Loyola University Chicago

School of Education

PhD in Higher Education

The PhD in Higher Education is being suspended for the 2018-19 academic year. The year will allow faculty to make changes based on student and alumni feedback. The new PhD curriculum will be more flexible, aligned with our social justice mission, and better equipped to prepare graduates. We plan on launching the new curriculum in time for the Fall 2019 entering class.


The PhD in Higher Education program draws upon a rich, interdisciplinary theoretical and research base to illuminate thought and practice in postsecondary education in the United States. Students gain holistic and critical perspectives on college and university policies and practices. More specifically, students examine the roots of scientific inquiry and its bearing on research in the field of education. In addition to research-based coursework, a focused dissertation research project that advances knowledge in the field of higher education is required.

Students are prepared for a career in college teaching and educational research as well as for administrative positions in higher education institutions, higher education-related agencies, boards, and commissions. This degree is conferred by The Graduate School. Typically several years of full-time work experience (i.e., administration and/or teaching) in higher education is required.

Program benefits

  • Focus on socially just, critical, reflective, and ethical professional practice prepares students for careers as leaders in higher education.
  • Loyola's metropolitan Chicago location provides students with numerous opportunities for internships and professional experiences with a wide array of institutional types.
  • Small cohorts allow greater collaboration with program faculty for greater support. This includes opportunities to serve on research teams.

Explore the program

The Higher Education program Terry E. Williams Distinguished Alumnus/a Award is given for outstanding contributions through scholarship and service to the larger higher education profession. It is presented annually at the Loyola School of Education's alumni reception in the fall.

Next steps