Higher Education doctoral program

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.

Tuition and fees
For current information about tuition and fees, please visit the Bursar’s office.

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.

A minimum graduate GPA of 3.5 is desired. For Applicants with a graduate GPA of 3.5 or above, the GRE test is optional. For Applicants with a graduate GPA below 3.5, submission of the GRE score is strongly recommended but not required.

For those wishing to be competitive for graduate school awards, including scholarships and fellowships, GRE or MAT scores should be submitted to be kept on file with the Graduate School.

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

Application deadline: Dec. 1 for consideration of fall admission.

Prior to admission, interested applicants are encouraged to enroll in one or more courses as non-degree status students. These credits can be applied to your degree upon admission. Permission from instructor is required.

Graduate school applications are available online.

Interested applicants should contact Program Coordinator Elizabeth Allan. For general inquiries, please email hed@maine.edu.

Higher Education faculty

Elizabeth Allan, Ph.D., Professor of Higher Education, Program Coordinator
Kathleen Gillon, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Higher Education
Leah Hakkola, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Higher Education
Ezekiel Kimball, Ph.D., Professor of Higher Education

Additional Information

Professional Learning Outcomes and Curriculum Plan information