Higher Education

Office: Morgridge Office of Admissions
Mail Code: 1999 E. Evans Avenue, Denver, CO 80208
Phone: 303-871-2509
Email: edinfo@du.edu
Web Site: morgridge.du.edu/programs/higher-education/

The University of Denver’s Higher Education Department (DUHigherEd) engages in collective learning about the foundations of postsecondary institutions, structures, and systems across diverse educational pathways. Our scholarship is grounded in theory, praxis, and community engagement to address persistent and emergent postsecondary phenomena at the institutional, local, regional, tribal, state, and national levels.  

The DUHigherEd community is committed to: 

  • Teaching and mentoring educators and professionals who seek careers related to postsecondary contexts, such as administration, policy, teaching, and research, as well public and private agencies of higher education.  

  • Uplifting and celebrating the diverse knowledge bases held by communities historically and contemporarily excluded from higher education. 

  • Centering and generating consequential research, scholarship, and creative activities that addresses interlocking systems of oppression that perpetuate inequities and injustices influencing the ecology of higher education by informing policy, practice, and theory. 

  • Fostering a sense of accountability to build liberatory practices needed to disrupt and dismantle oppressive higher education policies. 

  • Engaging in critical self-reflexivity as part of an intergenerational, collective, and life-long (un)learning process.  

  • Serving and partnering with communities to build knowledge and enact policy and practice that dismantles systems of oppression. 

As a policy-aware and globally conscious department, we recognize that U.S.-based institutions of higher education are founded on ideologies of stolen land, bodies, and labor. We align our commitments to uplift critical scholars who name the ableism, genderism, genocide, heterosexism, homophobia, nativism, racism, settler colonialism, sexism, transphobia, and xenophobia continuously informing the operations of education.  

As a community of learners, we traverse the boundaries of valuing education as a human right, while understanding the complicated and problematic relationship higher education has with communities that continue to be systemically marginalized. DUHigherEd welcomes learners who seek to actualize a critical praxis for making meaningful contributions that shift the landscape of higher education. 

Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education

Students in the 90-credit Doctor of Philosophy degree program gain knowledge and demonstrate competence through coursework designed to provide a strong foundation in the field of higher education and research methods. In addition, students broaden their scope of study through a wide range of elective possibilities. Students are required to complete a teaching competency during the time of their study, and successfully complete and defend the doctoral comprehensive exam (also known as the preliminary oral examination) near the end of coursework. The culminating requirement for the degree is a dissertation, defended in a final oral defense. 

Doctor of Education in Higher Education

Students in the 65-credit Doctor of Education degree program gain knowledge through coursework and research experience. Competence is demonstrated by the successful completion and oral defense of a doctoral comprehensive exam, and the successful oral defense of the dissertation in practice (DiP). It is expected that the DiP will be a publication quality dissertation that investigates a key issue or problem important to the field of higher education. Upon completing the DiP, students will be able to translate what they have learned into real-world applications, and offer practical and policy related recommendations. 

Master of Arts in Higher Education

The 50-credit Higher Education master’s degree is designed to prepare professionals for administrative, leadership, student-centered, and/or policy-focused careers in post-secondary institutions, private and public agencies of higher education, and other educational settings. This generalist program enables students to explore the academic and practitioner-oriented issues related to post-secondary settings and to expand their experiential awareness through practical activities in administration, policy, and research. Elective coursework allows students to complete an optional emphasis in one of three areas: College Student Affairs, Diversity and Higher Learning, or Public Policy & Organizational Change. An internship experience is required, and the final degree requirement is the successful completion of an e-portfolio.