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Oklahoma State University

Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies: Higher Education

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (Higher Education):  The Ph.D. is a research-focused degree designed to prepare individuals to contribute to the field of higher education as administrators, scholars, or policy analysts. The focus is on the preparation of individuals who can use existing theory and research to enhance administrative practice. Students develop skills necessary to conduct research exploring historic, contemporary, and/or emerging issues in higher education policy and practice.


March 15

annually for admittance for the following fall.

Admissions Questions:

Program Information

Dr. Steve Wanger

Program Coordinator



If there are sufficient numbers of qualified students, it is the intent of the program faculty to start doctoral rotations in the Higher Education & Student Affairs Ph.D. program on a 2-year rotation: in Tulsa every odd year; in Oklahoma City every even year, and in Stillwater as needed. 

Students in a particular location who are interested in starting their degrees outside this rotation may seek admission and take courses at another location.

The application process requires two steps:

1) Graduate College Application

  • Visit
  • Complete the online application to the Graduate College.
  • Submit the non-refundable application fee.
  • Submit official transcripts from all previous institutions attended.

2) Program Application

  • Visit HERE for the Application Information Packet.
    • Current academic vita/resume.
    • Career objective essay (2-3 pages, double spaced)
    • Three letters of recommendation.
    • Critical Issue Essay (2-3 pages, double spaced)
    • Two examples of written work.
    • Interview: The program faculty may request an interview with applicants.