College of Education *
College of Education *

Student Affairs Doctoral Program


Doctoral Field Work Manual
Ph.D. Degree Requirements

The doctoral curriculum in Student Affairs prepares student development educators and administrators for professional work in institutions of higher education. The doctoral concentration is enriched by our alignment with the Higher Education and International Education Policy emphasis in our degree program, as well as the unique resources in the Washington, D.C.- Baltimore area including government agencies, professional associations, and a variety of higher education institutions.

The concentration is designed to assist doctoral students in developing as expert practitioners, administrators, researchers, and university faculty. Entrance requirements include a master's degree in college student personnel/student affairs, higher education, counseling, or a closely related field.

Premises of the Concentration

Important assumptions and values inherent in the doctoral concentration in Student Affairs are represented in the following principles.

  1. An in-depth knowledge and understanding of college student development is central to our doctoral concentration.
  2. Our concentration is committed to the consideration of social justice and to the recognition of social identity and intersectionality. The concentration provides for the development of an awareness and appreciation of diversity, a commitment to social justice, and the development of strategies to enhance learning in an environment that respects individual differences and cultural diversity.
  3. Research and assessment are emphasized as a core of our concentration and are infused throughout the curriculum. We support inquiry using both qualitative and quantitative methods and methodologies. The student and advisor should determine which courses are most appropriate for the student's goals. Research and program evaluation experiences are available through apprenticeships and related opportunities. The dissertation also constitutes a major research activity.
  4. The importance of leadership and consultative and interactive processes necessary to work with individuals, groups, and organizations is reflected in the concentration.
  5. Professional seminars serve as a foundation for students beginning the doctoral concentration, as an on-going opportunity to stay abreast of current professional issues including a capstone experience for students toward the end of their doctoral course work. Professional seminars also provide a way of developing community among graduate students in our concentration and with other doctoral students in Higher Education and International Education Policy.
  6. Through an individually-designed selection of courses termed a professional concentration, the student is provided an opportunity for in-depth study in a specialized area of personal interest related to student affairs administration and other professional goals.
  7. Internships and apprenticeships enable doctoral students to gain additional supervised work experience to extend theory from course work into practice and to add breadth as well as depth to their academic programs.
  8. Teaching opportunities provide doctoral students with an increased understanding of undergraduates' classroom experiences and the relationship with their co-curricular experiences. Teaching experience facilitates more effective communication with faculty and persons in academic affairs. Opportunities exist for teaching undergraduate courses in career development, peer counseling, leadership, and orientation. Opportunities also exist also teach in the master's concentration.
  9. Each student's program of study is designed with full consideration given to previous student affairs work experience and previous academic course work in college student development theories, counseling theory and practice, organization and administration of student affairs and student services, and research and evaluation.

For more information on the Student Affairs doctoral program please click here for Ph.D. degree requirements.