Degree overview
The doctoral program in higher education at the University of Maine prepares ethical, visionary, informed and competent programmatic and institutional leaders in increasingly diverse and technologically advanced colleges and universities. The degree provides mid-career professionals with the theoretical and practical frameworks to understand colleges and universities as complex organizations within the American social context, including foundations in leadership, law and policy, socio-cultural identity differences/diversity, ethical professional practice, historical context, research and technological competence. Students develop advanced research skills to explore critical questions related to these areas through coursework, evaluating existing scholarship, and by conducting original research.

Careers in Higher Education
Our graduates have gone on to work in a number of positions in higher education at a variety of institutions, including jobs in academic advising, campus activities and programs, student conduct, residence life, career services and more.

Program delivery
The higher education doctoral program requires 90 credit hours. The program consists of a variety of group and individualized experiences, culminating in a dissertation. These include:

  • Professional core (18 credit hours) providing a broad, common strand of doctoral level coursework required of all students in the higher education program.
  • Research foundation (minimum 12 credit hours) providing expertise in evaluating and conducting research in educational settings, including basic statistics and introductory qualitative research, research design and either advanced statistics or advanced qualitative research.
  • Professional specialization (minimum 18 credit hours) consisting of interdisciplinary courses tailored to the student’s professional goals, needs and interests. May include master’s work and work transferred from other institutions.
  • Applied internship or field research and dissertation research (minimum 6 credit hours) structured to solve problems or produce knowledge with direct applicability to higher education practice.

To apply
Admission requires a master’s for which 45 to 60 credits may be applied to the doctoral degree upon approval by program faculty. The master’s need not be in the education field.

Application deadline: Dec. 1, 2017 with decisions by Feb. 1, 2018.

Graduate school applications are available online.

In addition, candidates to the higher education doctoral program will be expected to submit their CV/resume, an academic writing sample, and a response to a prompt about diversity in higher education. Applicants will also be asked to participate in an interview with faculty.

Interested applicants should contact Program Coordinator Elizabeth Allan.

Higher Education faculty

Elizabeth Allan, Ph.D., Professor, Program Coordinator
Suzanne Estler, Ph.D., Associate Professor Emerita
Kathleen Gillon, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor
Leah Hakkola, Ph.D., Assistant Professor