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Higher Education & Student Affairs


Welcome to the Higher Education & Student Affairs Administration Program  

The Higher Education & Student Affairs Administration (HESA) graduate programs prepares individuals for careers as highly effective higher education administrators and scholars. Both the MA and PhD programs prepare scholar-leaders for the varied challenges facing higher education organizations in today’s global environment. A key goal of the HESA programs is to develop change leaders who actively engage with issues of the 21st century to create equitable and socially just higher education institutions.

In our Higher Education & Student Affairs Administration programs, our faculty seek to:

  • Enhance professional competence and communication skills
  • Promote social justice
  • Meet the needs of diverse learners
  • Engage and encourage reflective practice
  • Maintain a constructivist emphasis in teaching and learning
  • Encourage partnerships and collegiality

Our educational community values:

  • Using the process of critical self-reflection for growth in professional practice and competence
  • Respect for the uniqueness of all individuals
  • Ethical advocacy on behalf of individuals or groups experiencing discrimination
  • Critical thinking and writing as part of the development of scholar-leaders

To that end, we expect all graduates of our programs will be able to:

  • Advance social justice & inclusion practices within their campus community
  • Promote stakeholder development (student, alumni, donor, faculty, staff, administrator, community, etc.)
  • Enhance the organization and administration of their university/college
  • Engage in independent and collaborative assessment, evaluation, and research

Prospective students can access specific program information below:

The Master of Arts degree in Higher Education & Student Affairs Administration is designed to prepare students for a variety of student affairs positions in postsecondary institutions.

  • PhD in Education  with a concentration in Higher Education Leadership

The PhD in Education with a concentration in Higher Education Leadership is designed to develop scholars and practitioners who will improve the outcomes of postsecondary education as academic leaders and administrators, public policy experts, researchers, faculty members, and consultants.

  • PhD in Education with a concentration in Comparative and International Education

The PhD in Education with a concentration in Comparative and International Education is designed to equip students to systematically examine the theoretical and practical challenges evident throughout all aspects of education across a global education perspective.

PhD in Education  

The Ph.D. in Education equips students to systematically examine the theoretical and practical challenges evident across the P-20 educational pipeline to address the issue of inequity. The degree program will prepare individuals for careers in academia, research, and policy centers, as well as for high-level administration and curricular positions at educational institutions and agencies.  


The Ph.D. in Education offers both high residency and low residency options. High residency students will take courses on-campus, hy-flex, and remote synchronous modalities. Students in the high residency option should be able to come to campus for evening courses. Low residency students will take remote synchronous courses scheduled in the evenings and will be required to come to Baltimore for an in-person retreat during the Fall and spring semesters.  


Program Objectives

The educational objectives for the Ph.D. in Education are the following: 


  • To advance research on inequity issues within the full P-20 educational pipeline.
  • To prepare students to use original and existing research to transform educational practice. 
  • To equip future educational researchers with innovative teaching experience and cutting-edge transdisciplinary research experience to become attractive job candidates on the academic market. 
  • To prepare candidates to create a collaborative learning community that integrates all the various educational contexts. 
  • To prepare candidates to be critical thinkers who focus on leadership, policy, ethics, and social justice. 

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for admission to the PhD in Education, an applicant must submit an application for admission to the School of Graduate Studies.  Students must select their area of concentration at the time of application.

The following required documents must be submitted as part of the application:

  • Complete official academic transcripts documenting the possession of an earned Master’s degree from an accredited institution;
  • Evidence of scholastic ability as demonstrated by achieving a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) in all graduate study, with a preferred graduate GPA of 3.5;
  • An autobiographical statement discussing the candidate’s personal academic and professional plans, research interests and reasons for selecting the Ph.D. in Education at Morgan State University;
  • A minimum of two (2) written professional recommendations in support of the application (at least one of which should be from a person with a doctorate who can attest to the applicant’s capacity for successful study at the doctoral level);
  • A writing sample or original research paper from their prior graduate program.
  • Students for whom instruction has not been in English, must submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).


Selected applicants will participate in an interview process by the Doctoral Admissions Committee


Meeting the minimum eligibility requirements and submitting all the required documents does not guarantee that an offer of admission will be made to the applicant. The decision of the Doctoral Admissions Committee involves a review and analysis of all the elements of the application as well as the availability of positions in the program. The committee then recommends to the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies that an offer of admission should be made based on that review.

Residency Requirements

Doctoral work can be a challenging process, but building peer structure helps students succeed. Required residency weekends are embedded in the PhD program as a central part of the intensive, cohort-based model. These residency weekends will help students get to know faculty and fellow cohort members and foster the development of their doctoral identity. They will occur once each semester during the coursework for students, and the calendar will be set and distributed during orientation. The mandatory residency weekends will be full day Friday, full day Saturday, and half day Sunday for one weekend per semester: Attendance is required at all residency weekends

Fall 2024 dates: September 6-8th 2024

Spring 2025 dates: January 24-26th 2025

Full-time Program Faculty

Dr. Virginia Byrne, Assistant Professor

Dr. Niah Grimes, Assistant Professor

Dr. Steve Mobley, Associate Professor & Program Director

Dr. Sean Robinson, Professor 

Dr. Ben Welsh, Associate Professor

For questions and/or more information please contact Dr. Steve Mobley Jr. , Program Director

Find us on Twitter @MorganStateHESA