Program Overview

Choice of an appropriate graduate school is indeed an important decision for you, and the program you choose should be one that will meet your unique goals. Your choice may also be influenced by admission requirements, as well as opportunities for financial assistance, and, in this regard, the following information may be helpful to you.

Should you decide to apply for admission to our graduate program, your application will receive careful consideration. You are strongly encouraged to begin the application process as soon as possible. Once the Department and Graduate Admissions have received all necessary materials, your completed application file will be referred to the appropriate faculty admissions committee for review. This review process will usually take a minimum of several weeks. As soon as the committee has taken action, the Department will promptly notify you the recommendation we have made to the Graduate School. Soon afterwards, you will receive official notification from the Graduate School.

Program in Higher Education Leadership (PHEL)

The Program in Higher Education Leadership is devoted to the scholarly study of higher education, its students and institutions, and their places in society. It also prepares students to assume leadership and administrative roles in these institutions. Our faculty and students are in the vanguard of understanding and shaping the dynamic environment of higher education now and in the future. Less and less a world of ivory towers, higher education is being reconceived and reorganized through increased access for more diverse student communities, intensified accountability and governmental oversight, the need for lifelong avenues of learning and re-training, and the opportunities and challenges presented by digital innovations both in and out of the classroom.

Faculty and students in this program have opportunities to conduct research and gain valuable hands-on experience through an impressive range of organizations located within the department and across the University. Through work with the the Center for Community College Student Engagement, Student Success Initiative, and the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development, students have a front row seat on a range of innovative programs to support students and faculty in higher education institutions. Students in our masters programs complete internships in units across the UT campus, as well as at other institutions, and all our students have direct access to one of the strongest national networks of higher education leaders in the country.

Students completing a doctoral degree (Ph.D. or Ed.D.) are prepared towards careers in academia, leadership, and administration. For example, our program emphasizes preparation for a research career in which the graduate will add to the core of knowledge that is the basis for informed practice. Several graduates in recent years have attained tenure-track faculty positions and post-docs at research institutions across the country.

The program emphasizes preparation for leadership careers in a variety of college and university settings and is oriented toward the application of theory and knowledge development through research. For example, recent graduates with these career goals have secured positions as assistant deans of student services, residence life, and diversity and community engagement.

Our masters program is designed to develop knowledgeable and skilled professional administrators for student affairs practice. Our graduates have pursued such career areas as student housing, organizational and leadership development, fundraising and development, financial aid, admissions, health education, recreation, and similar programs and services in institutions of higher education.

Public School Executive Leadership (PSEL)

The Public School Executive Leadership (PSEL) program is committed, in all of its program area specializations, to leadership that facilitates the development of schools that create the conditions for academic high performance for literally all children from pre-k to 12th grade.  The Public School Executive Leadership unit consists of the following areas of specialization:

The Cooperative Superintendency Program (CSP) develops superintendents committed to high performance for all children district wide.

The Educational Policy and Planning Program (EPP) develops policy analysts and researchers with this same commitment.

The Principalship Program (UTAPP) develops similar leadership at the campus level.

In addition, in all of these endeavors, PSEL is committed to state and national leadership in the advocacy for high academic performance for all children, regardless of their differences.