University of Iowa

College of Education

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Ph D. Higher Education and Student Affairs

  • Ph D.
Program Emphasis: 
  • Administrative Leadership
  • College Teaching
  • Student Learning & Development


Katie Buell
N491 Lindquist Center
Iowa City, IA 52245

Program Statement

Join the Hawkeye Legacy!

As one of the major doctoral-granting programs in the field of higher education and student affairs, the Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) department at the University of Iowa has a long history of producing international leaders in the fields of teaching, research, administration, and policy development.  Our faculty, students, and staff invite you to be a part of that legacy by pursuing an advanced course of graduate study with us here at the University of Iowa.

The HESA program helps future leaders and scholars:

  • Draw upon diverse perspectives from a variety of disciplines and professional fields;
  • Analyze critical issues and policies in the field of higher education;
  • Examine the effects of critical issues and policies on students, faculty, administrators, staff, and other participants in the higher education community; and
  • Explore the complex, interactive relationships among institutions of higher education, the external environment, and society at large.

Program Mission & Values

The HESA program is united in its commitment to advancing knowledge, and cultivating transformation in the practice and study of postsecondary education.  We offer educational leaders, scholars, and practitioners comprehensive expertise built from a range of intellectual traditions. 

Our differences (philosophies, methods, disciplinary training, and personal backgrounds) exemplify the respect and concern we have for ensuring that students develop a deep understanding and interconnected view of the field.

Together, the HESA program coalesces around a shared sense of responsibility to produce research and to spark innovative thinking that addresses the contemporary challenges and persistent inequities that permeate the field of higher education and student affairs.

Application Deadline: December 1st (Fall)        Apply Here!

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

Number of Program Faculty

Full Time: 
Total Program Credit Hours: 
Average Time to Degree: 
Varies; full-time and part-time study tracks available

Visitation Program



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