The M.S.Ed. in Higher Education requires 10 course units and can be completed in one academic year of full-time study. The program is designed for those people who are in the early stages of their higher education careers and are seeking a better understanding of how the enterprise of higher education is structured, governed, financed, and managed. There is no typical M.S.Ed. student, although most fit into one of three groups: recent college graduates, people with one to three years of experience in higher education, or those experienced in the corporate world and now shifting to a higher education career. All share the need for foundational knowledge of the enterprise, which is provided in the core courses. The curriculum is based on interactive case studies, discussion-oriented seminars, individual and group projects, and hands-on, work-based applications of learning. This includes twenty hours a week as a graduate assistant, learning about higher education administration from a practical perspective.
The core curriculum provides a broad, foundational knowledge of the enterprise of higher education. Typically, full-time students take five course units in the fall term and five in the spring term. Part-time students usually take one or two courses each semester, beginning with the core courses. The elective courses may be taken from any of the graduate schools at Penn with advisor permission. One distribution course (any course outside of the higher education program area) is also required.
EDUC 504 Contemporary Issues in Higher Education EDUC 607 Faculty and Academic Governance EDUC 640 History of American Higher Education EDUC 642 Higher Education in American Society
Master's Comprehensive Examination
Students must pass the comprehensive examination in order to complete the program. The exam requires students to demonstrate familiarity with the literature and a foundational knowledge of higher education. The exam is offered in both the fall and spring semesters.
To view GSE course offerings, click here.
The Ed.D. in Higher Education is for experienced professionals who wish to continue their careers as practitioners. This part-time program emphasizes the practice of education and consultation in colleges and universities, governmental agencies, and foundations. Ed.D. students attain a broad comprehension of higher education through completion of core doctoral classes that are designed to facilitate their understanding of research and completion of a dissertation. In addition to these courses, doctoral students draw on their professional work experience to develop the skills they will need to conduct quality primary research in higher education administration. Students' work experience (acquired professionally) will provide insights into issues facing universities and may provide students with possible dissertation topics.
The program requires a minimum of 20 course units. Upon faculty approval, transfer credit for up to eight courses is available for doctoral students who have completed some graduate-level academic work. The required courses for the Ed.D. program are Proseminar in Research and Analysis, Research Topics, Research on Higher Education, and Higher Education Finance. In addition, students are required to complete two methods courses, one of which must be in quantitative methods. Other coursework may be required in individual situations (e.g., students without a master's degree in higher education may be required to take some of the core courses for the M.S.Ed. program). All remaining courses required to fulfill the 20-course requirement are electives. To view GSE course offerings, click here.
Ed.D. students must pass the preliminary examination in order to proceed on to their dissertation proposal. This examination takes the form of a qualifying paper, which involves the production of a literature review on a topic (or topics) directly relevant to the student's proposed area of inquiry.
All doctoral students must satisfy a residency requirement which is defined as completion of at least four course units within two successive terms in University courses approved for graduate credit by GSE as a condition for earning the degree.
The Ed.D. dissertation explores a problem of practice at one or more postsecondary institutions. Students have five years to complete the writing of the dissertation.
GSE offers an executive format higher education Ed.D. program. For more information, click here.
The Ph.D. in Higher Education is for students preparing for an academic career in the field of higher education administration. Ph.D. students must attain a broad understanding of higher education through completion of the M.S.Ed. core, prior relevant coursework, or work experience. In addition, doctoral students will, through coursework and a research assistantship, develop the skills needed to conduct quality primary research in higher education. These skills include (1) understanding research in higher education; (2) designing primary research; (3) evaluating policies and programs; and (4) analyzing qualitative and quantitative data.
The Ph.D. program requires a minimum of 20 course units. Upon faculty approval, transfer credit up to eight courses is available for doctoral students who have already completed some graduate-level academic work.
The Ph.D. program in Higher Education is highly individualized. The program requires students to complete two methods courses and a cognate in another academic discipline. One of the two methods courses must be in quantitative methods. Students will work closely with their academic advisor to determine their cognate interests and the appropriate courses for their program of study. To view GSE course offerings, click here.
Ph.D. students must pass the preliminary examination in order to proceed to their dissertation proposal. Students must demonstrate a familiarity with the literature of higher education, a foundational knowledge of higher education, and the ability to design a research study that seeks to answer a research question concerned with some aspect of higher education. The preliminary exam is offered in both the fall and spring semesters.
The dissertation is a book-length presentation of original research relating to an aspect of higher education administration.
Joni Finney, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University Marybeth Gasman, Ph.D., Indiana University Shaun Harper, Ph.D., Indiana University Matthew Hartley, Ed.D., Harvard University Blake Naughton, Ph.D., Stanford University
Laura W. Perna, Ph.D., University of Michigan Robert Zemsky, Ph.D., Yale University
For More Information
Karen Carter, Coordinator Higher Education Division Graduate School of Education 3700 Walnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19104-6216 (215) 898-2444 HED Staff: email@example.com