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Prepare to conduct research as a faculty member, researcher, government employee, or policy scholar. You’ll work with faculty with a range of interests and expertise to examine issues of access and equity, state and federal policy development, workplace learning, and institutional leadership, development, and assessment. Full-time PhD students are eligible for our competitive funding package.

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Degree Details

Official Degree Title

PhD in Higher Education

Full-time or Part-time

Admissions is alternate years only.
The next application deadline is December 2, 2024 for a start date of September 2025.

Our curriculum includes an extensive and rigorous sequence of research courses that will prepare you for the dissertation, which focuses on a question that requires the combined use of literature, and a research problem that is empirically investigated. The curriculum offers significant flexibility to ensure that you can construct an individualized program to support your research interests.

To be admitted to PhD candidacy, you will prepare and defend a candidacy paper, which is an analytical synthesis of the research and related scholarly literature on a researchable problem of significant interest to higher and postsecondary education. Your PhD dissertation will be an empirical study that results in the creation of new knowledge.

Our doctoral students come from a broad range of backgrounds. Some students have extensive previous experience as higher education administrators and some have held teaching positions within universities. Others have had significant experience in higher education policy. The program takes advantage of the wide range of backgrounds of our students to create a vibrant educational experience, embracing important contemporary issues shaping culture and practice in higher education. 
Before applying, we encourage you to speak with faculty via a campus visit. If you cannot make a campus visit, please arrange a telephone appointment with a faculty member who shares a mutual research interest with you. To arrange a visit or a phone appointment, please contact

Funding for Full-Time PhD Students

NYU Steinhardt offers a competitive funding package for PhD students who study full time. Learn more about Steinhardt's funding opportunities.

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