Why earn a Ph.D. in higher education at UND?

Application Deadlines
March 15* | Aug. 1
Oct. 15 | Dec. 1

*Priority deadline

The doctoral program in higher education follows a scholar-practitioner model. It is designed for students preparing for positions that balance research, theory and practice.

  • Participate in a community of learners with students and faculty from diverse academic and professional backgrounds.
  • Take courses all year with support of library, technology and advising.
  • Design and develop academic and co-curricular programs.
  • Apply theory to practice to show influences on student outcomes, higher education organization development, and policy deliberations.
  • Experience diversity as a key component of the program design, curriculum, and coursework.
  • Develop methodological expertise in quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods.
  • Complete a publishable doctoral dissertation.

Higher Education Doctoral Program

  • In addition to core requirements, students take courses in research methods and electives.

  • Students study governance, organization, administration, college student experiences and policy impact.

  • Students investigate the issues that influence student outcomes, development of higher education organizations, administrative practices, and policy deliberations.

  • Up to 30 credits from a master's degree may be transferred from another institution.

Careers in Higher Education


Median annual wage for postsecondary education administrators. Salary and benefits for deans and college presidents far exceed the median.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Projected job growth for postsecondary education administrators through 2028.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Recent higher education doctoral graduates have obtained mid-level and upper administrative positions at colleges and universities. These include key decision-making posts in academic and student affairs as well as the top presidential job. Our graduates also hold influential policy positions in state or federal government or pursue faculty careers in colleges and universities.

Position titles for UND higher education Ph.D. graduates include:

  • University/college president
  • Vice president for academic affairs
  • Vice president for student affairs
  • Assistant vice president of student affairs for diversity & inclusion
  • Academic dean
  • Dean of students
  • Director of educational programs

UND Higher Education Alumni

Higher Education alumni have gone on to a variety of successful careers with:

  • Chartwells Dining
  • Morningside College
  • Career Development Center
  • Career Services, Inc.

Higher Education Courses You Could Take

Learn to Lead

UND provides a variety of options to develop your research and find your path to success.