher Education
HED 727Introduction to U.S. Higher Education
HED 742Qualitative Research Methods
HED 744Research Design and Statistics
HED 760Research Seminars
HED 790Doctoral Seminar in Research Studies
|Concentration Courses||10 units|
HED 712Leading Change in Higher Education
HED 725Administration in Higher Education
HED 728Policy and Politics
HED 707Principles of Student Retention
HED 708College Impact on Student Success
HED 737Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
HED 743Program Evaluation in Higher Education
|Elective Courses||4 units|
|Choose two of the following:|
HED 723Higher Education and the Law
HED 761Strengths-oriented Research and Programming
HED 780International Higher Education Policy and Practice
HED 798Special Topics
|When students successfully complete HED 790 and begin dissertation work with their committee, they enroll in HED 794 for one semester (3 units) and then in HED 795 for each semester thereafter until the dissertation has been successfully defended. Enrollment in HED 795 is at a 50-percent reduction in tuition. Enrollment in these courses entitles a student access to faculty and university resources, including library databases and the services of the doctoral research librarian. These courses do not count toward the total unit requirement for the Ph.D. Continuous enrollment is required until the dissertation is successfully defended. Students are considered full time from the proposal (HED 790) through the completion of the dissertation (HED 794 and HED 795).|
HED 794Dissertation Research
HED 795Dissertation Research
|Students may petition to take an independent study course to substitute for an elective course.|
HED 799Readings in Higher Education
All students enrolled in the Ph.D. in Higher Education program must pass all of their comprehensive examinations before defending their dissertation proposal and advancing to candidacy. Normally, these exams are completed before enrolling in HED 790, the course where the dissertation proposal is written.
Students in the Ed.D. program may transfer up to 12 units from another regionally accredited doctoral program. Students in the Ph.D. program may transfer in up to 18 units of doctoral work from another regionally accredited university. Official transcripts and course descriptions must be submitted. The program director will determine the courses that successfully transfer.
Sequence of Courses
The Ph.D. has two concentrations: Organizational Leadership and Student Success. Because this program is designed in a cohort model, students take courses in January and July in a specified sequence as follows:
July: HED 726, 745, or 760 (research seminar), and electives
January: HED 704, 760 (research seminar), and 790
Student success track takes HED 743 and an elective
Organizational Leadership track takes HED 728 and an elective
Grading and Grade-point Average
Throughout higher education, and particularly at the doctoral level, commitment to learning should outweigh the pursuit of grades. Nonetheless, grading and the grade-point average continue to play a crucial role in students’ careers. For doctoral students, the grade of B is considered average; a grade below B- is not applied toward doctoral degree requirements.
A doctoral student whose cumulative grade-point average falls below 3.0 or who has any grade below B- is placed on academic probation. Students whose cumulative grade-point average has not reached 3.0 by the end of two terms on probation may be dismissed from the program.
A doctoral student whose grade-point average falls between 3.0 and 3.2 or who earns eight credits or more of B- grades is required to meet with his/her advisor to identify academic skills that may need to be strengthened and to plan appropriate action.
Policies regarding incompletes and withdrawals are set forth in the Academic Policies and Procedures section of the academic catalog.
To evaluate success in meeting program goals and uphold the mission and objectives of the university and the School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences, the program design includes an extensive array of procedures for quality control and assessment. These include a first-year review, which calls for a self-assessment, a portfolio of coursework, and a written qualifying exam. The student’s academic performance is also reviewed. Continuation in the program is contingent upon a successful first-year review.
Guided Inquiry Project and Dissertation Proposal
In the second year of the program, Ed.D. students enroll in HED 748 and begin the Guided Inquiry Project (GIP). A faculty mentor oversees the project, which is usually a literature review or pilot study leading toward the dissertation. A second doctoral faculty member is part of the GIP Committee. Upon successful completion of HED 748 and HED 749 Guided Inquiry Project and at least 42 units, the student may enroll in HED 790.
Ph.D. Students: Students in the Ph.D. program may enroll in HED 790 and begin the dissertation proposal after completing 48 units of coursework.
Critical Issues Conference
Christian perspectives and moral and ethical issues in higher education form an essential strand in the doctoral program and are embedded within many courses and activities. The course specifically dedicated to this topic, HED 704, is required of all students.
In addition, students must attend two of the annual program conferences on research or current issues in higher education, which are offered each July.
Advancement to Candidacy
Following successful completion of all coursework and approval of the dissertation proposal, students are advanced to doctoral candidacy status.
The final step in the doctoral program is to design, implement, and write a research-based dissertation. Standards and procedures for the dissertation are defined by the doctoral faculty and are provided to students in a Dissertation Handbook.
Continuous enrollment in HED 790, HED 794, and HED 795 is expected until the dissertation has been successfully defended.
The student defends the dissertation in a meeting with the faculty committee that is open to all faculty in the department. Subsequently, the student participates in a public presentation of the research.
To be classified as a full-time doctoral student, one must be enrolled in at least 6 units per term. Half-time status is 3 units per term. At the dissertation level, students are considered full time if they are enrolled in any one of the following courses: HED 790, HED 794, or HED 795.
Time to Degree Completion
Doctoral students are permitted eight years from the date of initial enrollment to complete all requirements for the Ph.D. degree. Extensions beyond the eight-year limit may be granted at the discretion of the program director and the dean of the School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences. Students needing an extension due to unusual circumstances must make their request to the program director in writing, stating the reasons for the extension and the expected date of degree completion.