The Ohio State University

College of Education and Human Ecology

Educational Studies

Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA)

  • M.A.
  • Ph D.
  • Ed D.
Program Emphasis: 
  • Administrative Leadership
  • Student Learning & Development


+ 6142924322
Dr. Becky Crandall
301 Ramseyer Hall
29. W Woodruff Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210

Program Statement

The Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) program at The Ohio State University is an internationally recognized graduate program that empowers equity-minded leaders to change the landscape of higher education through the rigorous study of students.

Through a robust curriculum and professionally relevant experiences, our program provides support for students to become critical consumers of research and skilled practitioners. By equipping our students with these tools, we develop trailblazers who facilitate positive change, promote equity and inclusion, and cultivate community in higher education, student affairs, and beyond.

Our Curriculum

The HESA program takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of higher education policy and leadership. 

The Ph.D. curriculum prepares students to enter the faculty or upper-level administration in Higher Education and Student Affairs. Doctoral students enter as a cohort, complete a core set of classes, including quantitative and qualitative inquiry courses, and work collaboratively with their faculty advisors to design a program of study relevant to their interests.

Entering Ph.D. cohort size ranges from 8-12 students, enrolled predominantly full-time.  The average time to completion is 4-5 years for doctoral study.

The Ed.D. curriculum prepares students for leadership roles in a variety of higher education and student affairs administrative contexts. The program develops scholarly practitioners who understand the importance of equity and social justice and can respond effectively to the problems and issues of contemporary practice in higher education and student affairs.

Entering Ed.D. cohort size ranges from 8-14 students, enrolled predominantly full-time.  The average time to completion is 3-4 years for doctoral study.

The M.A. curriculum is designed to meet the requirements of the Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) in Higher Education and is organized around these important dimensions:

  • Cohort model with core courses for all students
  • Research and applied field experiences
  • Strong balance of elective offerings in both student development and learning and organizational behavior and administration

Entering master’s cohort size ranges from 18-25 students, enrolled predominantly full-time.  The program of study can be completed in two years. 

Meets ACPA Commission for Professional Preparation Standards: 
Meets CAS Standards: 

Number of Program Faculty

Full Time: 
Average Time to Degree: 
Ph.D. (4-5 years full-time study), Ed.D. (3-4 years full-time study), M.A. (2 years full-time study)

Visitation Program



Entrance Exam: 
  • None Required
Assistantship Required: 
Assistantship Placement Assistance: 
  • Full time
  • Part time
Program Delivery: 
  • In-person
Comprehensive Exam Required: