Higher Education (Ph.D.)

Campus: Virginia Tech Blacksburg Campus

Instructions: Residential/On Campus 

Comprehensive program, designed to prepare higher education leaders for the challenges of tomorrow.

The Higher Education program is growing! While in the process of hiring additional faculty members, we will not admit any new Ph.D. students for Fall 2019. We regret the inconvenience and hope you will consider our program when we resume admissions for Fall 2020.

96 Semester Hours of Graduate Study

Small Cohorts
& High Student/
Professor Interaction

A Commitment to Diversity

Opportunities for Student Scholarship and Research

Our Higher Education Program

The doctoral program in Higher Education (HED) provides mid-level professionals with the essential knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes necessary for advanced practice in the field of student affairs and higher education administration. The Ph.D. in Higher Education is a 96-hour program that prepares graduates for a broad range of administrative and leadership positions in colleges and universities including academic affairs, student affairs, roles in policy, planning, and resource management, assessment, enrollment management, and others. Some graduates work as policy analysts for state and federal agencies, or professional organizations. The program also prepares students for faculty positions in graduate programs in higher education.

Why Study Higher Education Here?

Graduate professional education is concerned with enhancing a broad spectrum of talents in students. Some of these talents are addressed by structured, in-class activities determined primarily by faculty, while others are addressed by out-of-class activities that often are student-directed. Both types of learning opportunities are incorporated into each student's Plan of Study. The Higher Education program at Virginia Tech is built upon collegial relationships between faculty and students throughout the period of graduate study. Faculty serve as teachers, advisors, colleagues, and mentors to students.

What You’ll Study

The curriculum consists of studies in five areas: (1) Research/Measurement/Statistics, (2) Dissertation, (3) Foundations, (4) Concentration/Applied Studies, and (5) Cognate. A minimum total of 96 semester hours of graduate study, which includes the dissertation, is required for the doctoral degree. Since doctoral students matriculate with varying degrees of professional experience and master’s degrees from different institutions, each student’s program of doctoral study is individually designed and may include courses that are transferred in from the student’s master’s degree program.

The faculty advisor and student examine the student’s preparation and design a program of study that complements and enhances the student’s educational and professional experience and interests.

The Doctoral Program Guide provides detailed information on the curriculum, phases of doctoral studies and benchmarks along the way, and general expectations of students.

Career and Professional Development

Graduate students are prepared to work as student development educators and administrators in higher education. Specifically, students may expect post-graduate employment at cabinet levels of student affairs and academic administration or as faculty in graduate preparation programs. Many students have gone on to work with non-profit, governmental, and non-governmental policy-oriented organizations, as well.

Graduates from the HED Ph.D. program will acquire knowledge, skills, values and attitudes in four specific Areas:

  • Professional Practice,
  • Scholarship,
  • Professional Involvement, And
  • Service

Residency Requirement

Doctoral students enroll both full-time and part-time, the latter completing their degrees while employed. Students are typically required to enroll for nine hours for two consecutive semesters in order to complete their residency experience (alternative residency plans may also be approved). For most part-time students residency can be completed during the dissertation phase.

Blacksburg Campus

This degree program is offered at the Blacksburg campus. The Blacksburg campus offers students the full services of the university, including an extensive library, technology support, and the Graduate Life Center. 

Our Faculty 

Research Interests

  • Higher Education
  • Graduate Students
  • Race
  • Gender
  • Diversity
collaborate
Claire K. Robbins, Assistant Professor

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Program Highlights

Robbins, C. K. (in press). White women, racial identity, and learning about racism in graduate preparation programs. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice. b.

Robbins, C. K., & Jones, S. R. (in press). Negotiating racial dissonance: White women’s narratives of resistance, engagement, and transformative action. Journal of College Student Development.

Deadlines for Domestic and International Application
Applications for Fall 2020 are due on January 15, 2020.

The Higher Education program is growing! While in the process of hiring additional faculty members, we will not admit any new Ph.D. students for Fall 2019. We regret the inconvenience and hope you will consider our program when we resume admissions for Fall 2020.

CONTACT US

Claire K. Robbins
Program Leader
1750 Kraft Dr., Room 2007
Blacksburg, VA24060
540-231-2004
robbinsc@vt.edu

Ashley Barker
Graduate Assistant, Admissions Coordinator
1750 Kraft Drive, Room 2011
Blacksburg, VA 24060
frost@vt.edu

School of Education
226 War Memorial Hall (0313)
370 Drillfield Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061