Doctor of PhilosophyPh.D. in Leadership in Higher Education

Students meeting with school administrator

Become a leader at a college or university with our Higher Education Ph.D.

Loading...

Why earn your Higher Ed Ph.D. at Bellarmine?

Our program has a leadership, social-justice and research themed curriculum. It is designed to prepare graduates to explore, analyze and integrate knowledge into a professional and personal leadership philosophy to lead and serve in an array of higher education settings.

Each graduate student is exposed to a series of courses in strategic planning, finance, legal issues, successful community, state and federal partnerships, assessment, accountability, multicultural theory, student development theory, ethics, governance, administration leadership styles and future considerations in higher education.

Program highlights:

This cohort-based, 60-credit-hour Ph.D. program is designed for working professionals. Classes are held on Friday evenings and Saturdays. Students meet six weekends each semester. Coursework is completed in three years (two courses per semester). The dissertation is typically completed in the fourth year.

Students will study Thomas Merton’s teachings and philosophies during their own quest for self-discovery and development as educators and administrators in higher education. Finding one’s gifts and potential and committing to a lifetime exploration of seeking one’s true self is an important part of the journey as scholars, teachers and leaders in higher education. In keeping with the Bellarmine University mission, our graduates will seek to benefit the public interest, create the future and seek to improve the human condition.

Transcript Review

We can provide feedback about your transcript(s) and coursework. Simply complete the form below by attaching unofficial copies of your transcript(s).

Transcript Review

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How would this program benefit me in the workplace?
A: The graduate will be prepared to assume a variety of administrative roles in all aspects of higher education, including academic affairs, student services, enrollment management, administration and finance, athletics, development and fundraising, local, state and federal government agencies, educational non-profit leadership roles, Chief Executive Officer and Presidential duties.

Q: When does the program start?
A: A new cohort will start each fall semester, generally in late August.

Q: When do classes meet?
A: For the first three years of the program classes meet Friday evenings from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. and Saturday from 8:30 to 5:00 p.m. six weekends a semester. The fourth program year will be the dissertation year.

Q: How much time would I need to spend outside of class to be prepared for class?
A: On average, we recommend three hours outside of class to prepare for each hour of instruction. However, this will vary with the content of the courses(s) you are taking each semester.

For more frequently asked questions, please visit our FAQ page.

Student/Alumni Story

OJ Oleka

“Rigorous coursework. Considerate faculty. Accommodating class schedule. Incredible student body. I chose Bellarmine because, as a working professional seeking a graduate degree, I needed a program that would fit my needs and help me attain my career goals. Bellarmine was the perfect fit. My BU graduate degree also made me immediately more competitive for dream career opportunities. I earned a promotion at work, receiving over a 30% raise compared to what I made when I started my BU graduate degree. As an alum I am regularly invited back to attend free lectures that match my interests, enjoy family friendly alumni events, and participate in meaningful ways on how Bellarmine can remain a great institution.”

O.J. Oleka, Chief of Staff & Deputy Treasurer to Kentucky Treasurer Allison Ball

Career Prospects

Graduates will be prepared to assume leadership roles and teach in higher education areas including the more traditional undergraduate and graduate settings, community and technical colleges, non-profit educational services, and government and community agencies.

Students will:

  • Acquire a strong foundation in the history, current best practices and future trends in higher education leadership in an array of educational settings.
  • Gain an understanding and application of management theory and organizational development in higher education administration.
  • Learn research skills in assessment, qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, statistics and research design.
  • Learn student development theory and how to apply theory to practice in a variety of institutional settings with students from a wide spectrum of socioeconomic and multicultural environments.
  • Learn to identify personal and professional traits, skills and competencies that foster leadership strategies for leading in higher education administration.
  • Learn social justice principles and change theory in higher education and how these theories impact access, opportunity and success for students in diverse higher education environments.

Ph.D. in Leadership in Higher Education Dissertations

2021

  • Dr. Liz Byron – Teaching Non-cognitive Skills for College: A Qualitative Case Study of a Low-Income, High-Minority, Urban School District in Southeastern United States
  • Dr. Tamekka Cornelius – Views from the Margins: A Multiple-Case Study of the Lived Experiences of Black Women Senior-Level Student Affairs Administrators
  • Dr. Lindsey Gilmore – Navigating the Murky Middle: Understanding How Career Aspirations and Experiences Influence the Career Progression of Women Identifying, Student Affairs Middle Managers
  • Dr. Xavia Harrington-Chate – From the Margins: Impact of Academic Advising on First-Generation Student Retention
  • Dr. Benjamin Harris – The Influence of Martial Arts on the Quality of Life of College Students
  • Dr. Carrie Hawkins – The Impact of a Holistic Admissions Review Process in a Doctor of Physical Therapy Program
  • Dr. Jess Metzmeier – The Effect of Volunteering on Philanthropic Giving to American Higher Education
  • Dr. Sarah Nichter – Does Anywhere + Anytime = Success? Mobile Learning, Engagement, and Student Success in Higher Education

2020

  • Dr. Kristie Johnson – “We Live in Two Worlds”: Foreign-born College and University Presidents – Perspectives, Leadership, and Resiliency
  • Dr. OJ Oleka – High School Counselors As Social Capital In A Career Academy High School Model For Low-Income Students: A Case Study
  • Dr. Therron Rogers – Hidden Identity: A Constructivist Grounded Theory of Black Male Identity Development at Historically Black Colleges and Universities

2019

  • Dr. Patricia Carver - Twenty Shades of Black: A Phenomenological Study of the Dating, Belonging, and Thriving Experiences of Black Women Students at Private Predominantly White Institutions
  • Dr. Glenn Kosse - The Relationship Between Young Alumni Participation and Giving
  • Dr. Leslie Maxie - Job Satisfaction of Student Conduct Administrators and Their Use of Restorative Justice Practices
  • Dr. Jessica Taylor - Analyzing Two-year College Student Success using Structural Equation Modeling

2018

  • Dr. Hannah Piechowski - A Grounded Theory Study: Transition Experiences of First Year College Students with Pessimistic Explanatory Styles
  • Dr. Andrew Schroeder - The Relationship Between Gender Role Conflict and Academic Progress Comparing Division II Male Student-Athletes to Male Non-student Athletes

2017

  • Dr. Bryan Robinson - Structural Poverty and College Enrollment: The Impact of Rural American Determinism
James Archibald Headshot

James G. Archibald, Ph.D., LPC is an Associate Professor and the Higher Education Department Chair. Before coming to Bellarmine University, Dr. Archibald was an Associate Professor at Valdosta State University. He previously served as the Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Valdosta State University where he provided strategic vision, leadership, organization, and supervision for the Division of Student Affairs. Dr. Archibald is a licensed professional counselor and earned his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs from The Ohio University. He has a Master of Science degree in Guidance and Counseling from Austin Peay State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Morehouse College. Dr. Archibald was the recipient of the 2014 NASPA Region III Outstanding Contribution to Student Affairs through Teaching Award as well as ACPA’s 2018 Outstanding Contribution to Recreation Award.

Admission Requirements

Candidates must have an earned baccalaureate and master's degree in any discipline. Advanced degrees in fields other than education will be considered to meet this requirement (e.g., JD, MBA, etc.). A minimum grade point average of 3.5 in all graduate coursework completed at the time of application. For a comprehensive list of admission requirements, please visit our Admission page.

Tuition and Fees

Visit our Graduate Tuition Rates for the most up-to-date tuition and fees information.

Financial Assistance
Degree seeking students are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by visiting www.fafsa.gov. The Bellarmine School code is 001954. By completing the FAFSA, you may be eligible for student loans. Individuals working for the Archdiocese of Louisville are encouraged to contact the central office for information on the Professional Educators Incentive Program (PEIP) to see if funding is available. Financial aid questions should be directed to the Financial Aid Office at Bellarmine University (finaid@bellarmine.edu or 502.272.7300).

Contact Information

James G. Archibald, Ph.D., LPCC, Associate Professor & Higher Education Department Chair
502.272.7985 or jarchibald@bellarmine.edu

Sarah Schuble, Graduate Admission Officer
502.272.8271 or sschuble@bellarmine.edu

Office of Graduate Admission
502.272.7200 or 1.800.274.4723 x7200 or gradadmissions@bellarmine.edu