Higher Education Leadership Ph.D. Concentration

Dr. Walter Burt teaches an educational leadership classLeadership knowledge and development, applicable to both instructional and administrative aspects of higher education institutions, is the focus of this program in the Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology at Western Michigan University.  Higher education faculty who have not yet obtained a terminal degree, as well as those working in student services or other administrative areas within universities, community colleges or other institutions focused on adult learning, will be well served by this program.

Of the doctoral students already admitted to this program, some are existing faculty, currently teaching in a wide range of disciplines (e.g., engineering, business, nursing, social work, criminal justice, hospitality).  Most plan to remain faculty members upon completion of their doctorate; however, some seek roles as department chairs or deans.  Other students come from student services or other administrative areas, such as student support programs, extended university programs, residence life and housing, human resources, university athletics, information technology services, university libraries, international affairs and study abroad, and other student affairs departments.

Many of these students plan to continue in or advance within administrative units in higher education, while also planning to serve as part-time faculty.  Only a few of our admitted students are not currently working within higher education institutions but are instead involved in training or other adult learning activities.  All students admitted to this concentration are expected to have a minimum of 3-5 years of post-master's leadership experience in post-secondary education settings, or a closely related sector. 

Please note that this concentration may not be suitable for individuals seeking a faculty position in specific disciplines that have their own terminal degrees; most universities hire faculty with a doctoral degree in the subject area in which they will be teaching. 

Learn more about the PhD in Educational Leadership

Course documents