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This researched-oriented doctoral degree will prepare you to conduct research in career as a faculty member, researcher, government employee, or policy scholar. You’ll examine issues of access and equity, state and federal policy, workplace learning, and institutional development and assessment. 

An EdD program in Higher Education Administration is also available. 

Official Degree Title

PhD in Higher Education



Plan Code





Full-time or Part-time


Admissions Timeline/Information Session

The Program in Higher Education has adopted an alternate year admissions process whereby candidates will be admitted every other year on the following timeline:

Entrance in Fall 2024: no cohort

Entrance in Fall 2025: December 1, 2024 application deadline 

Entrance in Fall 2026: no cohort


Candidates will begin their studies in the Fall of odd-numbered years with the deadline for application being the previous December 1 (even-numbered year).

How to Apply

These instructions and requirements are for all applicants. If you are not a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States, please read the special instructions for international applicants.

Your application will require the following items. The following are acceptable document types for uploads: .pdf, .jpeg, .jpg, .gif, .tiff, .png, .doc, .docx, and bitmap.

1. Prepare Your Application


You are required to upload a copy of your most recent résumé or curriculum vitae as part of your application.

Statement of Purpose

You are required to upload a typed, double-spaced, two- to three-page statement explaining your purpose in undertaking graduate study in this particular program as part of your application. This is your opportunity to introduce yourself and to inform the admissions committee about your goals, interests, and career plans as they relate to your intended academic pursuits.

Letters of Recommendation

Submit three letters of recommendation. Be sure to request them well in advance of the deadline. Read detailed instructions.


Upload one official copy of transcripts from every postsecondary school you have attended or are attending. Make sure to request them in advance of the deadline.

If you completed or are completing a degree at an institution outside of the US or Canada, you are required to provide a WES or ECE evaluation. Please review our requirements for translation and a course-by-course evaluation of your transcripts.

See detailed instructions on submitting transcripts.

GRE or Writing Sample

Applicants are required to submit either an official GRE test score or a solo-authored academic writing sample. It is your choice which one you submit. The admissions committee does not weigh one option over the other. This writing sample is intended to demonstrate your ability to engage in critical academic writing. This may be a course paper from your previous studies, a research report related to your work, or an excerpt from a longer piece (e.g., master's thesis). If there is no suitable paper, you can submit a new paper. The writing sample should be about 15 pages in length excluding references (double space, 12-point font, 1-inch margins).

For those applicants who plan to submit an official GRE test score, see testing requirementsyou do not have to provide a writing sample. 

Proficiency in English

2. Apply


Start your application now

After you fill in and upload the required information, you can submit your completed application. Your application must be completed, dated, electronically signed, and submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST of the stated deadline.

Application Fee

You will be prompted to pay a $75 application fee, payable by major credit card only. After submitting your payment, you will see your application status change from “saved” to “submitted.” Please print this screen for your records, as it confirms that your application has been successfully sent to our school. If you have problems submitting your payment, please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions. Learn more about our fee waiver policy.

Mailing Additional Items

If any application materials need to be mailed to our office, mail the materials to NYU Steinhardt, Office of Graduate Admissions, 82 Washington Square East, 3rd Floor New York, NY 10003-6680.  Please do not mail your materials in binders or folders. Any mailed materials must be received by, not postmarked by, the stated deadline. Only completed applications will be considered and reviewed by the Admissions Committee. Due to high volume, we are unable to confirm receipt of mailed materials.

3. Receive Your Admission Decision


You will be notified about your decision by email. Typically, decisions will start going out in late March or early April for fall enrollment. You may learn of your decision before or after this timeline.

Application Policies

Application deadlines are "in-office" deadlines, not postmark deadlines. It is your responsibility to ensure that all materials are in the Office of Graduate Admissions by the appropriate deadline, and we reserve the right to return any application that arrives after the deadline. Only completed applications will be considered. Should a deadline fall on a weekend, the in-office deadline will be the next business day. We advise you to apply early.

Please check the online system to confirm that you have successfully submitted your application. Due to the volume of applications and related materials received, the Office of Graduate Admissions will only contact you if your application was successfully submitted and is deemed incomplete because of missing required materials. Otherwise, you will hear from us when the admissions committee has made its decision.

Deferral policy: NYU Steinhardt does not allow deferrals. Applicants who wish to be considered for a future semester must reapply by submitting a new application with all supporting materials, including letters of recommendations, by the application deadline.