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College of Education

Doctor of Philosophy in Student Affairs
in Higher Education

Kansas State University’s Student Affairs in Higher Education program is designed for educators, administrators, direct service providers, and leaders who seek to enhance their knowledge and professional skills to assume positions in institutions of higher education or in education-related agencies. The Ph.D. program is for advanced students who desire to contribute to the knowledge base of higher education and leadership through a thorough grounding in research. The program emphasizes professional practice in higher education guided and informed by theory and research. 

The official title of this degree that was approved by the Kansas Board of Regents is Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling and Student Development.


Curriculum

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Student Affairs in Higher Education requires a minimum of 90 post-baccalaureate, graduate credit hours. With the approval of the supervisory committee, up to 30 graduate hours earned as part of the master’s degree may be used to satisfy the degree requirements. 

A designated core of 15 hours of graduate credit, typically a part of the master’s degree in college student personnel work, is required. These courses may be part of a master’s degree or must be completed in addition to the doctoral course work. These courses include the following:

  • EDCEP 812 – History and Philosophy of Higher Education
  • EDCEP 816 – Research Methods in Education
  • EDCEP 818 – Principles of College Student Personnel Services
  • EDCEP 830 – Diversity in Higher Education
  • EDCEP 838 – Student Development Theory

Doctoral Degree Requirements
All courses are three credit hours unless otherwise noted.

  • Professional Courses (18 credit hours)
    • EDCEP 923 – Higher Education Law
    • EDCEP 925 – Higher Education Finance
    • EDCEP 926 – Enrollment Management in Higher Education
    • EDCEP 927 – Higher Education Administration
    • EDCEP 948 – Advanced Student Development Theory in College Student Affairs
    • EDLEA 828 – Scholarly Orientation to Graduate Studies
  • Outside Area/Specialization (9 credit hours)
    • This specialization is developed in consultation with the major professor and must be approved by the student’s supervisory committee.
  • Research Courses (15 credit hours)
    • EDLEA 838 – Qualitative Research in Education
    • EDLEA 938 – Advanced Data Analysis in Qualitative Methods
    • EDCEP 817 – Statistical Methods in Education
    • EDCEP 917 – Experimental Design in Educational Research
    • Elective – a quantitative or qualitative course approved by program committee
  • Dissertation Research (18 credit hours)
    • EDCEP 999 – Research in Counseling and Educational Psychology

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to recognize student development theories and apply them appropriately to diverse college environments.
  • Students will be able to recognize and apply organizational, legal, and fiscal interventions for individuals, units, or institutions.
  • Students will understand research designs and data analysis components relevant to student development or college administration concerns.

Admissions Requirements 

Admission to graduate study is granted by the Dean of the Graduate School upon the recommendation of the faculty in the graduate program. Applicants seeking admission to this master’s degree program must submit the information noted below. Before starting the online application, gather all information and documents for all of the admission requirements so that they can be uploaded into the application system. All materials must be received before review will begin.

  • A completed online Graduate School Application
    • Go to the Kansas State University Graduate School home page and click on “Apply Now.” Follow the prompts for completing the application process.
    • Application Deadlines:
      • U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents – Applications are accepted throughout the year.
      • International Students – The online application, application fee, test scores, transcripts, financial documents, and all required application materials need to be submitted by the following dates:
        • January 1 for fall (August) enrollment
        • August 1 for spring (January) enrollment
        • December 1 for summer (June) enrollment
  • Graduate School Application Fee
    • Domestic Students – A $65 application fee is required for all domestic students; the application will not be processed without this fee. The fee can be paid by credit card when completing the online application.
    • International Students – A $75 application fee is required; the application will not be processed without this fee. The fee can be paid by credit card when completing the online application.
  • Official Transcripts
    • You must upload into the online application system a scanned copy (PDF preferred) of the official transcript(s) from each college or university where you received your bachelor's degree(s) and completed any post baccalaureate course work or degrees. Transcripts become part of your records at Kansas State University and cannot be returned. Please be aware that printouts from university student portals are not considered a copy of your official transcript. If you are admitted, you will be required to submit an official transcript for GPA and degree conferral verification from the institution(s) where you received your degree(s) and completed any post-baccalaureate credits. Students whose transcripts are not in English must furnish a translation by an appropriate authority. Failure to list any colleges or universities attended may result in dismissal from the university.
  • Statement of Goals and Professional Experience
    • You must upload into the online application system a 3-5 page, double-spaced paper that addresses the following topics:
      • Career and professional goals and aspirations, and how being accepted to the program will benefit the goals and aspirations;
      • Evidence of commitment to the student affairs profession;
      • Competencies and experiences related to the program (e.g., student affairs experience, interpersonal skills, teaching skills, program development experience);
      • Evidence of motivation, leadership, and strong work ethic;
      • Knowledge, competencies, and experience related to research;
      • Research interests;
      • Evidence of experience with diversity and, if applicable, fluency in languages other than English; and
      • Professional experiences that support application.
    • The paper is to be well written and thoughtfully presented. For resources to help with writing the paper, see the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL). An additional writing sample(s) that is independently authored may be submitted as part of the application process (e.g., graduate course paper, thesis, published article).
  • GRE Test Scores
    • Each applicant must submit Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores from the past five years. Priority for admission is given to applicants who have scores at the 50th percentile or higher on each part of the GRE. Applicants not meeting those scores may be considered for probationary admission if there is credible evidence of potential for success, such as a strong academic record. The GRE has three parts: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing. Applicants are strongly encouraged to go to the GRE website to become familiar with the three exams, identify ways to prepare for the exam, and to register to take the exam. The GRE website is: http://www.ets.org/gre.
    • When registering for the GRE, you will be asked to record codes for where you want your scores sent and for the field of study of your intended graduate program. Use the following codes on the GRE registration form when applying to this degree program:
      • Institutional code for Kansas State University: 6334
      • Field of Study: Higher Education 3502
  • Letters of Recommendation
    • Three letters of recommendation are needed from college or university educators and/or colleagues or supervisors who are qualified to address your professional skills and your potential for success in the graduate program. Enter the names and email addresses of the recommenders into the appropriate area in the online application.
  • A Professional Resume or Vita
    • You must upload into the online application system a professional resume or vita that includes previous academic degrees, past and present employment, professional activities and roles, and other pertinent information. 
  • An Interview
    • An interview with faculty members in this program may be requested before an admission decision is made (e.g., phone, video conference, on campus).
  • English Language Proficiency
    • To demonstrate competence in the English language, an official report of scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System - academic exam (IELTS) or Pearson Test of English (PTE) must be sent to Kansas State University for all applicants whose primary language is not English. Enter your scores in the online application and upload the report of your scores. Learn more about English proficiency requirements at: http://www.k-state.edu/grad/admissions/application-process/international/ 

International applicants must meet the same academic standards for admission as those required of domestic students. When applying for admission, international applicants must provide an Affidavit of Financial Support and documentation of English language proficiency. Detailed information about these issues is provided at the following website: http://www.k-state.edu/grad/admissions/application-process/international.

In some cases, a student may wish to take a course(s) prior to being admitted in a degree program. In these cases, a person must be admitted as a non-degree student. No more than nine credit hours earned as a non-degree student may be applied toward an advanced degree. However, successful completion of any hours taken as a non-degree student does not guarantee admission into the program. Non-degree students are not eligible for financial assistance. A faculty advisor is not assigned to non-degree students.


Careers

If interested in learning more about various careers in student affairs, a helpful essay can be found on these sites:

https://www.naspa.org/about/student-affairs

https://www.naspa.org/careers

http://www.myacpa.org/considering-career-student-affairs

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FAST FACTS


Degree:

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Department:

Special Education, Counseling, and Student Affairs

Course Delivery:

Manhattan Campus
Some courses available Online

Credits:

90

Tuition Information:

See the Cashiers and Student Accounts website for tuition and fee schedules.

See the College of Education Graduate Assistantships page for detailed information and application procedures about graduate assistantships available in the College of Education.


Additional Information

Program Booklet (PDF)


Related Programs

Master of Science in Academic Advising

Master of Science in College Student Development