Loyola University Chicago

School of Education

PhD in Higher Education


The Loyola University Chicago Higher Education program is a critical interdisciplinary program that prepares practitioner-scholars to embrace, articulate, and develop the real connections between theory and practice.  Through the study of social, cultural, philosophical, and historical issues in higher education, our program is based on the premise that regardless of role (student affairs practitioners, administrators, faculty, etc.), all higher education professionals ideally operate from a position of community cultural wealth, funds of knowledge, and intellectual acumen – all elements that are relational and in constant interaction with one another.  This graduate program takes an authentic hybrid approach to the study of higher education in all of its iterations, placing equal, dynamic value on the multiple, complex roles that higher education professionals and faculty play in this field.

Loyola Higher Education faculty and students recognize the power of alternative ways of knowing and being and stress the significance of students’ experiential knowledge. Students in this program explore the fundamental importance of power, identity, intersectionality, advocacy, and activism in education. Our faculty specialize in a broad range of topics including but not limited to:

  • Community College Contexts
  • Critical Theory and Pedagogy
  • Equity in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)
  • Identity and Student Development
  • International Higher Education
  • Finance and Governance

Our graduates secure various opportunities across postsecondary contexts. Our most recent Ph.D. alumni include:

  • Dr. Sara Furr ('18), Dean of Students, School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago
  • Dr. Paige Gardner ('20), Assistant Dean of Students, Loyola University Chicago
  • Dr. Norma López ('20), Full-Time Instructor, Northern Illinois University
  • Dr. Lester Manzano ('19), Associate Dean of Students, Loyola University Chicago
  • Dr. Ceceilia Parnther ('16), Assistant Professor, St. John's University
  • Dr. Dian Squire ('15), Assistant Professor, Northern Arizona University
  • Dr. Natasha Turman ('17), Director, Women in Science and Engineering Residence Programs, University of Michigan

Explore the program

Visit a Class