College of Education and Human Services

The Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership, Management and Policy, offered through Seton Hall University's College of Education and Human Services, is designed to provide students with a broad understanding of the interrelated societal and organizational dimensions of higher education, in preparation for senior administrative, policy development and management posts in colleges and universities, as well as government agencies and foundations, or for careers in teaching and research. The program offers the opportunity to focus in areas, such as administration and education policy, international and comparative higher education, organizational culture and change, and the academic profession.
Who Should Apply?
Individuals who currently, or aspire to, serve in administrative positions in such areas as academic affairs, student affairs, admissions, financial aid, enrollment management, and planning and development in a community college, four-year college or university, or relevant government agency should apply to this program. If admitted to the program, students join a select group of highly qualified students with distinctive records of academic and/or professional achievement. A limited number of research and administrative assistantships are available on campus for full-time students. For specific application procedures, click on admission.
The Program
The Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership, Management and Policy is a 90-credit program that consists of an 18-credit core, foundations/interdisciplinary course, professional core and research requirement. Up to 45 graduate credits may be transferred into the program. Courses generally meet one day per week in the late afternoon and evening. Occasionally, courses are available on the weekend.
During the course of the program students will gain familiarity with:

  • Basic trends in American higher education enrollment, staffing, degree production, institutional types, financial resources, etc., since World War II;
  • The historical antecedents of contemporary higher education forms and practices;
  • How American forms and practices compare with those of other nations;
  • Current policy issues in American higher education (i.e. the capacity to "list" the ten most critical policy issues and the capacity to describe current debate on those issues);
  • The classics of higher education research and theory in the basic areas of curriculum and instruction, history, organization and governance, faculty and student issues, government policy and finance issues, and comparative higher education (reading list to be distributed);
  • Basic data resources related to higher education, e.g. federal databases, including HEGIS/IPEDS, NCES surveys, etc., major independent data sources, including Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the National Research Council, etc;
  • The non-campus organizational matrix of American higher education, including the increasing number of membership and advocacy organizations representing various constituencies, including, e.g., ACE, AAHE, AGB, AACU, AAU, etc.;
  • Basic methodology and method of social science research, including the process of finding and adequately describing research problems, statistical estimation and inference, hypothesis testing and basic research reporting;
  • The basic techniques of qualitative research and survey research;
  • Basic organization and leadership theory;
  • Theory and research on reflective professional practice, presented in the work of Schon and Argyris;
  • Basic learning theory and pedagogy (at the individual and organizational level); and
  • Ethical issues in organizational life and frameworks for the analysis of ethical dilemmas in practice.

For detailed program requirements, click on curriculum.
Career Advancement
Current students and recent graduates of the Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership, Management and Policy program were either employed by or accepted key posts at colleges and universities, including New Jersey Institute of Technology, Princeton University, St. John's University (NY), University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Eastern Michigan University, New Jersey City University, St. Peter's College, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Alverno College, Raritan Valley Community College, Ramapo College of New Jersey and Essex County College.

Program Director:
Rong Chen, Ph.D.
(973) 275-2823

For program inquiries:
Kevin Majewski, MA
Graduate Assistant
(973) 275-2861 


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