Texas Tech University

Higher Education

Program Overview

The Higher Education program at Texas Tech University offers an M.Ed., a Ph.D., and a certificate in higher education. These offerings are designed to develop scholarly practitioners who have the skills to lead institutional programs and understand the importance of social fairness. Graduates of our degree programs are equipped to apply theories and practical research as tools to name, frame, and solve problems of practice, using empirical evidence to evaluate impact and develop innovative solutions for colleges and universities.

The Higher Education program is committed to excellence in preparing and supporting leaders for higher education, generating and supporting research in the field of higher education, and delivering public service to the practice of higher education. The program delivers teaching, research, and professional services to students, institutions of higher education, and other academic disciplines.

Degrees Offered: M.Ed., Ph.D.

Offered: The Ph.D. is offered fully online. The M.Ed. is offered fully online and face-to-face.

The online M.Ed. and Ph.D. programs are designed to accommodate individuals who are employed full-time.  The programs are cohort based with monthly synchronous meetings over zoom occurring in the evening to promote connection between students and with faculty. 

For students seeking an on campus experience, assistantships for masters students are available at the university in housing and other entities. Students are encouraged to apply and reach out to the program early if interested.  There are a limited number of research assistantships available for Ph.D. students that cover the cost of tuition and provide a small living stipend. Applicants interested in these opportunities are encouraged to reach out to faculty and program coordinators, and indicate their interest in their application.

The Higher Education program offers a number of degrees and certificates. Learn more:

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Career Opportunities With This Degree

The Master of Education program in Higher Education Administration offers opportunities for individuals who seek careers in entry level to middle management, teaching, and leadership positions at community colleges and universities. Graduates of the TTU Higher Education Master's Program will be collaborative, team-oriented, practitioner-based professionals who have the ability to access, evaluate and develop solutions to higher education problem(s) of practice.

The Ph.D. in Higher Education is designed to prepare instructional and administrative "scholarly practitioners" for positions in two- and four-year colleges and universities, government agencies, and business and industry. The primary role is to prepare leaders for the higher education through developing skills in the identification, analysis, evaluation and application of critical research that addresses higher education issues related to multiple and diverse populations and a variety of sociocultural contexts domestically and internationally. 

Application Requirements

M.Ed. – Bachelor's degree (any discipline), transcripts, resume, statement of purpose, and three recommendations.

Ph.D. – Master's degree (discipline related to higher education and research coursework), GRE, transcripts, resume, applicant statement, three writing prompts, and three letters of recommendations.

Please contact Pam Smith at pam.smith@ttu.edu for application instructions.

GRE Scores

The doctoral programs require official GRE scores. Scores must be no more than 5 years old at the time of application. Official GRE scores must be sent from Educational Testing Services (ETS) to the Texas Tech Graduate School. To register for the examination please visit the GRE Testing website. Texas Tech University's code is 6827.

  • Due to ongoing accessibility concerns, the Graduate School has suspended GRE test score requirements for applications through at least Summer 2025. For more information, please contact the Graduate School.

Semester in which the program can be started

  • M.Ed. – (face to face) Fall and Spring - Spring applicants are encouraged to consult with a Higher Education advisor before applying.
  • M.Ed. – (online) Fall only
  • Ph.D. – Fall only

Estimated Hours to Completion

  • Certificate – 15 Hours
  • M.Ed. Thesis – 33 hours
  • M.Ed. Non-Thesis – 30 hours
  • M.Ed. Online – 30 hours
  • Ph.D. – 60 hours above Master's degree

Allowable Transfer Hours

  • M.Ed. – 6 hours, subject to program approval (graduate level courses with a letter grade of A or B)
  • M.Ed. (online) –  does not accept transfer hours
  • Ph.D. – 30 hours, subject to program approval (graduate level courses with a letter grade of A or B)


Dr. Valerie Paton
For Ph.D. questions

Dr. Irene Arellano
For Master's Program questions

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