Adult & Higher Education Ph.D.

The Ph.D. in Adult and Higher Education trains equity-minded researchers in the field of higher education. This full-time, traditional Ph.D. program is designed for students interested in pursuing research and policy positions in higher education. The Ph.D. allows students to work closely with a faculty advisor with similar, equity-driven research interests.

Classes are offered at our locations in Portland and Corvallis, Oregon. All AHE programs are rooted in equity and social justice. Rather than having a single course focused on social issues, equity is intentionally embedded throughout all of the coursework in the Ed.D. and Ph.D. programs. Additionally, the research interests of the AHE faculty are focused on equity and social justice.

NOTE: The Ph.D. in Adult & Higher Education will not be admitting students for the 2024-25 academic year.

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Equity-Based Doctoral Study in Corvallis

  • Work closely with a world-renowned higher education scholar.
  • Live and study in one of the best college towns in the U.S.
  • Small cohorts for 1:1 attention.
  • All AHE programs are rooted in equity and social justice. Equity is intentionally embedded throughout all of the coursework.
  • Research interests of the AHE faculty are focused on equity and social justice.
  • Classes taught by program faculty and higher education leaders with content expertise related to the subject matter.


What to Expect

Classes include a blend of research methodology and higher education. The program offers a quantitative and qualitative research series. Other notable courses include, Contemporary Issues, Policy Issues, Power & Privilege in Leadership, and Legal Issues.

The program is offered full-time, with classes held in-person at the Corvallis campus. Some classes may be offered hybrid.

Students work closely with a faculty advisor who has similar, equity-driven research interests. In addition, students will be prepared to present at national and regional conferences.

Upon graduation from this program, students will be prepared for positions in research and policy, including tenure-track and instructional faculty, and postdoctoral, institutional and policy researchers, in a variety of higher education settings.

Minority Serving and open access institutions, LGBTQIA+ issues in higher education, and equitable transfer policies and practices.

If Master’s degree is in an unrelated field, documented professional working experience in higher education may substitute this requirement (Preferred: Previous research or assessment experience).

In what ways have your prior experiences, professional career path, and/or scholarly interests contributed to your decision to pursue a Ph.D. from the Adult and Higher Education program at Oregon State University?

The Ph.D. in Adult & Higher Education will not be admitting students for the 2024-25 academic year.

Supporting you throughout your degree

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Financial Support

Over 40 scholarships just for College of Education students.

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Advising and Peer Support

We support the whole student, connecting you to resources for life and school.

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Large University Services

We're a small college in a big university, providing you with 1:1 support with OSU's great resources.

Why Choose OSU?

Ranked in the top 1% of research universities in the world, OSU produces more research than any other university in Oregon. Corvallis is consistently among the Top 10 college towns in the nation for its innovation, education, entertainment and overall livability.


Scholarships, fellowships, and funding for your research.


You get all the attention, plus all the resources.

Graduate Student Only Resources

Career, writing center, and more.


OSU's commitment to inclusive excellence is everywhere.

FIND YOUR program

We have lots of opportunities for degrees, support for graduate students, and our flexibility is second to none. We love our graduates.


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Master's in Education in Adult & Higher Education

Oregon State University's Master of Education (Ed.M.) in Adult and Higher Education program is offered in partnership with OSU's award-winning Ecampus. This two-year master’s degree program is designed for you to directly apply your learning to your organization’s unique learning environment, meaning you can keep your job while pursuing this degree. You will gain applied skills and knowledge for designing, implementing and assessing educational programs in a variety of formats (in-person, online, hybrid). This degree can prepare you to deliver programming in front of an audience or behind-the-scenes as the content developer.

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Adult & Higher Education Ed.D.

The hybrid Ed.D. degree in Adult & Higher Education has a newly updated curriculum designed for students interested in advancing in leadership positions in higher education. The curriculum has been updated to better meet the current needs of leaders at technical colleges, community colleges, and 4-year colleges and universities. 



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